What is Political Science?

This week, I tweeted 👇.

This (understandably) led to A LOT of responses and alternative definitions. https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1387146043255672832
Before going into those responses, a few points of context about my above definition.

1) I wanted to keep it simple and jargon-free

2) The audience was non-political science social scientists, so I wanted to describe the discipline in a way that made it distinct.
#1 is why I stayed away from my preferred definition, because I would have to then clarify "sovereignty" (why this is my preferred definition is a discussion for another thread) https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1387155423187329025
But democracy is a BIG part of the discipline. Also, it's a concept that non-political scientists immediately can appreciate...even though political scientists can't agree on what it means and when a country is or isn't a democracy 🤷‍♂️ https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1347566184749789188
Okay, with that context out of the way, how SHOULD we define political science? Well, the responses to my Tweet showed that we aren't (yet) clear on how to define it...or even if we should define it.
One approach would be to simply replace "democracy" with "regime" in my above definition, thereby capturing the variety of governing types. Of course, then we have to define "regime" (a similar limitation to my preferred "sovereignty" definition) https://twitter.com/ThatSaraGoodman/status/1387166972056457219
Some folks emphasized "power". Such as here... https://twitter.com/DenisonBe/status/1387148629706739720
...here... https://twitter.com/mmlyne/status/1387256068506537986
...& here. https://twitter.com/WillRuger/status/1387747922511548422
Since "power" can be a bit vague, other folks narrowed it to the term "authority". See here... https://twitter.com/ts_worth/status/1387379551840395267
... and here... https://twitter.com/MWigell/status/1387310669691822080
...or the related term "governance". https://twitter.com/Eurohans/status/1387192727100661763
I like the using authority and governance in the definition. But authority over what? That's why a common suggestion was to emphasize "the commons", such as collective/public goods. See here... https://twitter.com/CarrieALee1/status/1387160335237488641
...and here. https://twitter.com/DeborahAvant1/status/1387393008346095629
Related to the concern over collective goods, several folks suggested that the discipline is about collective decision making. See here... https://twitter.com/daveckang/status/1387213277407547394
...here... https://twitter.com/cullenhendrix/status/1387217053518422017
...here.... https://twitter.com/drhhardt/status/1387471975874842625
...here... https://twitter.com/smsaideman/status/1387159357767528449
...and here. https://twitter.com/vjlive/status/1387149423059210240
So it seems that group decision making (or at least decisions made for a group) should be a critical part of the definition.
Some of the the other definitions emphasized constraints on decision making, either for others or for the group. These included...
...structures... https://twitter.com/sbmitche/status/1387161265559064576
...the "will" of others... https://twitter.com/sbmitche/status/1387161265559064576
... attempts at domination... https://twitter.com/LionelFatton/status/1387709051283329025
...and the creation rules (i'll be honest, this one -- the study of rules and rule -- might be my favorite). https://twitter.com/profTLe/status/1387244025145565192
So lots of definitions for "Political Science".

Which might be a problem. Is it even possible to define the discipline?

Several folks responded that the answer is "no", at least not in an intellectually satisfying way.

See here... https://twitter.com/Simon_the_Pratt/status/1387491717079724037
... here... https://twitter.com/ethanbdm/status/1387179385615159297
... and here. https://twitter.com/ProfRPahre/status/1387157608864362512
Of course, this is probably because what one means by "politics" (maybe even "science") is going to vary by context https://twitter.com/dhnexon/status/1387149195035959301
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