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Message from the Chair
Welcome to UCLA Political Science
Political Science is the study of how humans relate to one another and the systems of power and institutions of rule we construct in order to arrange our collective lives. These institutions can be formal like electoral systems, or international courts, or the various branches of governmental power; but they can also be informal and include the cultural practices of diverse ethnic groups, the public contestation of beliefs and values, and everyday forms of collective participation ranging from sporting activities, to political activism, to digital networking and beyond. What these diverse expressions of political activity share is an acknowledgment of the fact that we are many and that in order for the many to live peacefully with one another we must innovate ways to negotiate forms of power. It was Aristotle who in his Politics famously declared that humans are “by nature a political animal.” As Political Scientists we hope to understand how humans are political animals, as well as the diverse historical and contemporary ways that we express our political lives.