It was in 1915, seven years after the establishment of the University of the Philippines in 1908, when the Department of Political Science was established as a unit of the College of Liberal Arts. The first head of the unit, then called “chief of the Department,” was George A. Malcolm. He headed the Department while he was concurrently Dean of the College of Law from 1915-1920. His successor as Chief of the Department was Maximo M. Kalaw, the first Filipino head of the Department. Kalaw headed the Department from 1920-1934.
The Department greatly influenced the development of the discipline in our country. Malcolm’s Government of the Philippine Islands and his collaborative work with Kalaw, Philippine Government, firmly established the legalistic and institutional approaches of the discipline in our country.
These dominant approaches had been strongly challenged in the Department in the 1960s, and has now been replaced with orientations in political sociology and political economy. These have become the dominant perspectives in the Department. The Department has continued to influence the discipline in our country in spite of institutional reorganizations of the College of Liberal Arts. In the 1950s, the College was reorganized into a College of Arts and Sciences, which was divided into three Colleges in 1983 – College of Arts and Letters, College of Science, and College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. The Department of Political Science is now one of the eight departments in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.