The Department of Political Science was established on 18 September 1957 with the appointment of Dr.V.K.Sukumaran Nayar as Head of the Department. The Department of Politics was declared as a Department of Study and Research of the University with ex-officio membership in the Senate for the Head of the Department. A Board of Post-Graduate Studies in Politics was constituted with Dr. V.K.Sukumaran Nayar as Chairman and with the late Prof.R.Bhaskaran of Madras University, Dr.K.B.Y.Thotappa of Mysore University, Prof. J.Ramachandran of Presidency College(former Vice-Chancellor, Madurai University) the late Prof.K.P.Pillay (Professor of History and Politics of the University College and Professor of Politics of the S.N.College,Quilon) and the late Prof.V.Narayana Pillay(later on acting Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University ) as members. The Board of Studies revised the courses of studies in Politics at the Post-Graduate level providing for specialisation in four branches, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, Public Administration and International Relations. The Department had conducted several summer institutes, workshops and seminars from the early period itself.
The Department celebrated its Silver Jubilee during 1983-84 and the Golden jubilee Celebrations in 2007. During the last 52 years the Department of Political Science has emerged as the leading Post-Graduate Research Centre in South India especially in the areas of Indian Politics with special focus on state and Society in Kerala, International Politics, Comparative Politics and Public Administration. The Department has already produced 100 Ph.Ds and 150 M.Phil dissertations in different areas of political science. It has earned a special place in the study of psephology being the first state in the country to conduct a scientific analysis of voting behaviour, as early as 1965.Since 1996, the Department has been continuously engaging in numerous empirical studies, both on the eve of elections and otherwise to gauge the socio-political mood of the people on contemporary issues.
The Department has a tradition of undertaking international projects with the support of various agencies abroad. One such programme recently run by the Department is the Fulbright International Education Programme. As part of this, the Department has already exchanged six members, including faculty and research students , to the Claremont Graduate University, California, USA for teaching and research. The Claremont University has also deputed its teachers and researchers to this Department. This project is mainly funded buy the US State Department and the Claremont Graduate University USA while a potion of it on a cost sharing basis is met by the University of Kerala also.
The Department is actively negotiating new projects with University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, Australian National University, Australia, University of Leithbridge, Alberta, Canada, New Zealand Asia Institute, Auckland, New Zealand etc. Proposals for similar exchange Programmes are also initiated with the South Asia Institute at Hidelberg University, Germany and University of Leeds, UK. In the past, the Department has also involved in collaborative projects with Maism De Sciences Del Homme, Paris, France. The faculty of the Department has also won full bright visiting Professor award, Salzburg Awards, Sasthri-Indo Canadian Fellowship etc.
The Department has been recognised by the UGC under the Eleventh Plan for the Special Assistance Programme (SAP). This was awarded in the year 2007 on the topic Challenges of Globalization: Ethnicity and Terrorism in South India.Another breakthrough came when UGC awarded the Nehru Studies Centre in 2005 under the scheme of Epoch making Social Thinkers of India. This Scheme was extended for the Eleventh plan alsoMajor National Level Achievements