Political science research is first reported by researchers in academic journals and books. As interest in a topic grows, there begins to be a group of scholars who begin to connect with each other in a pattern you can see. A pattern emerges in who they cite or refer to in their work.
This citation pattern is called an invisible college and if you are going to write about a topic, it is best to get some awareness of who these scholars and their works are. Some scholars rise to prominence and have research that most other scholars refer to as the most accepted research. These are the big names you should know.
Sometimes, research with a general interest will get reported in magazines and newspapers and this can be a big help to understanding. But most research grows and grows out of the news and out of public awareness, so you need to get recommendations from experts or use databases to find this research.
So, look in two different directions-- at the foundation works, the most accepted and cited research, and the newest research to see who is being cited most now.