What is politics?

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What is politics-featured

The terms “political” and “all about politics” are often used to indicate that a certain issue is ultimately about a fight for control between different parties. The concept behind politics is that it is a game of cat and mouse between competing groups.

Obviously, party politics, or politics with a capital P, is very pertinent to the idea of rivalry for interests or power. Yes, we might begin by saying that politics is the process of competing claims being made by competing parties in order to rally support for their respective programmes. Beyond this generalization, however, it is instructive to examine the nature of this contest and the mechanisms by which it is conducted. Asking any of these questions will lead to a more sophisticated (and, fingers crossed, less cynical) perspective on politics.

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To begin, why bother with politics? An old adage suggests that politics is all about who gets what, when, and how. According to this perspective, politics is all about resolving disagreements over how resources should be divided up. This may have been an accurate description of politics in the decades after World War II, when a more centralized state implemented progressive taxation and welfare assistance within a two-party system divided along classic left-right ideological lines.

While this is true, the idea that politics is simply or mostly about distribution has been questioned during the last three decades or more. Politics is as much, if not more, about identity and culture as it is about monetary resources, as seen by the rising prominence of ‘post-ideological’ contestation over values and lifestyles. The environment, gender and sexual rights, immigration, and security are just a few of the topics at the centre of today’s political discussion that defy easy categorization on the political spectrum.

“Political contestation is as much about cultural identity and recognition, as it is about allocating material resources.”

The ‘ideational shift’ in political science is another school of thought that challenges this traditional perspective. Scholars have shown that politics is not only about fights over distribution, but also about contestation over methods of framing or narrating policy challenges. Different issue framings may have significant effects on distribution, therefore it’s possible that the two are indistinguishable. In any case, the point is that politics is a struggle of ideas, in which people try to exert influence by appealing to their own values and beliefs rather than appealing to rational self-interest. This understanding resonates with discussions about ‘fake news’ and the possibility for substantial differences in the way competing political groupings define policy concerns.

That leads us to our second inquiry: how does politics work, and how do competing viewpoints become official government positions? The apparent solution to this problem in multi-party democracies is for parties to win elections and use that power to enact their policies.

On the other hand, this account, which is quite transactional, is deceptive. Competition for votes sometimes leads to a “bidding war” in which candidates and parties offer more enticing platforms to win over voters’ support. Voters frequently think these programmes can be implemented easily, as they are making a simple purchase. However, in practise, manifesto promises are often abandoned or scaled down due to lack of support, practicality, or political will. The outcome is a loss of faith in the democratic political system.

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As a result, keeping track of and making sense of these shifts in political dynamics is one of political science’s greatest problems. To make sense of the disillusionment in politics caused by the chasm between the transactional vision and the messier reality, we must recognise that political contestation is as much about cultural identity and recognition as it is about distributing monetary resources. Understanding these tendencies is essential for creating new institutions that can restore public faith in government and democratic discourse. In the present political atmosphere, this is no small task, but it is well worth our best efforts.

History of politics

There has always been some kind of politics, maybe dating back to the very beginning of our species. Politics in the West, however, had its start with the ancient Greeks. The Republic by Plato is one of the first and most influential books to address politics. This book is his vision of a utopia. Aristotle, a second Greek thinker, authored a tome titled Politics.

In both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, politics were of paramount importance. Cicero was a brilliant Roman orator. The politics of the Roman Senate were a frequent topic of his writings.

During the Renaissance, the world saw the rise of numerous influential political theories. Machiavelli, a Florentine diplomat, was the most consequential. Much of his work, including The Prince, is assigned reading in introductory political science courses.

Many of the world’s most influential political authors emerged during the Enlightenment and produced works that would shape the worldviews of subsequent Europeans and Americans. John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, and Thomas Hobbes were only a few of them. The principles of contemporary secular democracies may be traced back to these authors, who had a profound impact on the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The development of widespread communication networks also contributed to a shift in political dynamics. Newspapers, radio, television, and eventually the internet were used by political leaders to reach and sway large audiences.

Politics in Government

Until recently, democracy and elections were not central to political discourse. A limited elite held sway, having risen to their position by some combination of bloodline, military might, and institutionalised religion. Since the early 1800s, democracies have spread around the globe, and electoral politics and catering to the wants and requirements of the local populace have been central to politics in an increasing number of nations.

The government is the entity in charge of administering public programmes and preserving public facilities. The powers granted to governments vary widely from one nation to another. When it comes to the welfare of the whole country, Americans put their trust in the federal government. It has a separate executive branch, a separate legislature, and a separate judiciary. In a democracy, it is the job of the executive branch to ensure that the laws are followed. Laws are created by legislators. The judiciary is in charge of applying the law.

The members of the judiciary are the only branch of government who are not elected to their positions. Presidents make nominations for federal judges, who must then be approved by the Senate. Although federal judges are not subject to election, their rulings may have far-reaching consequences for national politics.

We have hundreds of different municipal administrations on top of the fifty state governments. These entities coexist alongside the federal government and get funding and direction from the latter.

The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two major parties in American politics. The liberal Democratic Party often backs welfare and other forms of government assistance to the poor. Republicans are the conservative party. Both major parties in the United States are fighting to win over voters by demonstrating their ability to make a difference in policy and the lives of average people.

What Is A Politician?

One who takes part in political processes is called a politician. More precisely, someone who wants to run for and stay in public service. Someone seeking political office need not rely on electoral politics to get to the top. In the Soviet Union, for instance, leaders rose to prominence via party politics. American politicians include the federal government, state governments, and local governments via positions such as president, governor, senator, mayor, and city councilman. Some well-known politicians from the contemporary era are listed below.

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • William Gladstone
  • Benjamin Disraeli
  • Golda Meir
  • Winston Churchill
  • Pierre Trudeau
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Politician mean?

A politician is a person who either aspires to or already holds positions of political power and is actively engaged in the pursuit of maintaining such positions.

What is a simple definition of politics?

Politics is the study of, and participation in, government and political processes. It has intimate ties to the study of government.

What are three synonyms of politics?

A few words that may be used in place of “politics” are:

  • Government
  • Political Science
  • Campaigning

Although none of these terms precisely encapsulate politics, they all come close.

What are the 4 types of politics?

  1. International politics deals with other countries.
  2. National or domestic politics deals with issues within one’s own country.
  3. State politics deals with government at the state level.
  4. Electoral politics deals with winning elections.

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