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Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is observed in all human (and many non-human) group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Political history is what most people refer to simply as history. ... This is a list of notable political scientists. ... Comparative government or more correctly comparative politics is the field in political science that focuses on comparing the varying forms of government in the world, and the states they govern, though it may also compare governments across different periods of history. ... International relations (IR), a branch of political science, is the study of foreign affairs of and relations among states within the international system, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). ... Political economy was the original term for the study of production, the acts of buying and selling, and their relationships to laws, customs and government. ... Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it... Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to the study of the psychology behind political behavior by voters, lawmakers, local and national governments and administrations, international organizations, political parties and associations. ... A form of government is a colloquial term that refers to the set of political institutions by which a state is organized in order to exert its powers over a political community [1] Note that this definition holds valid even if the government is illegitimate or if it is unsuccessful... Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e. ... It has been suggested that public management be merged into this article or section. ... In some theories of government, all people are considered equal: in their right to govern themselves, and in their contributions to the rules of their society. ... The psychodynamics of decision-making form a basis to understand institutional functioning. ... A form of government (also referred to as a system of government or a political system) is a system composed of various people, institutions and their relations in regard to the governance of a state. ... -1... An Autocracy is a form of government in which unlimited power is held by a single individual. ... Despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either a single person (ie. ... Dictatorship, in contemporary usage, refers to absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state. ... Places where monarchies maintain rule appear in blue. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Oligarchy is a form of government where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, family, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). ... States in which a single party is constitutionally linked to power (or the provisions of its constitution are currently suspended while a single party rules) are coloured in brown. ... The term theocracy is commonly used to describe a form of government in which a religion or faith plays the dominant role. ... A tyrant (from Greek τυραννος) is a usurper of rightful power, possessing absolute power and ruling by tyranny. ... A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ... An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. ... It has been suggested that ballot be merged into this article or section. ... An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... A corporation is a legal person which, while being composed of natural persons, exists completely separately from them. ... Plato is credited with the inception of academia: the body of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations. ... Fishers of Men, oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Various religious symbols Religion is a human phenomenon that defies easy definition. ...


Political science (also political studies) is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power. Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Political power is a type of power held by a person or group in a society. ...

Contents


Alternate definitions

Alternative definitions of politics have been proposed that fulfill the needs of differing perspectives. They include:

  • Dictionary definitions, for example, "the art and science of government" [1]
  • Textbook definitions, notably, a "process of conflict resolution in which support is mobilized and maintained for collective projects". -- An Introduction to Government and Politics ... Dickerson and Flanagan
  • Theorists, such as Harold Lasswell, who defined politics as "who gets what, when, where, and how."
  • and Practitioners like
    • Mao Zedong, who said "Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
    • and Otto von Bismarck's cryptic remark, "Politics is the art of feasibility."

Dickerson is a common surname and could refer to one any of the following people: Chris Dickerson, American Bodybuilder Eric Dickerson, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back Ernest Dickerson, American Film Director John Dickerson, American Political Correspondent Mahlon Dickerson, American politician Michael Dickerson, NBA player Robert Dickerson, Australian Artist This... Flanagan can refer to: People Bob Flanagan, writer Bud Flanagan, entertainer Caitlin Flanagan, writer Callum Flanagan, soccer player Caroline Flanagan, first female president of Law Society of Sarah Flanagan, actress Scotland Charles Flanagan, politician Crista Flanagan, comedienne, actress Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town Edward S. Flanagan, politician Fionnuala... Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 — December 18, 1978) was a leading American political scientist and communications theorist. ... (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) (also Mao Tse-Tung in Wade-Giles transliteration) was a Chinese Marxist theorist, soldier, and statesman who led Chinas communist revolution after decades of foreign occupation and civil war in the 20th century. ... Bismarck redirects here. ...

A natural state

In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published his most famous work, Leviathan, in which he proposed a model of early human development to justify the creation of a government. Hobbes described an ideal state of nature wherein every person had equal right to every resource in nature and was free to use any means to acquire those resources. He claimed that such an arrangement created a “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes). Further, he noted that men would enter into a social contract and would give up absolute rights for certain protections. Hobbes made a second claim: that the solution to the aggression problem was a centralized authoritarian state, which he called Leviathan. Hobbes redirects here. ... Frontispiece of Leviathan Leviathan was a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes, is one of the most famous and influential books of political philosophy. ... State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition of humanity before the states foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. ... Bellum omnium contra omnes is Latin for the war of all against all. ... Social contract theory (or contractarianism) is a concept used in philosophy, political science and sociology to denote an implicit agreement within a state regarding the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens, or more generally a similar concord between a group and its members, or between individuals. ... A state is a set of institutions that possess the authority to make the rules that govern a society, having internal and external sovereignty over a definite territory. ...


While it appears that social cooperation and dominance hierarchies predate human societies, Hobbes' model illustrates a rationale for the creation of societies (polities). A dominance hierarchy is an organizational form by which individuals within a community control the distribution of resources (goods and services) within the community. ... A society is a group of people living or working together. ... Polity is a general term that refers to political organization of a group. ...


Another theory, proposed by biopolitics and based upon evolution is that politics is a macrotool created by man to organise itself for the collective survival of the group or polity. In effect, organising and promoting survival is the purpose, reason and practice of politics. A neologism invented by Michel Foucault, the term Biopolitics or Biopolitical can refer to several different yet not incompatible concepts: In the work of Michel Foucault, the style of government that regulates populations through biopower. ...


Early history

V.G. Childe describes the transformation of human society that took place around 6000 BCE as an urban revolution. Among the features of this new type of civilization were the institutionalization of social stratification, non-agricultural specialised crafts (including priests and lawyers), taxation, and writing, all of which require clusters of densely populated settlements - city-states. Vere Gordon Childe (April 14, 1892 - October 19, 1957) was an Australian archaeologist, perhaps best known for his excavation of the unique Neolithic site of Skara Brae in Orkney and for his Marxist views which informed his thinking about prehistory. ... (7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – 5th millennium BC – other millennia) Events c. ... A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. ...


The word politics is derived from the Greek word for city-state, "polis". Corporate, religious, academic and every other polity, especially those constrained by limited resources, contain dominance hierarchy and therefore politics. Politics is most often studied in relation to the administration of governments. A polis (πολις) — plural: poleis (πολεις) — is a city, or a city-state. ...


The oldest form of government was tribal organization. Rule by elders was supplanted by monarchy, often aided by military conquest, led to a system of Feudalism as an arrangement where a single family dominated the political affairs of a community. Monarchies have existed in one form or another for the past 5000 years of human history. Places where monarchies maintain rule appear in blue. ... Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste. ...


Definitions

  • Power according to political theorist, Hannah Arendt, is "the human ability not just to act but to act in concert."
  • Authority is the ability to enforce laws, to exact obedience, to command, to determine, or to judge.
  • A government is the body that has the authority to make and enforce rules or laws.
  • Legitimacy is an attribute of government gained through the acquisition and application of power in accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles.
  • Sovereignty is the ability of a government to exert control over its territory free from outside influence.

Political power is a type of power held by a person or group in a society. ... In politics, authority (Latin auctoritas, used in Roman law as opposed to potestas and imperium) is often used interchangeably with the term power. However, their meanings differ. ... The word legitimacy comes from the Latin word legitimare and it has two uses: Legitimacy (political science) is whether or not people accept the validity of a law or ruling or the validity of a governing regime. ... Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e. ...

Theoretical view of political power

Many questions surround the political notion of power with both positive and negative aspects attached to it. Generally, power is considered integral in politics and is the subject of a great deal of debate and definitions that have evolved over time. Many academics define political power by referring to various academic disciplines including politics, sociology, group psychology, economics, and other facets of society. The multiple notions of political power that are put forth range from conventional views that simply revolve around the actions of politicians to those who view political power as an insidious form of institutionalized social control - most notably "anarchists" and "radical capitalists". The main views of political power revolve around normative, post-modern, and sociological perspectives. This article or section may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted citations. ... Anarcho-capitalism refers to an anti-statist philosophy that embraces capitalism as one of its foundational principles. ... In philosophy, normative is usually contrasted with positive, descriptive or explanatory when describing types of theories, beliefs, or statements. ... Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. ...


Normative faces of power debate

The faces of power debate has coalesced into a viable conception of three dimensions of power including decision-making, agenda-setting, and preference-shaping. The decision-making dimension was first put forth by Robert Dahl, who advocated the notion that political power is based in the formal political arena and is measured through voting patterns and the decisions made by politicians. This view was seen by many as simplistic and a second dimension to the notion of political power was added by academics Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz involving agenda-setting. Bachrach and Baratz viewed power as involving both the formal political arena and behind the scenes agenda-setting by elite groups who could be either politicians and/or others (such as industrialists, campaign contributors, special interest groups and so on), often with a hidden agenda that most of the public may not be aware of. The third dimension of power was added by British academic Steven Lukes who felt that even with this second dimension, some other traits of political power needed to be addressed through the concept of 'preference-shaping'. This third dimension is inspired by many Neo-Gramscian views such as cultural hegemony and deals with how civil society and the general public have their preferences shaped for them by those in power through the use of propaganda or the media. Ultimately, this third dimension holds that the general public may not be aware of what decisions are actually in their interest due to the invisible power of elites who work to distort their perceptions. Critics of this view claim that such notions are themselves elitist, which Lukes then clearly admits as one problem of this view and yet clarifies that as long as those who make claims that preferences are being shaped explain their own interests etc., there is room for more transparency. Robert A. Dahl (b. ... Professor Steven Michael Lukes, D.Phil. ... Neo-Gramscianism is a relatively new approach to the study of International Relations (IR) and the Global Political Economy (GPE), breaking the decades-old stalemate between the so-called realist schools of thought, and the liberal theories. ... Cultural hegemony is the concept that a diverse culture can be ruled or dominated by one group or class, that everyday practices and shared beliefs provide the foundation for complex systems of domination. ... Civil society or civil institutions refers to the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations or institutions which form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system). ...


Postmodern challenge of normative views of power

Some within the postmodern and post-structuralist field claim that power is something that is not in the hands of the few and is rather dispersed throughout society in various ways and that power relationships are part of everyday life. This is part of French philosopher Michel Foucault's view, which he terms the microphysics of power and is part of a European debate over how to define power. Foucault seeks to convey a questioning of authority in various ways and also attempts to illustrate the repressive nature of power through societal controls which include institutional indoctrination (schools), surveillance (the police-state), and defining normal and abnormal behavior so as to stamp-out any challenges to the status quo. This view of power treads a line that leans more towards institutions as the basis of societal control (see New institutionalism) and ignores certain aspects of agency and ideational agendas. Power, according to Foucault, is 'ubiquitous' (everywhere in society) and cannot be easily measured or critiqued without a great deal of context. Critics such as Jurgen Habermas and Noam Chomsky charge that such views by Foucault and his followers are nihilistic and even supportive of conservative and Social Darwinism views of society and defend the status quo of inegalitarian societies, which Foucault claims is a misreading of both his intent and conclusions which are that power must be questioned in all of its forms and not simply those aspects that some might view as inegalitarian since even humanism can be a mask for those seeking power. Ultimately, this concept of power has helped political analysis to question both itself and the societal controls that permeate all aspects of society, but the ambiguity of the post-modern challenge has left many to use the methodology sparingly since measuring power from a post-structuralist perspective remains somewhat problematic. Nietzsche wrote: "how can we help it that power likes to walk on crooked legs?" Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and... Michel Foucault (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher who held a chair at the Collège de France, which he gave the title The History of Systems of Thought. ... New institutionalism is a social theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions, the way they interact and the effects of institutions on society. ... Look up Agency in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In philosophy, law, and other fields, agency is the status of an agent. ... Ideation is the process of forming and relating ideas. ... Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929 in Düsseldorf, Germany) is a philosopher and social theorist in the tradition of critical theory. ... Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is the Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... This article is about the Russian cultural and political movement. ... Conservatism or political conservatism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Pragmatic view of power

Samuel Gompers' maxim, often paraphrased as,"Reward your friends and punish your enemies," hints at two of the five types of power recognized by social psychologists: incentive power (the power to reward) and coercive power (the power to punish). Arguably the other three grow out of these two. Samuel Gompers Samuel Gompers (January 27, 1850–December 13, 1924) was the long-time leader of the American Federation of Labor who helped define the structure and the economic and political goals of the American labor movement. ... Social psychology is often conceived to be the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. ...


Legitimate power, the power of the policeman or the referee, is the power given to an individual by a recognized authority to enforce standards of behavior. Legitimate power is similar to coercive power in that unacceptable behavior is punished by fine or penalty.


Referent power is bestowed upon individuals by virtue of accomplishment or attitude. Fulfillment of the desire to feel similar to a celebrity or a hero is the reward for obedience.


Expert power springs from education or experience. Following the lead of an experienced coach is often rewarded with success. Expert power is conditional to the circumstances. A brain surgeon is no help when your pipes are leaking.


Authority and legitimacy

Max Weber identified three sources of legitimacy for authority, known as the tripartite classification of authority. He proposed three reasons why people follow the orders of those who give them: Maximilian Weber (IPA: []) (April 21, 1864 – June 14, 1920) was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Traditional

Traditional authorities receive loyalty because they continue and support the preservation of existing values, the status quo. Traditional authority has the longest history. Patriarchal (and more rarely matriarchal) societies gave rise to hereditary monarchies where authority was given to descendants of previous leaders. Followers submit to this authority because "we've always done it that way." Examples of traditional authoritarians include absolute monarchs. Traditional authority (also known as traditional domination) is a form of leadership in which the authority of an organization or a ruling regime is largely tied to the tradition. ... Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arché meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that... A great nation is not built by the Ruler, it is built by the Mother who rocks his cradle - plato Matriarchy is a form of society in which power is with the women and especially with the mothers of a community. ... Absolute monarchy is an idealized form of government, a monarchy where the ruler has the power to rule his or her country and citizens freely with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition telling him or her what to do, although some religious authority may be able to discourage the...


Charismatic

Charismatic authority grows out of the personal charm or the strength of an individual personality (see cult of personality for the most extreme version). Charismatic regimes are often short-lived, seldom outliving the charismatic figure that leads them. This article needs cleanup. ... Billboard of Joseph Stalin. ...


Examples of Charismatic regimes include: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hitler, Napoleon, Mao, and Fidel Castro. Gaius Julius Caesar (IPA: ;[1]), July 12, 100 BC – March 15, 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader. ... Augustus (Latin: IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI FILIVS AVGVSTVS;[1] September 23, 63 BC – August 19, AD 14), known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (in English Octavian) for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and among the most important of the Roman Emperors. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) (also Mao Tse-Tung in Wade-Giles transliteration) was a Chinese Marxist theorist, soldier, and statesman who led Chinas communist revolution after decades of foreign occupation and civil war in the 20th century. ... For more information on this current event, see 2006 Cuban transfer of presidential duties. ...


For a charismatic regime to survive the rule of the individual personality, it must transform its legitimacy into a different form of authority. An example of this would be Augustus' efforts to create the position of the Roman principate and establish a ruling dynasty, which could be viewed as a shift to a traditional form of authority, in the form of the principate that would exist in Rome for more than 400 years after his death. Augustus (Latin: IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI FILIVS AVGVSTVS;[1] September 23, 63 BC – August 19, AD 14), known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (in English Octavian) for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and among the most important of the Roman Emperors. ... Octavian, widely known as Augustus, founder of the Roman empire The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. ... The Principate is, according to its etymological derivation from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. ... The Principate is, according to its etymological derivation from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. ...


Legal-rational

Legal-rational authorities receive their ability to compel behavior by virtue of the office that they hold. It is the authority that demands obedience to the office rather than the office holder. Modern democracies are examples of legal-rational regimes. People also abide by legal-rational authority because it makes sense to do so for their own good, as well as for the greater good of society. Rational-legal authority (also known as rational authority, legal authority, rational domination, legal domination) is a form of leadership in which the authority of an organization or a ruling regime is largely tied to legal rationality, legal legitimacy and bureaucracy. ...


Other considerations

Often hybrid forms of the above will be found, especially in transition from one form to another, such as in the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Nazi domination of Germany, in which the Nazi party gradually suspended many laws regarding various civil rights for an indefinite period. The Weimar Republic (German Weimarer Republik, IPA: []) is the common name for the republic that governed Germany from 1919 to 1933. ...


See also

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Food politics are the political aspects of the production, control, regulation, inspection and distribution of food. ... This is a list of politics articles available for every country. ... This page indexes the individual year in politics pages. ... There is a long history of the connection between music and politics, particularly political expression in music. ... The chart proposed by the Political Compass Organisation A political compass or political diamond is a multi-axis model used to label or organize political thought on several dimensions. ... World map of the Corruption Perceptions Index In broad terms, political corruption is the misuse of public (governmental) power for illegitimate, usually secret, private advantage. ... Political criticism (also referred to as political commentary or political discussion) is criticism that is specifically of or relevant to politics, including policies, politicians, political parties, and types of government. ... Political economy was the original term for the study of production, the acts of buying and selling, and their relationships to laws, customs and government. ... Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. ... This is a list of political parties around the world. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to the study of the psychology behind political behavior by voters, lawmakers, local and national governments and administrations, international organizations, political parties and associations. ... Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Political sociology is the study of the social bases of politics. ... A political spectrum is a way of comparing or visualizing different political positions. ...

References

  • Otto von Bismarck; remark, Aug. 11, 1867
  • Dickerson, Mark O. & Flanagan; Thomas, 1990 Introduction to Government & Politics: A Conceptual Approach. third edition
  • Gompers, Samuel; “Men of Labor! Be Up and Doing,” editorial, American Federationist, May 1906, p. 319
  • Mao Zedong; Lecture, May 1938. "On Protracted War," Selected Works, vol. 2 (1965).)

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