Defining Politics Essay

Defining Politics Essay

Length: 1461 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The word politics comes from the Greek, meaning the affairs of the city-state (polis). Even though we have changed our predominant form of governing and our way of life from the times of Socrates and Plato, politics remains a vital part of how we interact with the world around us. Keeping that in mind, defining politics has always been a hard task and with the evolution of political forms, ideologies and an ever-expanding definition of the word global most would argue that a universal definition of politics is impossible. Looking at what the term encompasses today, I would seem to agree with them. In their efforts to answer the question of ‘what is Politics?’ Political Science, Philosophy and numerous other branches of Social Science, as well as extraordinary individuals, have produced different definitions through time based on power, resources, society, governance, war, cooperation, common goals, values, protection, exploitation etc., but none of them could agree on a single universal definition. This essay will avoid answering the question of what politics is exactly and try to see what it can be, based on predominant definitions and classifications. It will explore two things; firstly why is the definition of politics so elusive and possibly why should it remain undefined. Secondly it will endeavour to produce a viewpoint on what politics can be, seen as an ‘arena’ or as a ‘process’, introducing the concept of power distribution as an integral part of the study of politics and what is political. By doing so, one can produce a unique outlook into politics with usage for real world understanding and problem solving, especially for International Development.
What is politics? Is it the sole arena of governments and politicians? I...

... middle of paper ...


Works Cited

Crick, B. 1992. In Defence of Politics, 4. ed. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Goodin, Robert E.; Klingemann, Hans-Dieter. 1996., New Handbook of Political Science, A. [online]. Oxford Scholarship Online. Available from: 9 December 2013
Heywood, A. 2013. Politic, 4. ed. London: POLGRAVE MACMILLAN
Hay, C. 2002. Political Analysis: a critical introduction, London: POLGRAVE MACMILLAN
Leftwich, A. 1983. Redefining Politics: People, resources and power, London: Methuen & Co.
Leftwich, A. ed. 2004. What is Politics?, London: Polity Press Ltd.
Lipset, S.M. ed. 1969. Politics and the Social Sciences, New York: Oxford University Press
Marsh, D. Stoker, G. 2010. Theory and Methods in Political Science, 3. Ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan
Parsons, T. 1957. The Distribution of Power in American Society, World Politics 10:123-143

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Defining Politics and Democracy Essay

- Defining Politics and Democracy 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. Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action. Although it is generally applied to governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions including corporate, academic, and religious....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1569 words (4.5 pages)

Defining Politics Essay

- Defining Politics Politics is the collective name given to many different systems, ideas and real world issues. It is impossible to define politics as any one thing in particular, but as a label for many different aspects of life encompassed into one. Politics is largely about decision making, Politicians dispute on a regular basis about pending decisions to be made. Decisions to be made, of course vary in size and some are obviously much more important than others....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Defining Power and Politics Essay example

- Defining Power and Politics Since man began to talk politics was born, politics is the social study and interaction with another being. Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action. Although it is generally applied to governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions including corporate, academic, and religious. It is also social relations involving authority and power, the study of government and other political units, It is also the study of conflict resolution, in the modern world, people argue over many beliefs, interests and values, the aim of politics is to remove this conflict to...   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Politics and Defining Power

- Politics and Defining Power To understand Politics, we need to understand three other terms, society, government and authority, as all three are what politics revolves around. Politics is society; Society is a community and everything the community involves, culture, religion and things such as social class. Society is organised by politics. Politics in a society deal with disagreements or conflicts. Within a society, there will always be different groups with different opinions, something is needed to make sure these groups, are able to co-exist, this is politics....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
974 words (2.8 pages)

Defining Freedom Essay

- It is thirty years ago that Ronald Reagan won the 1980 election on the principle that the United States is “a shining city on a hill.” The idea that America is a city upon a hill, a place the world looks to for guidance, has been communicated by politicians since John F. Kennedy was president. What makes America so special. And if America is so special, why do the citizens seem to differ so greatly in how the country should be governed. Most people would argue that what makes this country so special is, in fact, our ability to civilly disagree on how this country should be governed....   [tags: American Politics]

Powerful Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

The Concept of Power in International Politics Essay

- The concept of power is central to the study of international politics. International politics has been defined in terms of influencing major nations in the world to advance the purpose of a nation against the opposition of other nations. Thus, it is rather not surprising that power, either by means of influence or control, has been a dominant concept that is intertwined in discussion when it comes to the study of international politics. Before getting into the fundamental nature of power in international relations, it is needed to consider just what power is....   [tags: International Politics]

Powerful Essays
837 words (2.4 pages)

Hegemony, Historical Bloc and Politics of the Yellow and the Red: Thailand Political Crisis in Gramscian Perspective

- Hegemony, Historical Bloc and Politics of the Yellow and the Red: Thailand Political Crisis in Gramscian Perspective For the last several years, Thailand is in spotlight from the international as a result of the existing political conflicts between two social forces, the Yellow and the Red shirt movement. The starting point of the battle between the Yellow and the Red began in September 2005 which initiative movement by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) against the Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai government....   [tags: International Politics ]

Powerful Essays
3414 words (9.8 pages)

Essay about Defining Marriage

- The purpose of this essay is to analyze fastidiously and personalize Warner’s Beyond Gay Marriage article. Three convergent points of Warner’s argument will be broken down, and examined. First, the concept that marriage consecrates some pairs at the cost of others. Second the question of why marriage has become such a prevalent organization in gay politics. Finally, the definition of marriage in public, private, and state terms. Marriage is far beyond what it has been previously defined in history....   [tags: Marriage]

Powerful Essays
1891 words (5.4 pages)

Class Politics in the United States Essay

- A distinctive feature of US politics, in comparison with most other industrialized nations in the world, is its virtual lack of class-based politics. President George W. Bush, for instance, has said that class is for ‘European democracies or something else—it isn’t for the United States of America. We are not going to be divided by class’ (cited in Harrigan, 2000: 6). And this seems to be the general attitude that pervades all of American society, to the extent where militating on the basis of class could even be seen as culturally abhorrent....   [tags: Politics Political Essays]

Free Essays
2182 words (6.2 pages)

Politics Essay

- Politics: the inescapable stalker of our society Politics is a process by which a group of people, whose opinions or interests might be divergent, reach collective decisions that are generally regarded as binding on the group and enforced as common policy. Political theory or political philosophy is as old as the oldest civilisations. The Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato, developed important political theories and methods of government alongside their more abstract philosophies....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)