Sociology Index


Politics is activities concerned with the acquisition or exercise of authority or status; management or control of private affairs and interests within an organization, or family. Politics is the organizational process or principle according to which decisions are made affecting authority, status, etc. Politics can be narrowly defined as all that relates to the way a society is governed. Politics is the process by which the community makes decisions and establishes values that are binding upon its members. We have Authoritarian politics, libertarian politics, anarchist politics and totalitarian politics. Totalitarianism is considered to be an extreme version of authoritarianism. Military Dictatorship is similar to a Stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military.

This definition of politics comes from the original Greek meaning of ‘politics’, the government of the city state. Greek word "polis" meaning state or city gave the word "Politics." George Bernard Shaw said “politics is the last resort for the scoundrel”. Were he alive today, he might agree that politics is often the first refuge for the scoundrel and hate monger.

Anything concerning the state or city affairs is "Politikos." "Politicus" in Latin and "politique" in French. In general speech, politics refers much more widely to processes that involve the exercise of power, status or influence in making decisions or establishing social relationships. This latter meaning is implied by the idea of ‘office politics’ or ‘sexual politics’ or the claim that ‘the personal is political’. Politics is the art or science of government, dealing with the form, organization, and administration of a State or part of a State, and with the regulation of its relations with other States. Politics involves public life and affairs involving the authority and government of a State or part of a State.

Political is classified into left wing, right wing politics and center politics

The meaning of left-wing and right-wing varies considerably while the right wing often values tradition and a free market, the left wing often values reform and egalitarianism.

The Left believes in attempting to eradicate social inequality, while the Right considers social inequality as the result of ineradicable natural inequalities, and sees attempts to enforce social equality as utopian or authoritarian.

Christian Democracy, claim to combine left and right wing politics, "In terms of ideology, Christian Democracy has incorporated many of the views held by liberals, conservatives and socialists within a wider framework of moral and Christian principles." - Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood, European Politics Today, Manchester University Press, 1997.

Authoritarianism political systems is where "individual rights and goals are subjugated to group goals, expectations and conformities", while a libertarian political system is one in which individual rights and civil liberties are paramount. - Markus Kemmelmeier et al. (2003). "Individualism, Collectivism, and Authoritarianism in Seven Societies". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Anarchists argue for the total abolition of government, while totalitarians support state control over all aspects of society.


The Analysis of Modern Politics
Van Houten, Pieter .
Abstract: This introductory course in Politics at Cambridge is a first-year course in a multi-disciplinary Social Sciences BA program. It aims to introduce key concepts relevant to the study of politics - in particular the state, representation, and democracy - and to show their relevance for understanding practical politics. It is organized around 12 main texts. The lectures discuss these texts and apply their insights to a specific case or issue in politics.

The Personalization of Modern Politics
Abstract: The individual characteristics of leaders and voters have assumed great importance in modern political discourse. Pervasive media influence points to leaders personality as an anchor around which political information is organized in drawing in and/or deterring the electorate s preferences. Voters traits, values and perceptions of politicians are no less important than traditional socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, educational level, occupation and income in explaining political preferences. Recent findings suggest that politics is becoming personalized, as political choices increasingly depend on voters personality.