Politics

The Television & Movie Wiki: for TV, celebrities, and movies.

For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation).

Politics is the process by which decisions are made for a given society. The method of making decisions for groups varies, but the act of decision making is the key component that characterises politics. Although it is generally applied to governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions.


Politics

Democracy
Elections
Political parties
Edit

Political science is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power, i.e. the ability to impose one's will on another.

One theorist, Harold Lasswell, has defined politics as "who gets what, when, and how."

Another definition of 'politics' is: "how power is distributed within a group or system".

Contents

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 human associations. 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 noted 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.

While it appears that social cooperation and dominance hierarchies predate human societies, Hobbes’s model illustrates a rationale for the creation of societies (polities).

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.

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.

The oldest form of government was tribal organization. Rule by elders was supplanted by monarchy, and 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.

Definitions

  • Power is the ability to impose one's will on another. It implies a capacity for force, i.e violence.
  • Authority is the power to enforce laws, to exact obedience, to command, to determine, or to judge.
  • Legitimacy is an attribute of government gained through the acquisition and application of power in accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles.
  • A government is the body that has the authority to make and enforce rules or laws.

Political power

Samuel Gompers’ often paraphrased maxim,"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.

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 (tripartite classification of authority). He proposed three reasons why people followed the orders of those who gave them:

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 kings and queens.

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. Examples include Hitler, Napoleon, and Mao.

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.

References

GOMPERS,SAMUEL; “Men of Labor! Be Up and Doing,” editorial, American Federationist, May 1906, p. 319

See also

Look up [[wiktionary:{{{1|Special:Search/Politics}}}|{{{1|Politics}}}]] in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

ar:سياسة an:Politica ast:Política bg:Политика bn:রাজনীতি bs:Politika br:Politikerezh ca:Política ceb:Politika cs:Politika da:Politik de:Politik et:Poliitika es:Política eo:Politiko fa:سیاست fr:Politique fy:Polityk fur:Politiche ga:Polaitíocht gl:Política ko:정치 hr:Politika io:Politiko id:Politik ia:Politica it:Politica he:פוליטיקה ka:პოლიტიკა sw:Siasa la:Politica lb:Politik li:Polletiek ln:Politiki hu:Politika ms:Politik nl:Politiek nds:Politik ja:政治 no:Politikk pl:Polityka pt:Política ru:Политика sc:Polìtica scn:Pulitica simple:Politics fi:Politiikka sv:Politik tl:Politika th:การเมือง tr:Politika uk:Політика zh:政治

Personal tools