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Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with
making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several possible alternative options, it could be ...
in
groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic identi ...
, or other forms of
power relations Power typically refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power *** Solar power Power may also refer to: Mathematics, science and technology Computing * IBM Power (soft ...
between individuals, such as the distribution of
resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified into renewable File:Global Vegetation.jpg, Global ...

resource
s or
status Status (Latin plural: ''statūs''), is a state, condition, or situation, and may refer to: * Status (law) Legal status is the position held by something or someone with regard to law. It is a set of privileges, obligations, powers or restricti ...
. The branch of
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
that studies politics and government is referred to as
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of ...
. It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and nonviolent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation.. For example, abolitionist
Wendell Phillips Wendell Phillips (November 29, 1811 – February 2, 1884) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans, orator, and Lawyer, attorney. According to George L ...

Wendell Phillips
declared that "we do not play politics;
anti-slavery Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
is no half-jest with us." The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it. A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people,
negotiation Negotiation is a between two or more people or parties intended to reach a beneficial outcome over one or more issues where a conflict exists with respect to at least one of these issues. Negotiation is an interaction and process between ...
with other political subjects, making
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
s, and exercising
force In physics, a force is an influence that can change the motion (physics), motion of an Physical object, object. A force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (e.g. moving from a Newton's first law, state of rest), i.e., to acce ...
, including
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violenc ...

warfare
against adversaries..... Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from
clans A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. Clans, in indigenous societies, tend to be exoga ...
and
tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...

tribes
of traditional societies, through modern
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
s,
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness ...

companies
and institutions up to
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
s, to the
international level International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * International (Kevin Michael album), ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * International (New Order album), '' ...
. In modern
nation states A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
, people often form
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
to represent their ideas. Members of a party often agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders. An
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
is usually a competition between different parties. A
political system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...
is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The
history of political thought The history of political thought dates back to antiquity while the history of the world and thus the history of political thinking by man stretches up through the Medieval period and the Renaissance. In the Age of Enlightenment, political entitie ...
can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
's ''
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
'' and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
's ''
Politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
'' in the West, and
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
's political manuscripts and
Chanakya Chanakya (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic languages. It is bas ...

Chanakya
's ''
Arthashastra The ''Arthaśāstra'' ( sa, अर्थशास्त्र, ) is an ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 ye ...

Arthashastra
'' in the East.


Etymology

The English ''politics'' has its roots in the name of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
's classic work, '' Politiká'', which introduced the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
term ( grc, Πολιτικά, label=none, italic=yes, lit=affairs of the cities)''.'' In the mid-15th century, Aristotle's composition would be rendered in
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or EME) is the stage of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient th ...
as ,"The book of " (Bhuler 1961/1941:154). which would become ''Politics'' in
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

Modern English
. The singular ''politic'' first attested in English in 1430, coming from
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured ...
—itself taking from , a
Latinization Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names Latinisation (or Latinization) of names, also known as onomastic Latinisation (or Latinization), is the practice of rendering a ''non''-Latin name in a Latin style. It is commonl ...
of the Greek grc, πολιτικός, label=none, italic=yes () from grc, πολίτης, label=none ( grc, polites, label=none, italic=yes, lit=citizen) and grc, πόλις, label=none ( grc,
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, , ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "" in Greek. In , it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the body of cit ...

polis
, label=none, italic=yes, lit=city).


Definitions

* In the view of
Harold Lasswell Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902December 18, 1978) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of A ...
, politics is "who gets what, when, how." * For
David Easton David Easton (June 24, 1917 – July 19, 2014) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) ...

David Easton
, it is about "the authoritative allocation of values for a society.". * To
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
, "politics is the most concentrated expression of economics." *
Bernard Crick Sir Bernard Rowland Crick (16 December 1929 – 19 December 2008) was a British political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political p ...
argued that "politics is a distinctive form of rule whereby people act together through institutionalized procedures to resolve differences, to conciliate diverse interests and values and to make public policies in the pursuit of common purposes." * According to
Adrian Leftwich Adrian Leftwich (1940 – 2 April 2013) was a white South African student leader active in the early 1960s in the anti-apartheid Apartheid (South African English: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised ...
"Politics comprises all the activities of co-operation, negotiation and conflict within and between societies, whereby people go about organizing the use, production or distribution of human, natural and other resources in the course of the production and reproduction of their biological and social life."


Approaches

There are several ways in which approaching politics has been conceptualized.


Extensive and limited

Adrian Leftwich Adrian Leftwich (1940 – 2 April 2013) was a white South African student leader active in the early 1960s in the anti-apartheid Apartheid (South African English: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised ...
has differentiated views of politics based on how extensive or limited their perception of what accounts as 'political' is. The extensive view sees politics as present across the sphere of human social relations, while the limited view restricts it to certain contexts. For example, in a more restrictive way, politics may be viewed as primarily about
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
, while a
feminist perspective Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideology, ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social gender equality, equality of the sexes. Feminism incorporates the position ...
could argue that sites which have been viewed traditionally as non-political, should indeed be viewed as political as well. This latter position is encapsulated in the slogan ''
the personal is political ''The personal is political'', also termed ''The private is political'', is a political argument used as a rallying slogan of student movement and second-wave feminism from the late 1960s. It underscored the connections between personal experience ...
'', which disputes the distinction between private and public issues. Instead, politics may be defined by the use of power, as has been argued by Robert A. Dahl.


Moralism and realism

Some perspectives on politics view it empirically as an exercise of power, while others see it as a social function with a
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm Nor ...
basis. This distinction has been called the difference between
political ''moralism'' Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of re ...
and
political ''realism'' Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of re ...
''.''. For moralists, politics is closely linked to
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field of ethics, al ...

ethics
, and is at its extreme in
utopia A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct f ...

utopia
n thinking. For example, according to
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
, the view of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
was that "to be political…meant that everything was decided through words and persuasion and not through violence;" while according to
Bernard Crick Sir Bernard Rowland Crick (16 December 1929 – 19 December 2008) was a British political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political p ...
" litics is the way in which free societies are governed. Politics is politics and other forms of rule are something else." In contrast, for realists, represented by those such as
Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (; ; rarely rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below See or SEE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Music: ** See (album), ''See'' (album), studio album by rock band The Rascals *** "See", song by ...
,
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an , considered to be one of the founders of modern . Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ', in which he expounds an influential form ...
, and
Harold Lasswell Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902December 18, 1978) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of A ...
, politics is based on the use of power, irrespective of the ends being pursued.


Conflict and co-operation

Agonism Agonism (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
argues that politics essentially comes down to conflict between conflicting interests. Political scientist Elmer Schattschneider argued that "at the root of all politics is the universal language of conflict," while for
Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal ...
the essence of politics is the distinction of 'friend' from foe'. This is in direct contrast to the more co-operative views of politics by Aristotle and Crick. However, a more mixed view between these extremes is provided by Irish political scientist Michael Laver, who noted that:
Politics is about the characteristic blend of conflict and co-operation that can be found so often in human interactions. Pure conflict is war. Pure co-operation is true love. Politics is a mixture of both.


History

The history of politics spans
human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, advent of writing, from primary source, primary and ...
and is not limited to modern institutions of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
.


Prehistoric

Frans de Waal Franciscus Bernardus Maria "Frans" de Waal (born October 29, 1948) is a Dutch primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal ...

Frans de Waal
argued that already
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s engage in politics through "social manipulation to secure and maintain influential positions." Early human forms of social organization—bands and tribes—lacked centralized political structures. These are sometimes referred to as
stateless societies A stateless society is a society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to th ...
.


Early states

In ancient history,
civilizations A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of r ...
did not have definite boundaries as states have today, and their borders could be more accurately described as
frontier A frontier is the political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individual ...

frontier
s.
Early dynastic Sumer Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods, e.g.: ** Early Christianity ** Early modern Europe Places in the United States * Early, Iowa * Early, Texas * Early B ...
, and
early dynastic Egypt Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods, e.g.: ** Early Christianity ** Early modern Europe Places in the United States * Early, Iowa * Early, Texas * Early B ...
were the
first civilization A cradle of civilization is any location where civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history an ...
s to define their
border Borders are boundaries of or legal s, such as s, , , and other . Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called . Some borders—such as mos ...

border
s. Moreover, up to the 12th century, many people lived in non-state societies. These range from relatively egalitarian
bands Band or BAND may refer to: Places *Bánd, a village in Hungary *Band, Iran, a village in Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran *Band, Mureș, a commune in Romania *Band-e Majid Khan, a village in Bukan County, West Azerbaijan Province, Ira ...
and
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant usage of the term is in the discipline of anthropology. The definition is contested, in part due to conflicting theoretical understa ...

tribe
s to complex and highly stratified
chiefdom A chiefdom is a form of hierarchical political organization in non-industrial societies usually based on kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all soci ...
s.


State formation

There are a number of different theories and hypotheses regarding early state formation that seek generalizations to explain why the state developed in some places but not others. Other scholars believe that generalizations are unhelpful and that each case of early state formation should be treated on its own. Voluntary theories contend that diverse groups of people came together to form states as a result of some shared rational interest.. The theories largely focus on the development of agriculture, and the population and organizational pressure that followed and resulted in state formation. One of the most prominent theories of early and primary state formation is the ''hydraulic hypothesis'', which contends that the state was a result of the need to build and maintain large-scale irrigation projects.
Conflict theories Conflict theories are perspectives in sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses variou ...
of state formation regard conflict and dominance of some population over another population as key to the formation of states. In contrast with voluntary theories, these arguments believe that people do not voluntarily agree to create a state to maximize benefits, but that states form due to some form of oppression by one group over others. Some theories in turn argue that warfare was critical for state formation.


Ancient history

The first states of sorts were those of
early dynastic Sumer Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods, e.g.: ** Early Christianity ** Early modern Europe Places in the United States * Early, Iowa * Early, Texas * Early B ...
and
early dynastic Egypt Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods, e.g.: ** Early Christianity ** Early modern Europe Places in the United States * Early, Iowa * Early, Texas * Early B ...
, which arose from the
Uruk period The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BC; also known as Protoliterate period) existed from the to period in the history of , after the and before the . Named after the Sumerian city of , this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia ...
and
Predynastic Egypt The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the vernacular, common title now us ...
respectively around approximately 3000 BCE.. Early dynastic Egypt was based around the
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...
in the north-east of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
, the kingdom's boundaries being based around the Nile and stretching to areas where
oases In geography, an oasis (, plural oases, ) is a fertile land in a desert or semi-desert environment.
existed. Early dynastic
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native (local, noble) lor ...

Sumer
was located in southern
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
with its borders extending from the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
to parts of the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). Or ...

Euphrates
and
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at ...

Tigris
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
s. Although state-forms existed before the rise of the Ancient Greek empire, the Greeks were the first people known to have explicitly formulated a political philosophy of the state, and to have rationally analyzed political institutions. Prior to this, states were described and justified in terms of religious myths. Several important political innovations of
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...
came from the
Greek city-states ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (199 ...
(''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, , ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "" in Greek. In , it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the body of cit ...

polis
'') and the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
. The Greek city-states before the 4th century granted
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and th ...
rights to their free population; in
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
these rights were combined with a directly democratic form of government that was to have a long afterlife in political thought and history.


Modern states

The
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
(1648) is considered by
political scientists This is a list of notable political scientists. See the list of political theorists for those who study political theory. See also political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with s ...
to be the beginning of the modern international system,.. in which external powers should avoid interfering in another country's domestic affairs.. The principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs was laid out in the mid-18th century by Swiss jurist
Emer de Vattel Emer (Emmerich) de Vattel ( 25 April 171428 December 1767) was an international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nat ...

Emer de Vattel
. States became the primary institutional agents in an interstate system of relations. The Peace of Westphalia is said to have ended attempts to impose supranational authority on European states. The "Westphalian" doctrine of states as independent agents was bolstered by the rise in 19th century thought of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
, under which legitimate
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
were assumed to correspond to ''
nations A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term " unit of observation ...

nations
''—groups of people united by language and culture. In
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
, during the 18th century, the classic non-national states were the multinational
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

empire
s: the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling ') was a Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural ...
,
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the Middle Ages ...
,
Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century (1000–1946 with the exception of 1918–1920) and existed for almost a millennium. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christ ...

Kingdom of Hungary
, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
, the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) during the Early Modern period, was a colonial empire ...

Spanish Empire
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, and the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. Such empires also existed in Asia, Africa, and the Americas; in the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether ...

Muslim world
, immediately after the
death of Muhammad ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , death_place = , resting_place = , resting_place_coordinates = , nationality = , other_names = , years_active = , notable ...
in 632,
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s were established, which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. The multinational empire was an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
ruled by a king,
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
or
sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

sultan
. The population belonged to many ethnic groups, and they spoke many languages. The empire was dominated by one ethnic group, and their language was usually the language of public administration. The ruling
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
was usually, but not always, from that group. Some of the smaller European states were not so ethnically diverse, but were also
dynastic A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
states, ruled by a
royal house A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which u ...
. A few of the smaller states survived, such as the independent principalities of
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europ ...

Liechtenstein
,
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French ( ...

Andorra
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
, and the republic of
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
. Most theories see the nation state as a 19th-century European phenomenon, facilitated by developments such as state-mandated education, mass
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
, and
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
. However, historians also note the early emergence of a relatively unified state and identity in
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
and the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
. Scholars such as
Steven Weber Steven Robert Weber (born March 4, 1961) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Brian Hackett on the television series '' Wings'' which aired from April 1990 to May 1997 on NBC, as Sam Blue in '' Once and Again'', and ...
, David Woodward,
Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectual An intellectual is a ...

Michel Foucault
, and Jeremy Black have advanced the hypothesis that the nation state did not arise out of political ingenuity or an unknown undetermined source, nor was it an accident of history or political invention. Rather, the nation state is an inadvertent byproduct of 15th-century intellectual discoveries in
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
,
mercantilism Mercantilism is an economic policy The economic policy of governments covers the systems for setting levels of taxation, government budgets, the money supply and interest rates as well as the labour market, nationalization, national owner ...

mercantilism
,
political geography Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms o ...
, and
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...

geography
combined with
cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using s. Combining , , and technique, cartography builds on the premise that rea ...
and advances in map-making technologies. Some nation states, such as
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, came into existence at least partly as a result of political campaigns by
nationalists Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
, during the 19th century. In both cases, the territory was previously divided among other states, some of them very small. Liberal ideas of
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and service ...
played a role in German unification, which was preceded by a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
, the
Zollverein The ''Zollverein'' (), or German Customs Union, was a coalition of German states formed to manage tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, gen ...

Zollverein
. National self-determination was a key aspect of United States President
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th from 1913 to 1921. A member of the , Wilson served as the and as the before winning the . As President, Wilson chang ...

Woodrow Wilson
's
Fourteen Points U.S. President Woodrow Wilson The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for peace Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack ...
, leading to the dissolution of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
after the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
, while the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
became the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
after the
Russian Civil War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Russian Civil War , partof = the Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution across the territory of the Russian Empire The R ...
.
Decolonization Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
lead to the creation of new nation states in place of multinational empires in the
Third World The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the "First Wor ...

Third World
.


Globalization

Political globalization began in the 20th century through
intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal treaties for handling/serving common interests and governed by interna ...
s and
supranational union A supranational union is a type of multinational political union where negotiated power is delegated to an authority by governments of member states. The term is sometimes used to describe the European Union The European Union (EU) ...
s. The League of Nations was founded after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
it was replaced by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
. Various
international treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...

international treaties
have been signed through it.
Regional integration 350px, Several non-overlapping large alliances. Softer colours indicate observer/associate or candidate countries. Regional Integration is a process in which neighboring countries enter into an agreement in order to upgrade cooperation throu ...
has been pursued by the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
,
ASEAN ASEAN; ( , ) officially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southe ...

ASEAN
, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
, and
Mercosur Mercosur (in Spanish), Mercosul (in Portuguese), or Ñemby Ñemuha (in Guarani), officially Southern Common Market,, pt, link=no, Mercado Comum do Sul, gn, link=no, Ñemby Ñemuha is a South American South America is a continent ...

Mercosur
. International political institutions on the international level include the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
, the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monu ...

International Monetary Fund
, and the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations. Governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international ...
.


Political science

The study of politics is called political science, or politology. It comprises numerous subfields, including comparative politics,
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
,
international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy ...
,
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...
,
public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, g ...
,
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
,
gender and politics Gender and politics, also called gender in politics, is a field of study in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politic ...
, and
political methodology Political methodology is a subfield of political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political tho ...
. Furthermore, political science is related to, and draws upon, the fields of
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
,
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
/
psychiatry Psychiatry is the devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of s. These include various s related to mood, behaviour, , and s. See . Initial psychiatric assessment of a person typically begins with a and . Physical examinations and ...
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
, and
neurosciences Neuroscience (or neurobiology) is the scientific study of the nervous system In Biology, biology, the nervous system is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sense, sensory informatio ...
. Comparative politics is the science of comparison and teaching of different types of
constitutions A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitutions
, political actors, legislature and associated fields, all of them from an intrastate perspective.
International relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy ...
deals with the interaction between
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
s as well as intergovernmental and transnational organizations.
Political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

Political philosophy
is more concerned with contributions of various classical and contemporary thinkers and philosophers. Political science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many methods originating in
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
,
social research Social research is a research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topi ...

social research
, and
cognitive neuroscience Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowle ...
. Approaches include
positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory A philosophical theory or philosophical position''Dictionary of Theories'', Jennifer Bothamley is a view that attempts to explain or account for a particular problem in philosophy Philosophy (from ...
, ,
rational choice theory Rational choice theory refers to a set of guidelines that help understand economic and social behaviour. The theory postulates that an individual will perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether an option is right for them. It also sugge ...
,
behavioralism Behaviouralism (or behavioralism) is an approach in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, ...
,
structuralism In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empirical method, emp ...
,
post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns o ...
,
realism Realism, Realistic, or Realists may refer to: In the arts *Realism (arts), the general attempt to depict subjects truthfully in different forms of the arts Arts movements related to realism include: *Classical Realism *Literary realism, a movem ...
, institutionalism, and pluralism. Political science, as one of the
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents and official records, secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles,
survey Survey may refer to: Statistics and human research * Statistical survey Survey methodology is "the study of survey methods". As a field of applied statistics concentrating on Survey (human research), human-research surveys, survey methodology s ...
research,
statistical analysis Statistical inference is the process of using data analysis to infer properties of an underlying probability distribution, distribution of probability.Upton, G., Cook, I. (2008) ''Oxford Dictionary of Statistics'', OUP. . Inferential statistical ...

statistical analysis
,
case studies A case study involves an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a particular case or cases, within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine may focus on an individual patient or ailment; case studies in business might cov ...
,
experimental research An experiment is a procedure carried out to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method ...
, and model building.


Political system

The political system defines the process for making official
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
decisions. It is usually compared to the
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and infl ...
,
economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the co ...
,
cultural system A cultural system is the interaction of different elements in culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, la ...
, and other
social system In , social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. An individual may be ...
s. According to
David Easton David Easton (June 24, 1917 – July 19, 2014) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) ...

David Easton
, "A political system can be designated as the interactions through which values are authoritatively allocated for a society." Each political system is embedded in a society with its own political culture, and they in turn shape their societies through
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
. The interactions between different political systems are the basis for
global politics Global means of or referring to a globe A globe is a spherical physical model, model of Earth, of some other astronomical object, celestial body, or of the celestial sphere. Globes serve purposes similar to some maps, but unlike maps, do not dis ...
.


Forms of government

Forms of government can be classified by several ways. In terms of the structure of power, there are
monarchies A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legisl ...
(including
constitutional monarchies A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated el ...
) and
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
s (usually
presidential President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
,
semi-presidential A semi-presidential system or dual executive system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter being responsible to the legislature of the state. It differs from a parliam ...
, or
parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
). The
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ( ...
describes the degree of horizontal integration between the
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, the
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
, the
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
, and other independent institutions.


Source of power

The source of power determines the difference between
democracies Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracies
,
oligarchies Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure in which power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power ...
, and
autocracies Autocracy is a system of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature A ...
. In a democracy, political legitimacy is based on
popular sovereignty Popular sovereignty is the principle that the authority of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The ...
. Forms of democracy include
representative democracy Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a type of democracy where elected persons represent Represent may refer to: * Represent (Compton's Most Wanted album), ''Represent'' (Compton's Most Wanted album) or the title song, ...
,
direct democracy Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the Election#Electorate, electorate decides on policy initiatives without legislator, legislative representatives as proxies. This differs from the majority of currently estab ...
, and
demarchy In governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), market, or by a social network, network – over a social system (family, trib ...
. These are separated by the way decisions are made, whether by representatives,
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...

referendum
s, or by citizen juries. Democracies can be either republics or constitutional monarchies. Oligarchy is a power structure where a minority rules. These may be in the form of
anocracy Anocracy or semi-democracy is a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, th ...
,
aristocracy Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Ar ...
, ergatocracy,
geniocracy Geniocracy is the framework for a Government#Forms of government, system of government which was first proposed by Raël (leader of the Raëlian Church, International Raëlian Movement) in 1977 and which advocates a certain minimal criterion of int ...
,
gerontocracy A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population. In many political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Deci ...
, kakistocracy,
kleptocracy Kleptocracy (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
,
meritocracy Meritocracy (''merit'', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the powe ...
,
noocracy Noocracy (), or " aristocracy of the wise", as originally defined by Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ''Plátōn'', in Attic Greek, Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Ath ...
,
particracy Particracy, also known as partitocracy, partitocrazia or partocracy, is a form of government in which the political parties are the primary basis of rule rather than citizens and/or individual politicians. As argued by Italian political scientist ...
,
plutocracy A plutocracy ( el, πλοῦτος, ', 'wealth' and , ', 'power') or plutarchy is a society that is ruled or controlled by people of great wealth Wealth is the abundance (economics), abundance of Value (economics), valuable financial asse ...
,
stratocracy A stratocracy (from στρατός, ''stratos'', "army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sens ...
,
technocracy Technocracy is a system of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists ...
,
theocracy Theocracy is a form of government in which one or more deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superna ...

theocracy
, or
timocracy A timocracy (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mil ...
. Autocracies are either
dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature ...
s (including
military dictatorship A military dictatorship is a dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition ...
s) or
absolute monarchies Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. ...
.


Vertical integration

In terms of level of vertical integration, political systems can be divided into (from least to most integrated)
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
s,
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federation
s, and
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
s. A federation (also known as a federal state) is a
political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indi ...
characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
(
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Federations were formed first in Switzerland, then in the United States in 1776, in Canada in 1867 and in Germany in 1871 and in 1901,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. Compared to a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federation
, a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
has less centralized power.


State

All the above forms of government are variations of the same basic
polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resourc ...
, the
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
. The
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
has been defined by
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
as a political entity that has
monopoly on violence The monopoly on violence or the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force is a core concept of modern public law, which goes back to French jurist and political philosopher Jean Bodin's 1576 work '' Les Six livres de la République'' an ...
within its territory, while the
Montevideo Convention The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States is a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933, during the Seventh International Conference of American States. The Convention codifies the declarative theory of statehoo ...
holds that states need to have a defined territory; a permanent population; a government; and a capacity to enter into international relations. A stateless society is a
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
that is not by a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
.. In stateless societies, there is little
concentration In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
of
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the watt, equal to one joule per second. In older works, p ...
and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through predefined rules tend to be small. Stateless societies are highly variable in economic organization and cultural practices. While stateless societies were the norm in human prehistory, few stateless societies exist today; almost the entire global population resides within the jurisdiction of a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
. In some regions nominal state authorities may be very weak and wield little or no actual power. Over the course of history most stateless peoples have been integrated into the state-based societies around them. Some political philosophies consider the state undesirable, and thus consider the formation of a stateless society a goal to be achieved. A central tenet of
anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...

anarchism
is the advocacy of society without states. The type of society sought for varies significantly between
anarchist schools of thought Anarchism is the political philosophy which holds ruling classes and the State (polity), state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, The following sources cite anarchism as a political philosophy: Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." ''The Concise ...
, ranging from extreme
individualism Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self- ...
to complete
collectivism Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although c ...
. In
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
,
Marx's theory of the state Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, Germany, Marx studied ...
considers that in a post-capitalist society the state, an undesirable institution, would be unnecessary and Withering away of the state, wither away. A related concept is that of stateless communism, a phrase sometimes used to describe Marx's anticipated post-capitalist society.


Constitutions

Constitutions are written documents that specify and limit the powers of the different branches of government. Although a constitution is a written document, there is also an unwritten constitution. The unwritten constitution is continually being written by the legislative and judiciary branch of government; this is just one of those cases in which the nature of the circumstances determines the form of government that is most appropriate. England did set the fashion of written constitutions during the English Civil War, Civil War but after the Restoration (England), Restoration abandoned them to be taken up later by the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies after their American Revolution, emancipation and then France after the French Revolution, Revolution and the rest of Europe including the European colonies. Constitutions often set out
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ( ...
, dividing the government into the
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
, the
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, and the
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
(together referred to as the trias politica), in order to achieve checks and balances within the state. Additional independent branches may also be created, including civil service commissions, election commissions, and supreme audit institutions.


Political culture

Political culture describes how culture impacts politics. Every
political system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...
is embedded in a particular political culture.. Lucian Pye's definition is that "Political culture is the set of attitudes, beliefs, and sentiments, which give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system". Trust (social science), Trust is a major factor in political culture, as its level determines the capacity of the state to function.. Postmaterialism is the degree to which a political culture is concerned with issues which are not of immediate physical or material concern, such as human rights and environmentalism. Religion has also an impact on political culture.


Political dysfunction


Political corruption

Political corruption is the use of powers for illegitimate private gain, conducted by government officials or their network contacts. Forms of political corruption include bribery, cronyism, nepotism, and Patronage, political patronage. Forms of political patronage, in turn, includes clientelism, Earmark (politics), earmarking, pork barreling, slush funds, and spoils systems; as well as political machines, which is a political system that operates for corrupt ends. When corruption is embedded in political culture, this may be referred to as patrimonialism or neopatrimonialism. A form of government that is built on corruption is called a ''
kleptocracy Kleptocracy (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
'' ('rule of thieves').


Political conflict

Political conflict entails the use of political violence to achieve political ends. As noted by Carl von Clausewitz, "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means." Beyond just inter-state warfare, this may include civil war; wars of national liberation; or asymmetric warfare, such as Guerrilla warfare, guerrilla war or terrorism. When a political system is overthrown, the event is called a revolution: it is a political revolution, ''political'' revolution if it does not go further; or a Social revolution, ''social'' revolution if the
social system In , social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. An individual may be ...
is also radically altered. However, these may also be nonviolent revolutions.


Levels of politics


Macropolitics

Macropolitics can either describe political issues that affect an entire political system (e.g. the nation state), or refer to interactions between political systems (e.g.
international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy ...
).. Global politics (or world politics) covers all aspects of politics that affect multiple political systems, in practice meaning any political phenomenon crossing national borders. This can include City, cities, nation-states, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, and/or international organizations. An important element is international relations: the relations between nation-states may be peaceful when they are conducted through diplomacy, or they may be violent, which is described as war. States that are able to exert strong international influence are referred to as superpowers, whereas less-powerful ones may be called Regional power, regional or middle powers. The international system of Power (international relations), power is called the ''world order'', which is affected by the Balance of power (international relations), balance of power that defines the degree of Polarity (international relations), polarity in the system. Emerging powers are potentially destabilizing to it, especially if they display revanchism or irredentism. Politics inside the limits of political systems, which in contemporary context correspond to national
border Borders are boundaries of or legal s, such as s, , , and other . Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called . Some borders—such as mos ...

border
s, are referred to as domestic politics. This includes most forms of
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
, such as social policy, economic policy, or law enforcement, which are executed by the state bureaucracy.


Mesopolitics

Mesopolitics describes the politics of intermediary structures within a political system, such as Political party, national political parties or Political movement, movements. A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to attain and maintain political power within
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
, usually by participating in political campaigns, educational outreach, or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision, bolstered by a written Party platform, platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests. Political parties within a particular political system together form the party system, which can be either Multi-party system, multiparty, two-party system, two-party, dominant-party system, dominant-party, or One-party state, one-party, depending on the level of Pluralism (political theory), pluralism. This is affected by characteristics of the political system, including its electoral system. According to Duverger's law, First-past-the-post voting, first-past-the-post systems are likely to lead to two-party systems, while proportional representation systems are more likely to create a multiparty system.


Micropolitics

Micropolitics describes the actions of individual actors within the political system. This is often described as political participation. Political participation may take many forms, including: *Activism *Boycott *Civil disobedience *Demonstration (political), Demonstration *Petition *Picketing *Strike action *Tax resistance *Voting (or its opposite, abstentionism)


Political values


Democracy

Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes. The uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in democracy. Democracy makes all forces struggle repeatedly to realize their interests and devolves power from groups of people to sets of rules. Among modern political theorists, there are three contending conceptions of democracy: ''aggregative'', ''deliberative democracy, deliberative'', and ''radical democracy, radical''.


Aggregative

The theory of ''aggregative democracy'' claims that the aim of the democratic processes is to solicit the preferences of citizens, and aggregate them together to determine what social policies the society should adopt. Therefore, proponents of this view hold that democratic participation should primarily focus on voting, where the policy with the most votes gets implemented. Different variants of aggregative democracy exist. Under ''minimalism'', democracy is a system of government in which citizens have given teams of political leaders the right to rule in periodic elections. According to this minimalist conception, citizens cannot and should not "rule" because, for example, on most issues, most of the time, they have no clear views or their views are not well-founded. Joseph Schumpeter articulated this view most famously in his book ''Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy''. Contemporary proponents of minimalism include William H. Riker, Adam Przeworski, Richard Posner. According to the theory of ''
direct democracy Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the Election#Electorate, electorate decides on policy initiatives without legislator, legislative representatives as proxies. This differs from the majority of currently estab ...
'', on the other hand, citizens should vote directly, not through their representatives, on legislative proposals. Proponents of direct democracy offer varied reasons to support this view. Political activity can be valuable in itself, it socializes and educates citizens, and popular participation can check powerful elites. Most importantly, citizens do not rule themselves unless they directly decide laws and policies. Governments will tend to produce laws and policies that are close to the views of the median voter—with half to their left and the other half to their right. This is not a desirable outcome as it represents the action of self-interested and somewhat unaccountable political elites competing for votes. Anthony Downs suggests that ideological political parties are necessary to act as a mediating broker between individual and governments. Downs laid out this view in his 1957 book ''An Economic Theory of Democracy''. Robert A. Dahl argues that the fundamental democratic principle is that, when it comes to binding collective decisions, each person in a political community is entitled to have his/her interests be given equal consideration (not necessarily that all people are equally satisfied by the collective decision). He uses the term polyarchy to refer to societies in which there exists a certain set of institutions and procedures which are perceived as leading to such democracy. First and foremost among these institutions is the regular occurrence of free and open elections which are used to select representatives who then manage all or most of the public policy of the society. However, these polyarchic procedures may not create a full democracy if, for example, poverty prevents political participation. Similarly, Ronald Dworkin argues that "democracy is a substantive, not a merely procedural, ideal."


Deliberative

''Deliberative democracy'' is based on the notion that democracy is government by deliberation. Unlike aggregative democracy, deliberative democracy holds that, for a democratic decision to be legitimate, it must be preceded by authentic deliberation, not merely the aggregation of preferences that occurs in voting. ''Authentic deliberation'' is deliberation among decision-makers that is free from distortions of unequal political power, such as power a decision-maker obtained through economic wealth or the support of interest groups. If the decision-makers cannot reach consensus after authentically deliberating on a proposal, then they vote on the proposal using a form of majority rule.


Radical

''Radical democracy'' is based on the idea that there are hierarchical and oppressive power relations that exist in society. Democracy's role is to make visible and challenge those relations by allowing for difference, dissent and antagonisms in decision-making processes.


Equality

Equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
or isolated group have the same social status, especially socioeconomic status, including protection of human rights and dignity, and equal access to certain social goods and social services. Furthermore, it may also include health equality, economic equality and other Social security, social securities. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. To this end there must be equal justice under law, and equal opportunity regardless of, for example, sex, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability.


Left–right spectrum

A common way of understanding politics is through the left–right political spectrum, which ranges from left-wing politics via centrism to right-wing politics. This classification is comparatively recent and dates from the French Revolution, when those members of the National Assembly who supported the
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
, the common people and a secular society sat on the left and supporters of the monarchy, aristocracy (class), aristocratic privilege and the Church sat on the right. Today, the left is generally Progressivism, progressivist, seeking social progress in
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
. The more extreme elements of the left, named the Far-left politics, far-left, tend to support revolutionary means for achieving this. This includes ideologies such as Communism and
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
. The Centre-left politics, center-left, on the other hand, advocate for more Reformism, reformist approaches, for example that of social democracy. In contrast, the right is generally motivated by conservatism, which seeks to conserve what it sees as the important elements of society. The Far-right politics, far-right goes beyond this, and often represents a reactionary turn against progress, seeking to undo it. Examples of such ideologies have included Fascism and Nazism. The Centre-right politics, center-right may be less clear-cut and more mixed in this regard, with Neoconservatism, neoconservatives supporting the spread of free markets and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
, and One-nation conservatism, one-nation conservatives more open to social welfare programs. According to Norberto Bobbio, one of the major exponents of this distinction, the left believes in attempting to eradicate social inequality—believing it to be unethical or unnatural, while the right regards most social inequality as the result of ineradicable natural inequalities, and sees attempts to enforce social equality as utopian or authoritarian.. Some ideologies, notably Christian Democracy, claim to combine left and right-wing politics; according to Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood, "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." Movements which claim or formerly claimed to be above the left-right divide include Fascist Terza Posizione economic politics in Italy and Peronism in Argentina.


Freedom

Political freedom (also known as political liberty or autonomy) is a central concept in political thought and one of the most important features of Democracy, democratic societies. Negative liberty has been described as freedom from oppression or coercion and unreasonable external constraints on action, often enacted through civil and political rights, while positive liberty is the absence of disabling conditions for an individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions, e.g. economic compulsion, in a society. This capability approach to freedom requires economic, social and cultural rights in order to be realized.


Authoritarianism and libertarianism

Authoritarianism and civil libertarianism, libertarianism disagree the amount of individual Freedom (political), freedom each person possesses in that society relative to the state. One author describes authoritarian political systems as those where "individual rights and goals are subjugated to group goals, expectations and conformities," while libertarians generally oppose the Sovereign state, state and hold the individual as sovereign. In their purest form, libertarians are anarchism, anarchists, who argue for the total abolition of the state, of
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
and of Political organisation, other political entities, while the purest authoritarians are, by definition, totalitarianism, totalitarians who support state control over all aspects of society. For instance, classical liberalism (also known as ''laissez-faire liberalism'')Adams, Ian. 2001. ''Political Ideology Today''. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 20. is a doctrine stressing individual freedom and limited government. This includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, free markets, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitation of government, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, David Ricardo, Voltaire, Montesquieu and others. According to the libertarian Institute for Humane Studies, "the libertarian, or 'classical liberal,' perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by 'as much liberty as possible' and 'as little government as necessary.'"IHS. 2019.
What Is Libertarian?
" ''Institute for Humane Studies''. George Mason University. .
For anarchist political philosopher L. Susan Brown (1993), "liberalism and
anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...

anarchism
are two political philosophies that are fundamentally concerned with individual Freedom of will, freedom yet differ from one another in very distinct ways. Anarchism shares with liberalism a radical commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism's competitive property relations."L. Susan Brown, Brown, L. Susan. 1993. ''The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism, and Anarchism''. Black Rose Books.


See also

* Political history of the world * Index of law articles * Index of politics articles – alphabetical list of political subjects * List of politics awards * List of years in politics * Outline of law * Outline of political science – structured list of political topics, arranged by subject area * Political lists – lists of political topics * Politics of present-day states * List of political ideologies


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Adcock, Robert. 2014. ''Liberalism and the Emergence of American Political Science: A Transatlantic Tale''. New York: Oxford University Press. * Adcock, Robert, Mark Bevir, and Shannon Stimson (eds.). 2007. ''Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges Since 1870''. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. * Almond, Gabriel A. 1996. “Political Science: The History of the Discipline,” pp. 50–96, in Robert E. Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann (eds.), ''The New Handbook of Political Science''. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. * * * Ferdinand Mount, Mount, Ferdinand, "Ruthless and Truthless" (review of Peter Oborne, ''The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism'', Simon and Schuster, February 2021, , 192 pp.; and Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose, eds., ''Political Advice: Past, Present and Future'', I.B. Tauris, February 2021, , 240 pp.), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 43, no. 9 (6 May 2021), pp. 3, 5–8. * Munck, Gerardo L., and Richard Snyder (eds.). ''Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics.'' Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. * Ross, Dorothy. 1991. ''The Origins of American Social Science''. New York: Cambridge University Press. * {{Authority control Politics, Main topic articles