Politics involves manoeuvring to assert power on a number of different levels. The simplest definition is ‘power as the capacity to influence the actions of others’.
The classic view of politics is that it is essentially about settling contestation over distribution. However, scholars have challenged this view by showing that politics also involves contestation over ways of framing and narrating policy issues.
Politics is a broad term that includes all of the human activities associated with decision-making. It has existed as long as humans have faced scarcity and had different beliefs and preferences, which have to be resolved while allocating scarce resources.
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 it also often carries a negative connotation, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether politics should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.
This best-selling dictionary defines political terms from a broad spectrum of perspectives and is designed for students and academics of politics and related disciplines, as well as for politicians, journalists and general readers seeking clarification of the terms that shape attitudes to the world around them. It offers international coverage and embraces the whole multi-disciplinary spectrum of political theory.
Politics is an activity that takes place at a range of social levels, from clans and tribes to modern local government, companies and institutions and sovereign states. People engage in politics by promoting their ideas among other members of the group, engaging in negotiation with others and exercising internal and external force.
The character of politics is shaped by the political style of individuals. People can be minimally, moderately, highly or pathologically politicized. The pragmatist, for example, may be willing to engage in politics that advance group goals and values, whereas the street fighter is likely to use rough tactics to achieve individual goals at the expense of others.
Researchers have found that the self-rated political style of politicians is influenced by their personality traits. For example, Scott and Medeiros (2020) find that a politician’s low agreeableness is predictive of his actual vote share and longevity in office, while Amsalem et al.
8 Political Values That Shape Your Political Opinions
Often people align themselves with a political party or candidate without having a clear understanding as to why. This activity can help you explore the underlying values that shape your opinions about public policy.
This quiz differs from the original political compass test by measuring your views on eight opposing values aligned across four different political axes.
Liberty is a positive concept that means freedom from restraints or freedom to act as one chooses. Those who score higher in Liberty prioritize individualism, free will and self-determination and resent authority that restricts liberty. They tend to be Libertarians.
People who have LibertyValues of paleo often value heritage and are skeptical of woke culture. They may like neoclassical economics. They may also prefer 12Wackies, a modified version of 8values that measures alignment with off-compass ideologies.
Equality is the belief that people should not be treated differently because of how they are born, where they are from, their race, religion or disability. It is a very important value for political communication, particularly when it comes to welfare politics and the distribution of wealth.
Proponents of equality argue that greater equality of outcome reduces relative poverty and promotes social cohesion. However, critics of equality argue that it can actually lead to more absolute poverty if it deters people from working hard.
One of the most important political values is justice. This includes not stealing or lying, but also a duty to help the poor and not interfere with others’ work.
In the Republic, Socrates has a discussion of this value with his interlocutors. They agree that a completely good society requires wisdom among leaders, courage in defenders and temperance among the producers. Whatever is left over must be justice.
This quiz can help you understand your political beliefs and bridge the gap between different ideologies. You can also take a more in-depth look at your ideology with 12Wackies and 8dreams, modified versions of 8Values that focus on off-compass ideologies.
4. Openness to Change
Researchers have found that people’s personal values and core political values shape how they approach politics. These values are important predictors of their beliefs about the role of government.
Across the world, those on the ideological left of the spectrum are more likely to believe that their country will be better off if it is open to change. In contrast, those on the right of the spectrum are more likely to believe that the country will be better off if it sticks with its traditions and way of life.
The freedom of people to express their opinions publicly without government interference (except for defamation, inciting panic, creating fighting words, promoting crime or sedition). This includes the freedom of press and the right to protest.
The freedom of people to participate in democratic elections and to hold officeholders accountable for their policies. This entails the freedom of citizens to advocate for their interests, including political minorities. This also requires a strong rule of law. A free economy depends on these conditions.
6. Free Enterprise
Free enterprise is a core American value and the cornerstone of a conservative philosophy that seeks to limit government involvement in economic matters. It advocates for market efficiency, consumer rights, financial security and stability, growth opportunities, and justice.
Free enterprise values connect with a laissez-faire economic system that emphasizes private property ownership, profit as an incentive, and competitive bidding in the marketplace. However, this does not preclude a role for government regulations to help manage market instability or nurture new industries.
Individualism is the belief that people should be judged by their actions, rather than their membership of a group. Individualists are also likely to have higher tolerance for differences among individuals.
Governments in countries with high levels of individualism may be more reluctant to impose mobility restrictions. This can thwart the fight against COVID-19 by reducing policy adherence. However, a pool of collectivist values also gained in importance, including those related to family and close relationships, personal integrity and interpersonal harmony (“logical”, “mature love” and “true friendship”). These have an opposite effect.
It is a crucial question for political analysis, that of why certain traditions gain resonance, whereas others do not. This is why I use the term resonance rather than hegemonic or dominant – terms that carry connotations of power and which are arguably less suitable for work on traditions in their own right.
Traditions are partly constitutive of the beliefs that uphold them and they bind actors together in unacknowledged inter-subjective communities. They can help to explain the relative success of certain ideologies in particular contexts.
A one political system is a country in which a single party has legal or de facto monopoly of formal politics. This can occur through restrictions on political parties or a refusal to allow competing views.
Using the word politic can mean “expedient or prudent.” For example, a teenager who asks for a raise will be told to be politic about it.
The electoral system is one of the most important institutional decisions a country makes. It defines how elections are conducted, how votes are counted and how power is distributed. It has a profound impact on political life and can affect how citizens interact with their governments. It can also help “engineer” specific outcomes, such as encouraging compromise and accommodation in a divided society.
There are many different electoral systems, but most share the same basic features. The most common is the majoritarian system, which assigns seats to parties based on their share of the vote. For example, if party A gets 40% of the vote, it will get 4 seats.
Another popular electoral system is proportional representation, which allocates seats based on the proportion of the total vote each party receives. This can be achieved using a variety of methods, but the most common is the Hare quota. Other variations include the Sainte-Lague modified system, which uses different divisors than the d’Hondt method and favours medium-sized parties.
Cohesiveness is the ability of people to stick together, and it’s important for team success. The stronger the cohesiveness, the more likely a project will succeed. Team satisfaction is also higher when there’s a high level of cohesiveness. This is because the work of each member is acknowledged and appreciated by the whole group.
Cohesion is a powerful force that can lead to better performance in groups, but it can also have negative effects. For example, in some cases, the desire to conform leads to avoidance of disagreement and groupthink, which can result in poor decisions. Additionally, cohesiveness can lead to a lack of individuality and autonomy.
The term “cohesion” comes from physics, where it describes the tendency of particles to stick together. The same principle applies to a political group. Cohesiveness is the force that keeps a political party together. It’s the force that makes people feel a deep loyalty to the group. This is often described as a sense of groupness or esprit de corps.
Economic development refers to the effort of governments to meet a number of broad economic objectives, including price stability, high employment, and sustainable growth. This involves a variety of policy initiatives, such as monetary and fiscal policies, regulation of financial institutions, and trade and tax policies. It also includes programs that support small businesses, workforce development, and neighborhood networks.
Increasingly, economic development is based on science and technology. This includes the development of science-industry connections at local, regional, national, and multinational levels. This includes efforts to encourage the formation of new high-technology firms.
Economic development is also about empowering people to live better lives. This can be done by improving literacy, education, health, and life expectancy. It can also include boosting economic growth, which leads to greater wealth for all. These goals require the participation of many different groups, including social workers and business leaders. They also depend on public-private partnerships. In the end, the goal is to build a thriving community that benefits all its members.