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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 Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociol ...

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 dialogue 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 ...
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 boundaries, ...
s, and exercising
force In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior throu ...
, 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 violence ...

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 within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-locali ...
s,
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common ...
and institutions up to
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
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 state in which a great majority shares the same 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, ...
, 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.political system 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, political thoughts, political behavior, and asso ...
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, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the ...

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. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature ...
'' and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Aristotle
's ''
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 resources or status. The branch of social science that stu ...
'' 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 (), d ...
'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 ...
's ''
Arthashastra The ''Arthaśāstra'' ( sa, अर्थशास्त्र, ) is an ancient Indian Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging t ...
'' 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. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Aristotle
's classic work, '' Politiká'', which introduced the
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 2018; Athens is ...
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 West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early ...
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 centur ...

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, 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 (1996) ...

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


Definitions

* In the view of
Harold Lasswell Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 – December 18, 1978) was a leading American political scientist and communications theorist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics and was a PhD student at the University of ...
, 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) ...
, 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 Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of th ...

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 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, ...

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 Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...

ethics
, and is at its extreme in
utopia A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members. It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book ''Utopia (book), Utopia'', describing a fictional ...

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. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

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 (, ; ; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher and writer, best known for ''The Prince'' (''Il Principe''), written in 1513. He has often been called the father of modern ...
,
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spo ...
, and
Harold Lasswell Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 – December 18, 1978) was a leading American political scientist and communications theorist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics and was a PhD student at the University of ...
, politics is based on the use of power, irrespective of the ends being pursued.


Conflict and co-operation

Agonism Agonism (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 million ...
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, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeol ...
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 (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

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 ...
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 First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill, ...
s to define their
border Borders are geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method ...
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 Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...

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 protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ' ...
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, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes a ...
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'' ("Nubi ...
in the north-east of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
, the kingdom's boundaries being based around the Nile and stretching to areas where
oases In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

oases
existed. Early dynastic
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

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 Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
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 eastern 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 the end ...

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 water ...

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 between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
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 (1996) ''The ...
(''
polis ''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 (1996) ...

polis
'') and the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
. 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 Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
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 should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peop ...
, 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 of people formed on the basis of a common language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lan ...

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

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 w ...

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 i ...
,
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was among the most powerful states in Europe and a great power from the ...
,
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). The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the Coronation of th ...

Kingdom of Hungary
, the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
, 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 a ...
, 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. ...
. 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 Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the '' ...
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 is the only one to decide and therefore rules on his own. In this kind of monarchy, the king is usually limited by a constitution However in some of these ...
ruled by a king,
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...

emperor
or
sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...

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 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which us ...
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), 1897. usually in the context of a feudalism, feudal or monarchy, monarchical system, but sometim ...
. 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 language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a constituti ...

Liechtenstein
,
Andorra , image_flag = Flag of Andorra.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Andorra.svg , symbol_type = Coat of arms , national_motto = la, Virtus Unita Fortior, label=none (Latin Latin (, or , ) is ...
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on 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 Most Serene Republic ( la, Serenissima Respublica) is a title attached to a number of European states through histo ...

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 (ph ...
, 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 for ...
. 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 sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...

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 as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Du ...
. 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, History of ideas, historian of ideas, writer, political activist, and Literary criticism, literary critic. Foucault's theories primarily address the relationship ...

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,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, allocation of resources, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within ...
,
mercantilism Mercantilism is an economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism and tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal. The policy aims to reduce a possible cu ...

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 ...
, and
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...

geography
combined with
cartography Cartography (; 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 ...
and advances in map-making technologies. Some nation states, such as
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

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

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 ...
, 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 president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of govern ...

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 is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a writte ...
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 a ...
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 that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the Unite ...
, while the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
became the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
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 (U ...
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 ...
.


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 internat ...
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 or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
, and after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
it was replaced by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

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 organizat ...
,
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 ...
, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...

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 and International court, international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction ...

International Criminal Court
, the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. It claims to be "working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilit ...

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,
international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions betwe ...
,
political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politics, liberty, justice, prop ...
,
public administration Public administration is the implementation of public policy, government policy and also an academic discipline that studies this implementation and prepares civil servant, civil employees for working in the public service. As a "field of inquiry ...
,
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, in response to social issues. Be ...
,
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 the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. ...
,
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 boundaries, ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly ...
,
history History (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 millio ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such ques ...

philosophy
,
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...
,
psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologis ...
/
psychiatry Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. These include various maladaptations related to mood, behaviour, cognition, and perceptions. See glossary of psychiatry. Initial psych ...
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture ...
, 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 ...
, political actors, legislature and associated fields, all of them from an intrastate perspective.
International relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions betwe ...
deals with the interaction between
nation-state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same 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, ...
s as well as intergovernmental and transnational organizations.
Political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politics, liberty, justice, prop ...

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 science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologis ...

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 "knowled ...
. Approaches include
positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory that states that "genuine" knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ( ...
, ,
rational choice theory Rational choice theory, also known as theory of rational choice, choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally Model (abstract), modeling social and economic behavior. It dictates that every person, ...
,
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 Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociol ...

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, ,
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 (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

government
decisions. It is usually compared to the
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped b ...
,
economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, allocation of resources, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. I ...
,
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 sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal Social structure, structure of role and status that can form in a small, ...
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) ...
, "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, in response to social issues. Be ...
. 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 constitutional monarchy 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. 2001. p. 707. ...
) 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. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature ...

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 governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), mar ...
). 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 institution, with the authori ...
, 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 and its 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 associ ...
. Forms of democracy include
representative democracy Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy or representative government, is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected persons Representation (politics) , representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democra ...
,
direct democracy upright=1.5, A Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus, on 7 May 2006, Switzerland">canton_of_Glarus.html" ;"title="Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus">Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus, on 7 May 200 ...
, 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 elected representatives,
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct and Universal suffrage, universal vote in which an entire Constituency, electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal and can have nationwide or El ...

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 that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocracy (class), aristocrats. The term derives from the G ...
, 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 or income. The first known use of the term in English dates from 1631. Unlike systems such as ...
,
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 a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polytheistic relig ...

theocracy
, or
timocracy A timocracy (from Greek τιμή ''timē'', "honor, worth" and -κρατία ''-kratia'', "rule") in Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath durin ...
. 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 in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer. The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the mi ...
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 A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
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 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 i ...
s. 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 social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resource ...
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 characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government ( federalism). In a federation, the self-gover ...
(
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode 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 nor ...
). 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, smal ...

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 A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in i ...
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 that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
. 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 sociologist, historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a pe ...

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 stat ...
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, concentration is the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Several types of mathematical description can be distinguished: '' mass concentration'', ''molar concentration'', ''number concentration'', an ...
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 ...
; 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 that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
. 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 and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the State (polity), state, which it holds to b ...
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 well ...
,
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 Post-capitalism is a state in which the economic systems of the world can no longer be described as forms of capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Pro ...
society the state, an undesirable institution, would be unnecessary and wither away. A related concept is that of
stateless communism Anarcho-communism, also known as anarchist communism, is a political philosophy and Anarchist schools of thought, anarchist school of thought which advocates the abolition of the State (polity), state, capitalism, wage labour, social hierarchies a ...
, a phrase sometimes used to describe Marx's anticipated post-capitalist society.


Constitutions

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 ...
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
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independenc ...
but after the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
abandoned them to be taken up later by the
American Colonies#REDIRECT American colonies
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from ambiguous term {{R unprintworthy ...
after their
emancipation Emancipation is any effort to procure Economic, social and cultural rights, economic and social rights, civil and political rights, political rights or Egalitarianism, equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally, i ...
and then
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
after the
Revolution 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 ...

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 institution, with the authori ...
(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 commission An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of electioneering process of any country. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission, a cen ...

election commission
s, and
supreme audit institution A supreme audit institution is an independent national-level institution which conducts audits of government activities. Most supreme audit institutions are established in their country's constitution, and their mandate is further refined in nation ...
s.


Political culture

Political culture Political culture describes how 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, laws, Social norm, customs, capabi ...
describes how
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, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...
impacts politics. Every
political system 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, political thoughts, political behavior, and asso ...
is embedded in a particular political culture..
Lucian Pye Lucian W. Pye (; October 21, 1921 – September 5, 2008) was an American political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance Governance comprises all of the pr ...
'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 is a major factor in political culture, as its level determines the capacity of the state to function..
Postmaterialism 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 ...
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 Human rights are moral A moral (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. Th ...
and
environmentalism Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philo ...
.
Religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

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 Bribery is defined by '' Black's Law Dictionary'' as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official, or other person, in charge of a public or legal Law is a system A system ...
,
cronyism Cronyism is the practice of Impartiality, partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. For instance, this includes appointing "croni ...
,
nepotism Nepotism is a form of favoritism which is granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by C ...
, and
political patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...

political patronage
. Forms of political patronage, in turn, includes
clientelism Clientelism is the exchange of goods and services for political support, often involving an implicit or explicit quid-pro-quo. Clientelism involves an asymmetric relationship between groups of political actors described as ''patrons, brokers'', and ...
, earmarking,
pork barrel ''Pork barrel'' is a metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (or obscure) clarity or identify hidden similarities between two different ideas. M ...
ing,
slush fund A slush fund is a fund or account that is not properly accounted, such as money used for corrupt or illegal purposes, especially in the political sphere. Such funds may be kept hidden and maintained separately from money that is used for legitimat ...
s, and
spoils system In politics and government, a spoils system (also known as a patronage system) is a practice in which a political party, after winning an election, gives government civil service jobs to its supporters, friends (cronyism), and relatives (nepotism) ...
s; as well as
political machine In the 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 resources or status. The branch of soci ...
s, which is a political system that operates for corrupt ends. When corruption is embedded in political culture, this may be referred to as
patrimonialism Patrimonialism is a form of 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 soc ...
or
neopatrimonialism Neopatrimonialism is a system of social hierarchy where patrons use State (polity), state factors of production, resources to secure the loyalty of clients in the general population. It is an informal Political clientelism, patron–client relations ...
. 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 Political violence is violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical ...
to achieve political ends. As noted by
Carl von Clausewitz Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (; – ) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" (meaning, in modern terms, psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology incl ...

Carl von Clausewitz
, "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means." Beyond just inter-state warfare, this may include
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independenc ...
;
wars of national liberation 250px, Flag of Mozambique; independent from Portugal since 1975, after the Carnation Revolution">Portugal.html" ;"title="Mozambique; independent from Portugal">Mozambique; independent from Portugal since 1975, after the Carnation Revolution in ...
; or
asymmetric warfare Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), stat ...
, such as guerrilla war or
terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in the context of war against non-combatants (mostly civilians and neu ...
. When a political system is overthrown, the event is called a
revolution 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 ...

revolution
: it is a ''political'' revolution if it does not go further; or a if the
social system In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal Social structure, structure of role and status that can form in a small, ...
is also radically altered. However, these may also be
nonviolent revolution A nonviolent revolution is a revolution 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, po ...
s.


Levels of politics


Macropolitics

Macropolitics can either describe political issues that affect an entire political system (e.g. the
nation state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same 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, ...
), or refer to interactions between political systems (e.g.
international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions betwe ...
).. 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
cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...
, nation-states,
multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporation, corporate organization that owns and controls the production of goods or services in at least one country other than its home country. Control is considered an important aspect of an MNC, to distingui ...
s,
non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the "Europe in a suitcase" project by two NGOs (the EGI and the Friedrich Naumann Fo ...
s, and/or
international organization ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. It was established in 1947 and is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the ...
s. An important element is international relations: the relations between nation-states may be peaceful when they are conducted through
diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

diplomacy
, or they may be violent, which is described as
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, 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, g ...

war
. States that are able to exert strong international influence are referred to as
superpower A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of economic, military, technological, political and cultural ...

superpower
s, whereas less-powerful ones may be called
regional In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography Image:Snow-cholera-map-1.jpg, upright=1.2, Original map by John Snow showing the Cluster (ep ...
or
middle power In international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scienti ...
s. The international system of
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 ...
is called the ''world order'', which is affected by the balance of power that defines the degree of
polarity Polarity may refer to: Science *Polarity (mutual inductance), the relationship between components such as transformer windings *Polarity (projective geometry), in mathematics, a duality of order two *Polarity in embryogenesis, the animal and vegeta ...
in the system. Emerging powers are potentially destabilizing to it, especially if they display
revanchism Revanchism (french: Revanchisme, from ''revanche'', "revenge") is the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement. As a term, revanchism originated in 1870s Fran ...
or
irredentism Irredentism is a political and popular movement whose members claim (usually on behalf of their nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a sha ...
. Politics inside the limits of political systems, which in contemporary context correspond to national
border Borders are geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method ...
s, are referred to as
domestic politics Domestic policy are administrative decisions that are directly related to all issues and activity within a state's borders. It differs from foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global ...
. 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, in response to social issues. Be ...
, such as
social policy Social policy is policy A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a gov ...
,
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 ownership, and many other areas of government ...
, or
law enforcement File:CBP female officers going aboard a ship.jpg, upU.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarding a ship 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, dete ...
, which are executed by the state
bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, although the term usually connotes ...
.


Mesopolitics

Mesopolitics describes the politics of intermediary structures within a political system, such as national political parties or
movements Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a short ...
. A political party is a
political organization A political organization is any organization that involves itself in the political process, including political parties, non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups and special interest groups. Political organizations are those engaged ...
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 (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

government
, usually by participating in
political campaign A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, by which representatives are chosen or referend ...

political campaign
s, educational outreach, or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
or vision, bolstered by a written
platform Platform may refer to: Technology * Computing platform, a framework on which applications may be run * Platform game, a genre of video games * Car platform, a set of components shared by several vehicle models * Weapons platform, a system or s ...
with specific goals, forming a
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
among disparate interests. Political parties within a particular political system together form the
party system A party system is a concept in comparative 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, politic ...
, which can be either
multiparty 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, political thoughts, political behavior, and as ...
,
two-party In politics, a two-party system is a party system in which two major party, major political parties consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature and is ...
,
dominant-party A dominant-party system, or one-party dominant system is a political system in which opposition groups or parties are permitted, but a single party dominates election results. Any ruling party staying in power for more than one consecutive t ...
, or
one-party A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. Unitary st ...
, depending on the level of pluralism. This is affected by characteristics of the political system, including its
electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are organized by governments, while non-political elec ...
. According to
Duverger's law#REDIRECT Duverger's law 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, political thoughts, polit ...
,
first-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP; sometimes formally called single-member plurality voting or SMP) electoral system, voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins (irrespective ...
systems are likely to lead to two-party systems, while
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

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 Citizen Participation or Public Participation in social science refers to different mechanisms for the public to express opinions – and ideally exert influence – regarding political, economic, management or other social decisions. Particip ...
. Political participation may take many forms, including: *
Activism Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, social, Political campaign, political, Economics, economic, or Natural environment, environmental reform with the desire to make Social change, changes in so ...
*
Boycott A boycott is an act of nonviolent, voluntary and intentional abstention from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for moral, social, political, or environmental reasons. The purp ...

Boycott
*
Civil disobedience Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizenship, citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government, corporation or other authority. By some definitions, civil disobedience has to be nonviolent to be c ...
* Demonstration *
Petition A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' ...

Petition
*
Picketing form a picket line during a strike in May 2005. Picketing is a form of protest in which people (called pickets or picketers) congregate outside a place of work or location where an event is taking place. Often, this is done in an attempt to diss ...
*
Strike action Strike action, also called labor strike, labour strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employees to Labor (economics), work. A strike usually takes place in response to grievance (labour), employee grievances ...
*
Tax resistance Tax resistance is the refusal to pay tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a ...
*
Voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracy, Democracies ...

Voting
(or its opposite,
abstentionism Abstentionism is standing for election to a deliberative assembly while refusing to take up any seats won or otherwise participate in the assembly's business. Abstentionism differs from an election boycott in that abstentionists participate in ...
)


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'', and ''
radical Radical may refer to: Arts and entertainment Music *Radical (mixtape), ''Radical'' (mixtape), by Odd Future, 2010 *Radical (Smack album), ''Radical'' (Smack album), 1988 *"Radicals", a song by Tyler, The Creator from the 2011 album ''Goblin (album ...
''.


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 Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracy, Democracies ...

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 Joseph Alois Schumpeter (; February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an Austrian political economist. He was born in Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a h ...
articulated this view most famously in his book '' Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy''. Contemporary proponents of minimalism include William H. Riker,
Adam Przeworski Adam Przeworski (; born May 5, 1940) is a Polish-American professor 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, pol ...
,
Richard Posner Richard Allen Posner (; born January 11, 1939) is an American jurist and law and economics scholar who served as a United States federal judge, federal appellate judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Ap ...
. According to the theory of ''
direct democracy upright=1.5, A Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus, on 7 May 2006, Switzerland">canton_of_Glarus.html" ;"title="Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus">Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus, on 7 May 200 ...
'', 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 Anthony Downs (; born November 21, 1930) is an American economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from econ ...

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 In political science, the term polyarchy ( "many", ''arkhe'' "rule") was used by Robert A. Dahl to describe a form of government in which power is invested in multiple people. It takes the form of neither a dictatorship nor a democracy.Robert Da ...
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 An election is a formal group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity. Indi ...
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 Ronald Myles Dworkin (; December 11, 1931 – February 14, 2013) was an American philosopher, jurist, and scholar of United States constitutional law. At the time of his death, he was Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York ...
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 Deliberation is a process of thoughtfully weighing options, usually prior to voting. Deliberation emphasizes the use of logic and reason as opposed to power-struggle, creativity, or dialogue. Group decision-making, Group decisions are generally mad ...
. 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 Consensus decision-making or consensus politics (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') is group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on est ...
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

Three axis model of political ideologies with both moderate and radical versions and the goals of their policies 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 Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour Honour ( British English) or honor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng ...
, especially
socioeconomic status Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic and social position in relation to others. When analyzing a family's SES, the household i ...
, including protection of
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (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. Th ...
and
dignity Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically. It is of significance in morality, ethics, law and politics as an extension of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment-era concepts of Nat ...
, and equal access to certain
social goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of good ...
and
social servicesSocial services are a range of public services provided by the government, private, profit and non-profit organizations. These public services aim to create more effective organizations, build stronger communities, and promote equality and opportunit ...
. Furthermore, it may also include health equality,
economic equality There are wide varieties of economic inequality, most notably measured using the distribution of income (the amount of money people are paid) and the distribution of wealth (the amount of wealth people own). Besides economic inequality between ...
and other social securities. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, genera ...
or
caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural ...
boundaries and the absence of
discrimination Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of Racial discrimination, ra ...
motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. To this end there must be
equal justice under law Equal justice under law is a phrase engraved on the West Pediment, above the front entrance of the United States Supreme Court building The Supreme Court Building houses the Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the Un ...

equal justice under law
, and
equal opportunity Equal opportunity is a state of fairness in which individuals are treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. The intent is that the important jo ...
regardless of, for example, sex, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, origin,
caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural ...
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 The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the wo ...
, which ranges from
left-wing politics Left-wing politics support social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition of social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically involve a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to other ...
via
centrism Centrism is a politics, political outlook or position that involves acceptance and/or support of a balance of Egalitarianism, social equality and a degree of Social stratification, social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would r ...
to
right-wing politics Right-wing politics embraces the view that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics Economics () is the social sc ...
. This classification is comparatively recent and dates from the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Brumaire, November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate. Many of its ideas are considered fundamental principles ...

French Revolution
, when those members of the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In 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 defin ...
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. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature ...

republic
, the common people and a secular society sat on the left and supporters of the
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. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore ...
,
aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocrats. The term derives from the Greek ''aristokrat ...
privilege and the Church sat on the right. Today, the left is generally
progressivist Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform. Based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition, ...
, seeking social
progress upright=1.14, alt=Painting depicting a woman draped in white robes flying westward across the land with settlers and following her on foot, John Gast, ''American Progress'', Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise de ...

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 Far-left politics are politics further to the left of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political left. There are different definitions of the far-left. Some scholars define it as representing the left of social democracy whi ...
, tend to support
revolution 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 ...

revolution
ary means for achieving this. This includes ideologies such as
Communism Communism (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 power of the ...

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 well ...
. The
center-left Centre-left politics (British English) or center-left politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the Left-wing politics, left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer ...
, on the other hand, advocate for more
reformist Reformism is a political doctrine advocating the reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to ...
approaches, for example that of
social democracy Social democracy is a 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 indivi ...
. In contrast, the right is generally motivated by
conservatism Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, kno ...
, which seeks to conserve what it sees as the important elements of society. The
far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of being anti-communist, auth ...
goes beyond this, and often represents a
reactionary 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 a ...
turn against progress, seeking to undo it. Examples of such ideologies have included
Fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particularl ...

Fascism
and
Nazism Nazism (), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus; ), is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (german: link=no, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, or National So ...

Nazism
. The
center-right Centre-right politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
may be less clear-cut and more mixed in this regard, with
neoconservatives Neoconservatism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and ar ...
supporting the spread of
free market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goo ...
s and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, allocation of resources, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within ...
, and one-nation conservatives more open to social welfare programs. According to
Norberto Bobbio Norberto Bobbio (; 18 October 1909 – 9 January 2004) was an Italian philosopher of law and political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and ...
, 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 Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching, as well as neo-Calvinism. It was conceived as a combination of modern Democracy, democratic ideas and Christian ...
, 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 Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particularl ...

Fascist
Terza Posizione economic politics in Italy and
Peronism Peronism , also called justicialism. The Justicialist Party is the main Peronist party in Argentina, it derives its name from the concept of social justice., name=, group=, is an Argentine political movement based on the ideas and legacy of Ar ...
in Argentina.


Freedom

Political freedom (also known as political liberty or autonomy) is a central
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that ...
in political thought and one of the most important features of
democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...

democratic
societies.
Negative liberty Negative liberty is freedom from interference by other people. Negative liberty is primarily concerned with freedom from external restraint and contrasts with positive liberty Positive liberty is the possession of the capacity to act upon one's ...
has been described as freedom from oppression or coercion and unreasonable external constraints on action, often enacted through
civil and political rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' political freedom, freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one's entitlement to participate in the civil and ...
, while
positive liberty Positive liberty is the possession of the capacity to act upon one's free will, as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint on one's actions.Berlin, Isaiah. ''Four Essays on Liberty''. 1969. A concept of positive libert ...
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 The capability approach (also referred to as the capabilities approach) is a normative approach to human welfare that concentrates on the actual capability of persons to achieve their well-being rather than on their mere right or freedom to do so. I ...
to freedom requires
economic, social and cultural rights Economic, social and cultural rights are Socioeconomics, socio-economic human rights, such as the right to education, right to housing, right to an adequate standard of living, right to health, victims' rights and the right to science and culture ...
in order to be realized.


Authoritarianism and libertarianism

Authoritarianism Authoritarianism 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 legislatu ...
and
libertarianism Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of p ...
disagree the amount of individual
freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being w ...
each person possesses in that society relative to the state. One author describes authoritarian political systems as those where "individual
rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstandi ...
and goals are subjugated to group goals, expectations and conformities," while libertarians generally oppose 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 ...
and hold the
individual An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity Entity may refer to: Computing * Character entity reference, replacement text for a character in HTML or XML * Entity class, a thing of interest within an entity–relationship model or d ...
as sovereign. In their purest form, libertarians are
anarchists Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its top ...
, 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 other political entities, while the purest authoritarians are, by definition, who support state control over all aspects of society. For instance,
classical liberalism Classical liberalism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosopher ...
(also known as ''
laissez-faire ''Laissez-faire'' (; ; from french: laissez faire, lit=let do) is an economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are free from or almost free from any form of economic interventionism Economic interventionism, somet ...
liberalism'')Adams, Ian. 2001. ''Political Ideology Today''. Manchester:
Manchester University Press Manchester University Press is the university press of the University of Manchester, England and a publisher of academic books and journals. Manchester University Press has developed into an international publisher. It maintains its links with the U ...
. p. 20.
is a doctrine stressing individual freedom and
limited government In political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politic ...
. This includes the importance of human rationality, individual
property rights The right to property, or the right to own property (cf. ownership) is often classified as a human right for natural persons regarding their possessions. A general recognition of a right to private property is found more rarely and is typically hea ...
,
free market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goo ...
s,
natural rights Natural rights and legal rights are two types of rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental Fundamental may refer to: * Found ...
, the protection of
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is law which has been promulgation, promulgated (or "enactment of a bill, enacted") by a legislature or other Gover ...
, constitutional limitation of government, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of t ...

John Locke
,
Adam Smith Adam Smith ( 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a Ethics, moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' * ...
,
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
,
David Ricardo David Ricardo (18 April 1772 – 11 September 1823) was a British political economist, one of the most influential of the classical economists along with Thomas Malthus Thomas Robert Malthus (; 13/14 February 1766 – 23 December 1834) w ...

David Ricardo
,
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
,
Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Lot-et-Garonne, Montesquieu (; ; 18 January 168910 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, intellectual, man of letters, historian, and po ...

Montesquieu
and others. According to the libertarian
Institute for Humane Studies The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) is a libertarian non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operate ...
, "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 George Mason University (Mason, GMU, or George Mason) is a public research university in Fairfax County, Virginia, Fairfax County near Fairfax, Virginia, Fairfax City in Virginia. The university was initially established in 1957 as a Northern Virg ...

George Mason University
. .
For anarchist political philosopher L. Susan Brown (1993), "liberalism and
anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the State (polity), state, which it holds to b ...
are two political philosophies that are fundamentally concerned with individual
freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being w ...
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." 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 This collection of lists of law topics collects the names of topics related to law. Everything related to law, even quite remotely, should be included on the alphabetical list, and on the appropriate topic lists. All links on topical lists shou ...
* 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 The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to politics and political science: Politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power r ...
– structured list of political topics, arranged by subject area * Political lists – lists of political topics *
Politics of present-day states The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to politics and political science: Politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power r ...
*
List of political ideologies A ''list'' is any enumeration An enumeration is a complete, ordered listing of all the items in a collection. The term is commonly used in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity ( ...


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. * * * Mount, Ferdinand, "Ruthless and Truthless" (review of
Peter Oborne Peter Alan Oborne (; born 11 July 1957) is a British journalist and broadcaster. He is the former chief political commentator of ''The Daily Telegraph'', from which he resigned in early 2015. He is author of ''The Rise of Political Lying'' and '' ...
, ''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 Jacqueline Rose, FBA (born 1949 in London) is a British academic who is Professor of Humanities at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Life and work Jacqueline Rose is known for her work on the relationship between psychoanalysis Psy ...
, eds., ''Political Advice: Past, Present and Future'', I.B. Tauris, February 2021, , 240 pp.), ''
London Review of Books The ''London Review of Books'' (''LRB'') is a British literary magazine published twice monthly that features articles and essays on fiction and non-fiction subjects, which are usually structured as book reviews. History The ''LRB'' was founded ...
'', 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 Main topic articles