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Published: Thu, 18 Jun 2015

What is politics? Is it possible to give a neutral or objective definition of politics?

Politics is exciting, people always disagree about: how they should live? Who should get what? How should power and other resources be distributed? The debate about ‘what is politics?’ is worth pursuing because it reveals some of the deepest intellectual and ideological disagreements. It is always a dialogue, and never a monologue.

However, politics is difficult to define. To try to define it this essay will examine different views of politics such as: Why politics are so important? Who does politics? Politics as a power; Can the study of politics be scientific? (very good; it needs editing but the direction is good)

Firstly I would like to look way politics is important?

Politics is above all, all social activities. In the broadest sense, politics is an activity through which people make, preserve and emend the general rule under which they live. We might say that human beings are at heart political beings. They are different from animals because they have to create their way of life through struggle, debate, reason and collective decisions rather than by relying on natural instincts. Politics is important because it is in the nature of the human beings to be political. For Aristotle, this made politics the ‘mister science’ that this, ”nothing less that the activity thought which human beings attempts to improve their lives and create the Good Society” (Heywood p.3). Yes, good starting point. More should be said about politics and government, and those that do politics!

Politics and government

Politics are much broader than what governments do but t h ere is something especially significant about political processes that are not or could be considered to be part of public domain.

Government are different f rom political system and regime . G overnment is any mechanism thought which ordered rules is maintained, also refers to the institutional processes though which collective and usu ally binding decisions are mad e. Its various institutions constitute the subject matter. A political system or regime on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasse s not only s mechanisms of government and the institutions of the state, b ut also the structure and processes though which this interact with the larger society. A regime is therefore a ‘system of rules’ that endures despite the fact that governments come and go. Whereas governments can be changed by elections thought dynastic succession.

Many of the methodological problems of classification political systems can be appreciated by examine particular examples of classifying political systems and political institutions. There are many different ways in which political systems have been c lassified: liberal democratic system, communist system, post-communist systems, and authoritarian systems. Each of these categories may also have sub-categories that help to clarify the meaning of the category and to enhance understanding of the term.

In different countries has different kind of government system. The division between presidential and parliamentary s y stems can be most useful for comparison ; for example United State and Great Britain. Britain has parliamentary type of system which is quite different from presidential system.


Politics is therefore practised in cabinet rooms, legislative chambers, government departments and the like, and it is engaged in by a limited and specific group of people, notably politicians, civil servants and lobbyists (Heywood).

If the numbers do not speak for themselves, who then speak for numbers? Politicians mainly define, “what is politics?” by referring to the practice of particular groups of professionals: politicians. Politics is more complex by introducing citizens. Politicians not only complete with and relate to other professional groups but they are also concentrated and responsive to questions and activities of citizen. Powerful professional group that many compete with politicians in the authoritative allocation of values and definition what is right and what is wrong for a society; the judges. It is possible to say that politicians compete for our vote. They try to convince people generally and their views on how to improve the economy, on how to encourage racial quality, and whether or not go to war.

I am not sure what the purpose of this paragraph is; are you trying to give examples of ideological divides? Consider being clearer about what this paragraph and the examples used are for. Remember that this is the start of the essay and that you should go deeper in analysing, critically discussing what politics is. Maybe too soon for examples?


same as before; I don’t follow the logic of these examples; remember you have not yet addressed politics as government, politics as power, ideologies, actors in politics, etc, etc)

Politics as power


Actors in politics

Next we are going to can politics be a scientific?

Although it is widely accepted that the study of politics should be scientific in the broad sense of being rigorous and critical, some have argued, as has been pointed out, that it can be scientific in a stricter sense, that is, that it can use the methodology of the natural sciences. This claim has been advanced by Marxists and by positivist social scientists, and it was central to the ‘behavioural revolution’ of the 1959s. The attraction of a science of politics is clear. It promises an impartial and reliable means of distinguishing ‘truth’ from ‘falsehood’, thereby giving us access to objective knowledge about the political world. The key to achieving is to distinguish between ‘facts’ and values’. Facts are objective in the sense that they can be demonstrated reliably and consistently; they can be proved. Values, by contrast, are inherently subjective, a matter of opinion. The study of politics is scientific to the extent that it is possible to gain objective knowledge about the political world by distinguishing between facts and values. (good)


Politics is not a science… but an art, Chancellor Bismarck reputed to have told the German Reichstag (Heywood). The art Bismarck had in mind was the art of the government the exercise of control within society through the making and enforcement of collective decisions.

The word ‘politics’ is derived from polis liberally meaning city-state. Ancient Greek society was divided into a collection of independent city-states, each of which possessed its own system of government. (Heywood)

To study politics is in essence to study government, or more broadly to study the exercise of authority. Politics is what takes place within a polity, a system of social organisation centred upon the machinery of government. (these two paragraphs belong above)

Next this essay will examine the question: who does politics? )

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