Defining politics

Defining politics • Authority: authority can be most simply defined as „legitimate power“. Where as power is the ability to influence the behaviour of others, authority is the right to do so. • The different views of politics examined here are as follows: • politics as the art of of government • politics as public affairs • politics as compromise and consensus • politics as power and the distribution of resources. Politics as the art of of government • • • • • This is perhaps the classical defintion of politics, developed from the original meaning of the term in Ancient Greece.

The word „politics“ is derived from polis, meaning literally city-state. Ancient Greek society was divided into a collection of independent city-states, each of which processed its own system of government. The largets and the most influential was Athens. Polis: (Greek) City-state, classicaly understood to imply the highest or most desirable form of social organization. Polity: A society organized through the exercise of political authority, for Aristotle, rule by the many in the intersets of all. Politics is what takes place within a polity, a system of social organization centred upon the machinery of government.

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. Politics as the art of of government • Governance is a boarder term than government. In its boardest sense, to govern means to rule or to control others. • Niccolo Machiavelli ( 1469-1527). Italian politician and author. • Aristotle (348-322BCE), Greek philosopher. Aristotle was a student of Plato. Politics as public affairs.

• The distinction between „the political“ and „the nonpolitical“, public sphere and private sphere. • The term civil society has been defined as a political community, a society governed by law, under the authority of state. More commonly, it is distinguished from the state, and the term is used to describe institutions that are private, that are independent from government and organized by individuals in pursuit of their own interests.

• Autonomous groups- businesses, trade unions, clubs, Politics as public affairs • Aristotle declared that „man is by nature a political animal“, by which he meant that it is only within a political community that human beings can live“ the good life“ • Public- the state • Private- civil society- autonomous bodies, trade unions, clubs, firms….. Politics as Compromise and Consensuss • In the third conception, politics is seen as a particular means of resolving conflict: that is, by compromise, negotiation, rather than through force and naked power.

Consensus: the term consensus means agreement, It implies, first, a broad agreemnet, Second, it implies an agreement about fundemental or underlying principles, as  opposed to a precise or exact agreement. …. between political parties, or between government and interest groups. Politics as Power • The fourth definition of politics, politics concerns the production, distribution and use of resources in the course of social existence. Politics is, in this essence, Power: the ability to achieve a desired outcome, through wahtever means. This includes everything from the ability to keep alive to the ability of government to promote economic growth.

More narrowly, power may be associated with the ability to punish or reward, bringing it close to manipluation. • Faces of power: Power can be said to be excercised whenever A gets B to do something that B would not otherwise have done. However, A can influnec B in various ways. This allows us to distinguish between „faces“ of power: Faces of Power • A- Power as a decision-making: This face of power consists of conscious actions that in some way influence the content of decisions. • B- Power as a agenda setting: The second face of power, is ability to prevent decisions being made, that is, in effect, „non decision-making“ • C- Power as thought control:

The third face of power is the ability to influence another by shaping what he or she thinks, wants, or needs. Power • Political Science differs from other sciences in part because of its emphasis on power (Machiavelli) • Politics determines how power will be exercised • Will we go to war? Who will Fight? • Who have to pay taxes and who will avoid them? What separate Political Science from other Social Science disciplines? It’s emphasis on Power Politics involves two processes 1. Decision Making making resource allocations for the collectivity 2. Rule or Enforcement inducing members of the collectivity to accept resource allocations as binding.

Four Related Concepts Political System Government State Nation POLITICAL SYSTEM A political system is the totality of social actions that in any way influence the making of binding value allocations for a collectivity. GOVERNMENT “The collection of ‘offices’ in a political system is what constitutes the government of that system. ” Robert Dahl Government = Specialized institutions for allocating values. State “The state is any government that successfully upholds a claim to the exclusive regulation of the legitimate use of physical force in enforcing its rules within a given territorial area.

” Max Weber State = sovereignty + territory NATION A large group, or community, from which members derive their basic political identity and toward which they devote great loyalty. Nation versus State Nation Definition: – political Community – Identity American Czech State – territoriality – sovereignty The United States The Czech Republic Basic Terminology • • • • • Nation State Nation- state Regime Government • • • • • Power Authority Legitimacy Cleavage Command economy Liberty versus Order • Politics essentially decides the tradeoff between Order and Freedom.

• We like both but can’t have maximum amounts of both • Where this tradeoff lies is the central feature of any political system Public Policy Formal • Developing public policy is like influences squeezing a long balloon • Public policy implementation reflects the structure and power flow • Rival political parties of the state • Other branches • Formal and informal influences of government affect policy decisions • Domestic and • Examine policy issues (especially international persistent ones) and the impact of organizations decisions made Informal influences.

• Economic changes • Grassroots movements • Changes in social values/beliefs Thank You for your Attention Literature 1 – John F Hall: Introduction to Macroeconomics, 2005 2 – Fernando Quijano and Yvonn Quijano: Introduction to Macroeconomics 3 – Karl Case, Ray Fair: Principles of Economics, 2002 4 – Boyes and Melvin: Economics, 2008 5 – James Gwartney, David Macpherson and Charles Skipton: Macroeconomics, 2006 6 – N. Gregory Mankiw: Macroeconomics, 2002 7- Yamin Ahmed: Principles of Macroeconomics, 2005 8 – Olivier Blanchard: Principles of Macroeconomics, 1996.