An Introduction to Politics

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An Introduction to Politics

Politics is the collection of political actions that are related to making political decisions in bands, groups or other informal forms of political power relationships between people, including the allocation of status or assets. The field of political science is known as political science because it studies politics and national government. Students interested in a career in politics should prepare for a liberal arts degree that focuses on liberal arts courses such as sociology and political science. Liberal arts degrees can also prepare students to work in government and politics as their career choices. Those interested in this area of study can pursue degrees in political science at four-year universities.

Politics is divided into two main branches: judicial and legislative. Within these branches of politics are various concentrations including constitutional law, executive and legislative policies, human rights and representative government, public policy, political ethics, research methodologies and political systems. Some schools and colleges offer only a single course in politics. Others offer courses that combine aspects of both branches. For example, a public policy degree might focus on the courts while a political studies degree would focus on the systems of government.

Constitutional law governs the legal framework within which polities operate. It establishes the rules and procedures for governance based on the legitimacy of public decisions. Decisions made in a constitutional environment are subject to public review and are accountable to a higher governing body, the legislature. Divided into several groups and institutions, these institutions include the government, legislature, courts, prosecutors, judges, lawyers, advocacy groups and journalists.

In countries that have a constitutional government, political parties compete for public support by promising to provide services, goods and services that they promised in the beginning of their campaigns. Political competition unites the citizens who elect individuals to form a political party and influence policy. Civic leaders who hold political office oversee the policies of their party in the parliament. In some instances, some of these leaders have private political power because they are personally known by the voters.

An important segment of Greek intellectual history is the history of Greek intellectual thought. Famous philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle developed concepts of political philosophy and argued for the role of logic and argument in society. These influential thinkers provided the foundations for modern-day classical liberal thought. Parts of Plato’s work, known as Phaedrus, have been modified and adapted to become the foundation of modern academic thinking about the separation of religion and politics.

Ancient Greeks used literary forms, art and architecture to theorize and promote the idea of citizenship. The term “democracy” comes from the Greek word demos, which meant the community of the people. Plato believed that all men were born citizens of a certain political philosophy or at least entitled to some basic rights and freedoms. In the political philosophies of the Greeks, freedom of speech and religion were considered to be essential rights of citizenship. It was later taken up by the Romans and gave birth to many First Amendment issues in the western world.