What Is Politics

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What is Politics?

The definition of Politics seems to have been obscured by representations that principally and in some instances only align and or associate it to government and policy making. Politics stretches far and beyond these realms, it is a more extensive and richer range of activities. It is therefore not confined within the parameters of a much more formal public governmental proximity, but encompasses social, economic and cultural activities. Leftwich (2004) highlights that the initial and or usual perception of politics is to do with public institutions that deal with processes and practices of government, government itself and engineering public policy. Politics is a universal activity and or process of all human societies not exclusive to specific institutional arenas – it is present in all groups and organisations encompassing cooperation. It organises and expresses the interaction of people, resources and power. Leftwich (2004) argues that it is universal and that it is a timeless process. Politics is unavoidable, but it is the essential human activity, Hague and Harrop (2004). This school of thought appears to be harmony with the idea that Politics is not limited to government and public policy but stretches far and beyond as a core human activity. Politics involves activities of cooperation within the structures of society and between societies Leftwich (2004). Lastly I refer the reader to Heywood (2002) who highlights that to portray politics as an essentially state based activity is to play ignorance to other paramount influences of modern life.


Hague, Rod; Harrop, Martin. 2004. Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction. Comparative Government and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 20 October 2010 http://lib.mylibrary.com?ID=86064

Heywood, A. (2002). Politics, 2nd Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Leftwich, A. (2004). The political approach to human behaviour: People, Resources and Power. In...
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