Unit-1 Understanding The Political

The main objective of this unit is to understand the concept of ‘political’.

What do you understand by the term politics?

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Apr 16, 2019 5:15:35 PM

Everybody has some idea about the meaning of the term politics; to some people the question may even appear quite superfluous. ‘Politics’ is what one reads about in the papers or watches on television. It deals with the activities of the politicians, notably the leaders of political parties. What is politics all about? Why, precisely, are these activities ‘political’ and what defines the nature of politics? If one starts with a definition couched in terms of the activities of politicians, one might say that politics concerns the rivalries of politicians in their struggle for power. This would certainly be the kind of definition with which most people would agree. There would, also, probably be agreement that politics refers to the relationship between states on an international scale. ‘Politics is about power and how it is distributed.’ But power is not an abstract entity floating in the void. It is embodied in human beings. Power is a relationship existing wherever a person can impose his will on other persons, making the latter obey whether they want to or not. Hence, arises a situation characterised by leadership, a relation of domination and subordination. Max Weber, in his famous lecture of 1918, ‘Politics as a Vocation’, started by proposing that the concept of politics was ‘extremely broad-based and comprises any kind of independent leadership in action.’