The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to politics and political science:
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Politics – the exercise of power; process by which groups of people make collective decisions. Politics is the art or science of running governmental or state affairs (including behavior within civil governments), institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate, academic, and religious segments of society.
Political science – the field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.
The separation of powers is typically set in the constitution or basic law in order to achieve checks and balances within government. The typical model has three branches, and is referred to as the trias politica.
Libertarian socialism, also referred to as anarcho-socialism, anarchist socialism, free socialism, stateless socialism, socialist anarchism and socialist libertarianism, is an anti-authoritarian, anti-statist and libertarian political philosophy within the socialist movement which rejects the state socialist conception of socialism as a statist form where the state retains centralized control of the economy. Overlapping with anarchism and libertarianism, libertarian socialists criticize wage slavery relationships within the workplace, emphasizing workers' self-management and decentralized structures of political organization. As a broad socialist tradition and movement, libertarian socialism includes anarchist, Marxist and anarchist or Marxist-inspired thought as well as other left-libertarian tendencies. Anarchism and libertarian Marxism are the main currents of libertarian socialism.
Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition of social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. According to emeritus professor of economics Barry Clark, left-wing supporters "claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated."
Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary vanguard party, as the political prelude to the establishment of communism. The function of the Leninist vanguard party is to provide the working classes with the political consciousness and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in the Russian Empire (1721–1917). Leninist revolutionary leadership is based upon The Communist Manifesto (1848) identifying the communist party as "the most advanced and resolute section of the working class parties of every country; that section which pushes forward all others." As the vanguard party, the Bolsheviks viewed history through the theoretical framework of dialectical materialism, which sanctioned political commitment to the successful overthrow of capitalism, and then to instituting socialism; and, as the revolutionary national government, to realize the socio-economic transition by all means.
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century. Marxism–Leninism was the formal name of the official state ideology adopted by the Soviet Union, its satellite states in the Eastern Bloc and various self-declared scientific socialist regimes in the Non-Aligned Movement and Third World during the Cold War as well as the Communist International after Bolshevisation. Today, Marxism–Leninism is the ideology of several communist parties and remains the official ideology of the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam as unitary one-party socialist republics and of Nepal in a people's multiparty democracy. Generally, Marxist–Leninists support proletarian internationalism, socialist democracy and oppose anarchism, fascism, imperialism and liberal democracy. Marxism–Leninism holds that a two-stage communist revolution is needed to replace capitalism. A vanguard party, organised hierarchically through democratic centralism, would seize power "on behalf of the proletariat" and establish a communist party-led socialist state, which it claims to represent the dictatorship of the proletariat. The state would control the economy and means of production, suppress the bourgeoisie, counter-revolution and opposition, promote collectivism in society and pave the way for an eventual communist society, which would be both classless and stateless. As a result, Marxist–Leninist states have been commonly referred to by Western academics as communist states.
Politics is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics and government is referred to as political science.
Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production. It includes the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social ownership can be public, collective, cooperative, or of equity. While no single definition encapsulates the many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element. The types of socialism vary based on the role of markets and planning in resource allocation, on the structure of management in organizations, and socialists disagree on whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.
Right-wing politics supports the view that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be seen as natural results of traditional social differences or competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to "the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system".
A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo and are often associated with a certain ideology. Some theories of political movements are the political opportunity theory which states that political movements stem from mere circumstances and the resource mobilization theory which states that political movements result from strategic organization and relevant resources. Political movements are also related to political parties in the sense that they both aim to make an impact on the government and that several political parties have emerged from initial political movements. While political parties are engaged with a multitude of issues, political movements tend to focus on only one major issue.
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful as well as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations. Proponents of anarchism, known as anarchists, advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations. While anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, opposition to the state is not its central or sole definition. Anarchism can entail opposing authority or hierarchy in the conduct of all human relations.
Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, politics is observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. Politics consists of "social relations involving authority or power. The definition of "politics" from "The Free Dictionary" is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power. Politics study include political philosophy, which seeks a rationale for politics and an ethic of public behavior, and public administration, which examines the practices of governance.
Articles in social and political philosophy include:
Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy within socialism. As an economic ideology and policy regime, it is described by academics as advocating economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal-democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution, regulation of the economy in the general interest and social-welfare provisions. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in Northern and Western Europe, social democracy became associated with Keynesianism, the Nordic model, the social liberal paradigm and welfare states within political circles in the late 20th century. It has been described as the most common form of Western or modern socialism as well as the reformist wing of democratic socialism.
State socialism is a political and economic ideology within the socialist movement advocating state ownership of the means of production, either as a temporary measure or as a characteristic of socialism in the transition from the capitalist to the socialist mode of production or communist society. Aside from anarchists and other libertarian socialists, there was confidence amongst socialists in the concept of state socialism as being the most effective form of socialism. Some early social democrats in the late 19th century and early 20th century such as the Fabians claimed that British society was already mostly socialist and that the economy was significantly socialist through government-run enterprises created by conservative and liberal governments which could be run for the interests of the people through their representatives' influence, an argument reinvoked by some socialists in post-war Britain. State socialism went into decline starting in the 1970s, with the discovery of stagflation during the 1970s energy crisis, the rise of neoliberalism and later with the fall of state socialist regimes in the Eastern Bloc during the Revolutions of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union.
Types of socialism include a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production and organizational self-management of enterprises as well as the political theories and movements associated with socialism. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity in which surplus value goes to the working class and hence society as a whole. There are many varieties of socialism and no single definition encapsulates all of them, but social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms. Socialists disagree about the degree to which social control or regulation of the economy is necessary; how far society should intervene and whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.
The ideology of the Chinese Communist Party has undergone dramatic changes throughout the years, especially during Deng Xiaoping's leadership and now Xi Jinping's leadership.have stated that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lacks a coherent ideology, the CCP still identifies as a communist party.
Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxist thought that emerged after the death of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and which became the official philosophy of the majority of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until the First World War in 1914. Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism.
The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed scientific socialism. In the last third of the 19th century, social democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world's first elected socialist party when it formed government in the Colony of Queensland for a week in 1899.
Anarchism and libertarianism, as broad political ideologies with manifold historical and contemporary meanings, have contested definitions. Their adherents have a pluralistic and overlapping tradition that makes precise definition of the political ideology difficult or impossible, compounded by a lack of common features, differing priorities of subgroups, lack of academic acceptance, and contentious, historical usage.