Politician

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Politician
Kissinger Nixon Ford Haig.jpg
Politicians (Kissinger, Nixon, Ford, Haig) in the Oval Office discussing Representative Ford's nomination as the Vice President
Occupation
Names Congressman, chancellor, MP, mayor, premier, President, Prime minister, senator, governor, secretary, minister, Dictator
Occupation type
Politician
Activity sectors
Law, law enforcement, business, journalism, public relations, diplomacy, management, military
Description
Competencies Critical thinking
Law
Legal research
Legal ethics
Public speaking
Budgeting
Decision making
Communications
Education required
Only a fair and proper election to office is necessary, although formal education is highly recommended.
Fields of
employment
Courts, government, legal aid, military
Related jobs
Judge, Attorney, Business, Journalist, Spokesperson, Manager

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking an office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Contents

Identity

Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly. Discurso funebre pericles.PNG
Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.

Politicians are people who are politically active, especially in party politics. Positions range from local offices to executive, legislative, and judicial offices of regional and national governments. [1] [2] Some elected law enforcement officers, such as sheriffs, are considered politicians. [3] [4]

Media and rhetoric

Politicians are known for their rhetoric, as in speeches or campaign advertisements. They are especially known for using common themes that allow them to develop their political positions in terms familiar to the voters. [5] Politicians of necessity become expert users of the media. [6] Politicians in the 19th century made heavy use of newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets, as well as posters. [7] In the 20th century, they branched into radio and television, making television commercials the single most expensive part of an election campaign. [8] In the 21st century, they have become increasingly involved with the social media based on the Internet and smartphones. [9]

Rumor has always played a major role in politics, with negative rumors about an opponent typically more effective than positive rumors about one's own side. [10]

Bureaucracy and spoils

Once elected, the politician becomes a government official and has to deal with a permanent bureaucracy of non-politicians. Historically, there has been a subtle conflict between the long-term goals of each side. [11] In patronage-based systems, such as the United States and Canada in the 19th century, winning politicians replace the bureaucracy with local politicians who formed their base of support, the "spoils system". Civil service reform was initiated to eliminate the corruption of government services that were involved. [12] However, in many less developed countries, the spoils system is in full-scale operation today. [13]

Careers and biographies

Mattozzi and Merlo argue that there are two main career paths which are typically followed by politicians in modern democracies. First, come the career politicians. They are politicians who work in the political sector until retirement. Second, are the "political careerists". These are politicians who gain a reputation for expertise in controlling certain bureaucracies, then leave politics for a well-paid career in the private sector making use of their political contacts. [14]

The personal histories of politicians have been frequently studied, as it is presumed that their experiences and characteristics shape their beliefs and behaviors. There are four pathways by which a politician's biography could influence their leadership style and abilities. The first is that biography may influence one's core beliefs, which are used to shape a worldview. The second is that politicians' skills and competence are influenced by personal experience. The areas of skill and competence can define where they devote resources and attention as a leader. The third pathway is that biographical attributes may define and shape political incentives. A leader's previous profession, for example, could be viewed as higher importance, causing a disproportionate investment of leadership resources to ensure the growth and health of that profession, including former colleagues. Other examples beside profession include the politician's innate characteristics, such as race or gender. The fourth pathway is how a politician's biography affects their public perception, which can, in turn, affect their leadership style. Female politicians, for example, may use different strategies to attract the same level of respect given to male politicians. [15]

Characteristics

Numerous scholars have studied the characteristics of politicians, comparing those at the local and national levels, and comparing the more liberal or the more conservative ones, and comparing the more successful and less successful in terms of elections. [16] In recent years, special attention has focused on the distinctive career path of women politicians. [17] For example, there are studies of the "Supermadre" model in Latin American politics. [18]

Many politicians have the knack to remember thousands of names and faces and recall personal anecdotes about their constituents—it is an advantage in the job, rather like being seven-foot tall for a basketball player. United States Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were renowned for their memories. [19] [20]

Criticism

Many critics attack politicians for being out of touch with the public. Areas of friction include the manner in which politicians speak, which has been described as being overly formal and filled with many euphemistic and metaphorical expressions and commonly perceived as an attempt to "obscure, mislead, and confuse". [21]

In the popular image, politicians are thought of as clueless, selfish, incompetent and corrupt, taking money in exchange for goods or services, rather than working for the general public good. [22] Politicians in many countries are regarded as the "most hated professionals". [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasise the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". The term developed in the 19th century and has been applied to various politicians, parties, and movements since that time, although it has rarely been chosen as a self-description. Within political science and other social sciences, several different definitions of populism have been employed, with some scholars proposing that the term be rejected altogether.

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References

  1. "politician - Webster's New World College Dictionary". Yourdictionary.com. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. "politician - Princeton Wordnet dictionary". wordfind.com.
  3. Gaines, Miller, Larry, Roger LeRoy (2012). Criminal Justice in Action. Wadsworth Publishing. p. 152. ISBN   978-1111835576.
  4. Grant, Grant, Donald Lee, Jonathan (2001). The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia. University of Georgia Press. p. 449. ISBN   978-0820323299.
  5. Jonathan Charteris-Black, Politicians and rhetoric: The persuasive power of metaphor (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2005)
  6. Ofer Feldman, Beyond public speech and symbols: Explorations in the rhetoric of politicians and the media (2000).
  7. Robert J. Dinkin, Campaigning in America: A History of Election Practices (1989) online
  8. Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Keith Spillette, The Press Effect: Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories that Shape the Political World (2014)
  9. Nathaniel G. Pearlman, Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections (2012) online
  10. David Coast and Jo Fox, "Rumour and Politics" History Compass (2015), 13#5 pp. 222–234.
  11. Joel D. Aberbach, Robert D. Putnam, and Bert A. Rockman, eds., Bureaucrats and politicians in western democracies (Harvard University Press, 1981)
  12. David A. Schultz, and Robert Maranto, eds., The politics of civil service reform (1998).
  13. Morris Szeftel, "Political graft and the spoils system in Zambia—the state as a resource in itself." Review of African Political Economy 9.24 (1982): 4–21.
  14. Andrea Mattozzi and Antonio Merlo, "Political careers or career politicians?." Journal of Public Economics 92#3 (2008): 597–608.
  15. Krcmaric, Daniel; Nelson, Stephen C.; Roberts, Andrew (2020). "Studying Leaders and Elites: The Personal Biography Approach". Annual Review of Political Science. 23: 133–151. doi: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-050718-032801 .
  16. Timothy S. Prinz, "The career paths of elected politicians: a review and prospectus." in Shirley Williams and Edward L. Lascher, eds. Ambition and beyond: career paths of American politicians (1993) pp: 11-63.
  17. Elina Haavio-Mannila and Torild Skard, eds. Unfinished Democracy: women in Nordic politics (2013)
  18. Elsa M. Chaney, Supermadre: Women in Politics in Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2014).
  19. Iwan W. Morgan (2010). Assessing George W. Bush's Legacy: The Right Man?. p. 45. ISBN   9780230114333.
  20. James E. Mueller (2008). Tag Teaming the Press: How Bill and Hillary Clinton Work Together to Handle the Media. p. 32. ISBN   9780742563926.
  21. Invitation to Critical Thinking - Page 319, Vincent E. Barry - 2007
  22. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, eds. Political corruption: Concepts and contexts (2011).
  23. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, eds. Political corruption: Concepts and contexts (2011).

Further reading