An Introduction to Politics
What is politics? Politics is generally understood as the study of political institutions, government and action-making processes that govern how the world lives in which decisions are made by individuals or groups. At most undergraduate levels, politics is commonly taught through a combination of lectures in small group settings, and one-to-one seminars, where larger groups discuss related material and discuss topical issues.
Throughout much of human history, politics has been considered a societal activity with societal outcomes. In fact, politics has been considered such from the very beginning of politics, when individuals would band together to form societies based on communal interests and struggles for power and survival. Throughout much of the modern era, however, politics became defined as a system of individual and institutional politics, with political parties battling for control over the national government and the resources it controls. With the advent of modern technology and the ability to communicate through the World Wide Web, politics has become a globalized and fragmented field, with global citizens divided into political communities and loyalties to specific political ideologies or political systems.
The future of politics lies in the ability of humans to understand and agree on a common platform for governance. Humans who are politically aware will band together against threats from both domestic and international sources, forming coalitions of governments and citizens determined to preserve their communal interests through politics. Although the practice of politics has been widely regarded as meaningless and obsolete throughout much of human history, the twentieth century has witnessed a reappearance of interest in politics and political activities. Some of the most significant political debates of the 20th century – World War I and World War II – served as moments of renewal of politics as citizens rediscovered the ideals of politics and public service. With technological change also came changes in how politics was taught in schools, with traditional classrooms now replaced with technology-based learning approaches.