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Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.

It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. The academic study focusing on just politics, which is therefore more targeted than general political science, is sometimes referred to as politology (not to be confused with politicology, a synonym for political science).

In modern nation-states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas. They agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders.

An election is usually a competition between different parties. Some examples of political parties worldwide are: the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Democratic Party (D) in the United States, the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany and the Indian National Congress in India.

Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as "the art or science of government" and "political principles"), but does often colloquially carry a negative connotation. The word has been used negatively for many years: the British national anthem as published in 1745 calls on God to "Confound their politics", and the phrase "play politics", for example, has been in use since at least 1853, when abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared: "We do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us."

A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and the works of Confucius.

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1939–1941 semi-official emblem

The League of Nations was an international organization founded after the First World War at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The League's goals included disarmament; preventing war through collective security; settling disputes between countries through negotiation and diplomacy; and improving global welfare. The League was a government of governments, with the role of settling disputes between individual nations in an open and legalist forum. The League lacked an armed force of its own and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, which they were often very reluctant to do. The League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the fascist powers in 1930s. The onset of the Second World War made it clear that the League had failed in its primary purpose—to avoid any future world war. The United Nations effectively replaced it after World War II and inherited a number of agencies and organisations founded by the League.

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Andrew Curtin2.jpg
Credit: Photo: Mathew Brady/Levin Handy; Restoration: Michel Vuijlsteke

Andrew Gregg Curtin (1817–1894) was a U.S. lawyer and politician. He served as the 15th Governor of Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. During the Civil War, Curtin organized the Pennsylvania reserves into combat units, and oversaw the construction of the first Union military camp for training militia. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Governor Curtin was the principal force behind the establishment of the National Cemetery there. After serving two terms as governor, Curtin was appointed ambassador to Russia by Ulysses S. Grant, and he later served in the House of Representatives from 1881 until 1887.

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Samuel Gompers
Let the inspiring watchword go forth that-

We will stand by our friends and administer a stinging rebuke to men or parties who are either indifferent, negligent, or hostile, and, wherever opportunity affords, to secure the election of intelligent, honest, earnest trade unionists, with clear, unblemished, paid-up union cards in their possession.

Samuel Gompers, The American Federationist, May 1906

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George H. W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924–2018) was an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States (1989–93). He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President (1981–89), a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. He ran unsuccessfully for president of the United States in 1980, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan to be the vice presidential nominee, and the two were subsequently elected. In 1988, Bush launched a successful campaign to succeed Reagan as president, defeating Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency; military operations were conducted in Panama and the Persian Gulf at a time of world change; the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union dissolved two years later. In the wake of economic concerns, he lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton.

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