Portal:Politics

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US Navy 051215-M-7772K-038 An Iraqi woman prepares to cast her voting ballot into one of the bins after filling it out at a polling site in Rawah, Iraq during the country's first parliamentary election.jpg

Politics (from Greek: Πολιτικά, politiká, 'affairs of the cities') is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among 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.

It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and nonviolent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation. The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or limitedly, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.

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 internal and external 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.

In modern nation states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often 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.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics in the West, and Confucius's political manuscripts and Chanakya's Arthashastra in the non-Western cultures. (Full article...)

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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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Parliament House, Canberra, Pano jjron 25.9.2008-edit1.jpg
Credit: John O'Neill

Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. At the time of the construction, it was the most expensive building in the world at more than A$1.1 billion.

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Edmund Burke
Last of all he exercised his interest and his patience for eight years together at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. There is a fort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them, proof against the moil: fatiguing delays, the moil mortifying disappointments, the moll mocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgments of the ignorant upon their designs. Columbus had a sufficient share of this quality[disambiguation needed]. He had every day, during this long space, to combat with every objection that want of knowledge, or that a false knowledge, could propose. Some held that the known world, which they thought was all that could be known, floated like a vast scum upon the ocean; that the ocean itself was infinite. Others, who entertained more just notions, and believed that the whole of the earth and waters composed one vast globe, drew a consequence from it as absurd as the former opinion. For they argued, that if Columbus should fail beyond a certain point, the convexity of this globe would prevent his return. As is usual in such cafes, every one abounded with objections. His whole time was spent in fruitless endeavors to enlighten ignorance, to remove prejudice, and to vanquish that obstinate incredulity, which is of all others the greatest enemy to improvement, rejecting every thing as false and absurd, which is ever little out of the track of common experience ; and it is of the more dangerous consequence, as it carries a delusive air of coolness, of temper and wisdom. With all this, he had yet greater difficulties from the interests of mankind, than from their malignity and ignorance. The expence of the undertaking, inconsiderable as this expense was, was at the bottom the chief support of the other objections, and had more weight than all the rest together. However, with an assiduity and firmness of mind, never enough to be admired and applauded, he at length overcame all difficulties; and, to his inexpreflible joy, with a fleet of three {hips, and the title and command of an admiral, set fail on the third of August, 1492, on a voyage the most daring and grand in the design, and in the event of which the world was the most concerned, of any that ever yet was undertaken.
Edmund Burke, An account of the European Settlements in America, 1757

Selected biography

Portrait of Samuel Adams by John Singleton Copley

Samuel Adams (1722–1803) was an American statesman, politician, writer and political philosopher who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Adams was instrumental in garnering the support of the colonies in rebellion against Great Britain, ultimately resulting in the American Revolution. He was also one of the key architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped American political culture. Adams organized protests against the British, including the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and participated in the Continental Congress. He also advocated for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress. Following the American Revolution, Adams helped draft the Articles of Confederation. After the war ended, he ran for the House of Representatives in the 1st United States Congressional election, but was unsuccessful in his bid. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1789 and after John Hancock's death in 1793, Adams served as the acting governor, until he was elected governor in January of the following year. He served in that position until June 1797 when he decided to retire from politics.

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