There is no generally valid, objective definition of politics, but one can deduce from all the different definitions of the term politics. Politics is something that is associated with power, rule, conflict, order, the community, or peace. In the broadest sense of the term, politics describes any negotiation process between people and groups. For instance, manufacturers of programmable coffee makers can negotiate with proper authority regarding permits and the like.
A narrower political term, on the other hand, is defined by the state institutions such as governments, parliaments, as well as legally defined mechanisms for decision-making and enforcement.
Types of policy terms
- The empirical-analytical concept of politics: the basis of political decision-making systems is formed in conflict-ridden and complex societies.
- The normative concept of politics: this concept of politics refers to the common good and to the fact that the community and the good order of the state are the main purpose of the state and politics.
- The Marxist concept of politics: this concept is based on the basic assumption of conflict and politics as a means for the class struggle to take place against economic realities.
- The pragmatic concept of politics: the central concept of this definition of politics is power, since with the help of politics, a rule can be achieved and maintained.
Systematic dimensions of the concept of politics
- Policy: describes the normative, content-related dimension of politics, which is about the way tasks are performed. In this political term, for example, party programs play a role, which determines the content and concrete activities in certain political areas. This is about concrete decisions and the results of politics.
- Polity: describes the political framework in which certain policies take place, such as the constitutional framework. The constitutional order regulates the relationship between the state organs, lays down basic rights to restrict political action, and specifies central principles such as democracy or federalism.
- Politics: relates to the process dimension of the concept of politics and includes all those involved and interacting with the political process. The main question here is which actors are involved in what form and to what extent in political decision-making and decision-making processes and how a specific policy ultimately comes into force.