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INTRODUCTION TO

POLITICAL SCIENCE
Chapter 1

Definitions
Politics originates from Greek wordpolis.It is a study of
city (state). English dictionary defines politics as the
science dealing with the form, the organization of the state
and regulates its relationship with other states.
Plato and Aristotle view politics in term of moral purposes
that the decision making should pursue highest good.
Good life as the core of politics. They shared the same
belief with many of political scientists nowadays. They
regarded the nature of good life as constituting the core of
politics.

Modern Scholars
Dahl: consider this definition as to restrict because it
only focuses on the state organization. He stresses
politics as persistent patterns of human relationship
involve rule, power and authority.
Easton: defines politics as an authoritatively allocates
value in the society. Agrees with Dahl concerning
politics as a set of human interaction (relationship) but
he focuses more on authoritative allocation in society.
E.g. redistributions of scarce resources or value in
society and policy outcomes. Refers to the entire
political system.
Harold Laswell- who gets what, when and how.
Concentrates on the individual who has power.

These definition share similar


characteristic
Politics is everywhere and it involves conflict
which is inherent in human nature. It maybe
due to the scarcity and different in value.
Most political conflict involve group conflict
Study of politics involves understanding of how
people
govern
themselves
and
the
consequences of political process. A means by
which people resolve conflict and decides on
the most important value in the society.

John Redekop in approaches to Canadian


politics (1983:149) concludes politics as all
activities whose main purpose is one of the
following:
to reshape or influence government structure
(process)
toreplacegovernmentofficeholder
toinfluenceformationofpoliticalparties
to influence the implementation of public
policies
to generate public awareness concerning
governmentalprocess,personnel,policies
togainpowerinthegovernment

Manifestation of politics
1.Politicalbehavior
Political

activities are manifested in the political


behavior of the people. It has two (2) dimensions:
(i) Psychological: thought, perception, judgment,
attitudes and belief.
(ii) Social: action such as strikes, demonstration,
election, campaign, operation, compromise,
negotiation, etc.
Or any strategies that lead to decision that have
social impact

2. Political culture
Patterns of individual beliefs and attitudes that
relate to political system and political issues.
Sidney and Verba define political culture as a
system of belief about pattern of political
interaction and political institution eg. political
custom, political belief, political expectation,
political symbols and political attitudes.

3. Political values

Refers to the value judgment of the people which are commonly


shared among them. it provides a way for the people to judge the
performance of the government. The main values are:
(i) Power- people expect power should be used in a certain way
(ii) Wealth-people expect that national resources should be
utilized carefully
(iii) Health-people expect good health care system
(iv) Education-people except to get equal opportunity in
education
(v) Employment expect secured job after studying
Justice-people expect law and order in the society

4. Conflicting interest
Modern democratic system is characterized by
conflicting interest. In societies there are large
number of social, religious, ethnics, occupational
group with different interests.
These groups will organize themselves and forward
their demand to the government

5. Level of government
Manifestation of politics can be seen in three levels of
government
Federal (national) government:
State (provincial) government
Local government
Every level of government has its own different focus,
problems and issues

3. TRANSMISSION OF POLITICS

Politics can be passed from one generation to another. It


is transmitted through the process known as political
socialization.( process of learning about politics) e.g.
political values, political belief, political culture, are
passed from one generation to another. The process
start through early age and continues throughout life.

Agencies of political socialization


1.

Family
It constitutes an important agent of political
socialization because it is where the children learn
about environment surrounding them. In addition,
it also can have long lasting implication in the
attitude and belief of the

2.

Educational Institution
Educational institution can effect political attitudes
of people. Many studied have proven there are
strong relationship between person formal
education and her political opinion/ attitudes. For
example, it is found that the college graduates are
more tolerant and open minded than high school
dropout.

3.

Employment
The same type of workers usually share same
opinion and attitude towards politics. The
influence of family and school tends to decrease as
soon as they enter working environments.
4.

Religious Institutions
Religious institutions play important role in
politics. People always talk about relevant issues
when they go to the mosque, church or attending
religious forum.

5.

Political Parties
Each political party will try to pass their mission
to their supporters by conducting talk, forum and
gathering. In this event, people usually can get a
sense of what is going on around them and make
up their mind on many issues

POLITICSINISLAM

The political vision of Islam can be derived from its concept of


God, man and the universe that are integrated and
inseparable from each other. The Quran provide guidelines
how man should lead a meaningful life in relation to
himself, society, and natural phenomena and in relation to
his creature.
Islam thus is a religion of complete integration and complete
way of life catering all aspects and institution of human
existence. It is a set of belief, integrated system of law, a
culture and therefore it provides a system of a system of
polity and a method of governance.

Islam is unique and cannot be compared with other system such as


democracy, autocracy, theocracy or secularism as understood by a
modern world. Although there are some similarities of modern
concepts in discussing functions of state, the authority, justice,
liberty, and sovereignty
Yet Quran concepts of these terms are absolutely different.
Politics as the arts of the government implies in Islam that
government should enjoy the goods and forbid what is evil in the
society, uphold justice and other values. The Quran condemns
anarchy and disorder and the prophet stressed the need for
organization and authority in the society.

Similarly Umar, the second caliph considered the organized society


is impossible without an imam and added that there will be no imam
without obedience. The rightly guided caliph and their companions
recognized the needs to implement the will of Allah. They held an
organic, holistic approach to life in which religion was intertwined
with politics, law and society.
If the politics is looked in the context of struggle for power, Islam
made it obligatory that Muslim should struggle for the unity and the
sovereignty of Allah. Quran stresses the believers to be united in the
leadership, to wrest for power for the righteous and to establish good
in place of evil. The perspective of power in Islam is not for
personal interest but as a means to establish justice in the society.

Aas a result, In Islam, politics cannot be separated from


religion. It sets the way for political action and behavior,
so it doesnt recognized any action or behavior beyond
the norm of Islam.
Tthus, the major concerns of politics in Islam include:
1. Strive to control state structure
2. Obtain power for righteous
3. Establish justice and to eliminate evil.
Islam has to be a central of all political activities and
action.