Politics in Minutes (2016)

Political concepts

Much of the study of politics concerns the ‘nuts and bolts’ of government, examining the way that states and communities are organized and governed in practice. But there is also a theoretical side to politics attempting to answer basic questions about the fundamental concepts underlying political thought. Political theory has its roots in the political philosophy of the ancient world. Classical Greek philosophers in particular examined notions such as justice, equality, freedom and authority. An understanding of these was recognized as crucial to the business of politics, and for determining the purpose of government and providing a rationale for possible structures of governance. Definitions of these fundamental concepts, however, have proved elusive. The various interpretations have given rise to a wide range of political opinions and systems of government. The field of political theory emerged to propose practical applications for this political philosophy offering different models of society and how it should be governed, as well as the things that government should concern itself with.