Originally, “politics” comes from Ancient Greece, i.e. “polis, the city-state”. Politics is therefore “what concerns the state”.
The New Collins Concise English Dictionary defines politics as
Ø the art and science of directing and administrating states and other political units;
Ø any activity concerned with the acquisition of power.
So, politics is the activity through which people make, preserve and amend the general rules under they live. On the other hand, people recognize that in order to influence these rules or ensure that they are upheld, they must work with others. This is why politics is often portrayed as a process of conflict resolution. There are some other more specific definitions which can be broken into four categories:
a) politics as the art of government;
b) politics as public affairs;
c) politics as compromise;
d) politics as power.
4. Read the following quotations, try to match the quotation with one of the four categories of the definition of politics mentioned above.
1. “Politics is the most concentrated form of economics” Vladimir Lenin
2. “Politics is not a science … but an art” Chancellor Bismark
3. “Politics is the activity by which different interests within a given unit of rule are conciliated by giving them a share in power in proportion to their importance to the welfare and the survival of the whole community” Bernard Crick
4. “It is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal” Aristotle
(“Politics Review” volume 11, number 2, November 2001)
Appendix 6 offers additional tips about news telling.
A. working out your vocabulary
Practice reading and pronouncing the suggested active vocabulary.
the art and science of administrating states and other political units
political, financial, social, etc. force or influence; a prerogative, privilege or liberty
the quality or state of being free, esp. to enjoy political and civil liberties
any claim, title, etc. , that is morally just or legally granted allowable or due to a person
to place or settle (power, rights)
a subdivision or subsidiary section of something larger or more complex
to make or pass laws
to carry out, complete; to perform, accomplish, effect
to hear and decide upon (a case of law); to pass judgment on
to carry out; to put into action
to make into an act or statute; to establish by law, decree
to form, to compose; to give legal form to
B. LANGUAGE FOCUS
5. Match the words into synonymous pairs.
be responsible to
be accountable to
carry out, enforce
6. Complete the word-building word chart.
w Completing a factsheet
POLITICAL SYSTEMS: BELARUS, the UK, the USA
7. _ What do you know about political systems of Belarus, Britain and USA?
In groups match the words, which describe three political systems with the state, compare your answers:
the President Indirect democracy the Congress the House of Representatives
the Council of the Republic Congressmen/women/people/person Constitutional Court
Secretaries (never Ministers) Courts: the Supreme Court, Federal courts
Justice the Queen the National Assembly
the House of Commons the Council of Ministers the House of Lords
the Cabinet (Administration) Deputies Ministers and Secretaries
the Government Constitutional Court the President + Vice President
the House of Parliament Constitutional monarchy the Senate
Senators Ministers (never secretaries) the Prime Minister Departments and offices Courts
x READING FOR FILLING IN TEXT CHARTS ON POLITICAL SYSTEMS
POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF BELARUS, THE UK AND THE USA
8. In case you are not sure about the task above, and read the texts about the Political Systems of Belarus, the UK and the USA, filling in the charts, outlining three structures. Get ready to describe the political system of each country.