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Politics is a very emotive word and is used by different people to mean different things There is no unifying theory of politics and hence no set boundaries of what can and cannot be said to be political It is however the definition of politics that poses the greatest difficulty in the question because as McLean states the definition is highly perhaps essentially contested 1996 p388 This contested nature of politics is key in respect to the question because the conceptual model of assumptions and beliefs with which a person tackles politics will influence the interpretation of politics that they attain Hague et al 1992 p3 So for the purpose of this paper we will use two definition of politics The first one being politics as a means by which individuals and interest groups compete to shape governments impact on societys problems and goals The second one being Politics as a process by which a group of people whose opinions or interests might be divergent reach collective decisions that are generally regarded as binding on the group and enforced as common policy The word politics comes from the Greek word polis meaning the state or community as a whole The concept of the polis was an ideal state and came from the writings of great political thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle In his novel The Republic Plato describes the ideal state and the means to achieve it Hence the word politics originally has connotations in the ways in which to create the ideal society An ideal society is in practice a rather difficult aim and even an impossible aim to achieve Imperfections in society inspired Aristotle and Plato to compose the first written political philosophies In Aristotles The Politics he states that Man is by nature a political animal in other words it is a primal instinct of man Therefore in his statement Aristotle concludes politics is not a dreamt
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