Politics<br />Politics is defined by different persons each having different ideas about it. There are following definitions of politics given by writers.<br /><ul><li>Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings.
It’s a social institution that distributes power, sets society’s goals, and makes decisions.
(John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul> The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs. It also refers to behavior within civil governments, but politics has been observed in other group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. It consists of "social relations involving authority or power “and refers to the regulation of public affairs within a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy. <br /> Political science<br /> Political science is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power, i.e. the ability to impose one's will on another.<br />History of Politics<br />V.G. Childe describes the transformation of human society that took place around 6000 BCE as an urban revolution. Among the features of this new type of civilization were the institutionalization of social stratification, non-agricultural specialized crafts (including priests and lawyers), taxation, and writing. All of which require densely populated settlements - cities. <br />The word "Politics" is derived from the Greek word for city-state, "Polis". Corporate, religious, academic and every other polity, especially those constrained by limited resources, contain dominance hierarchies and therefore politics. Politics is most often studied in relation to the administration governments. <br />The oldest form of government was tribal organization. Rule by elders was supplanted by monarchy and a system of Feudalism as an arrangement where a single family dominated the political affairs of a community. Monarchies have existed in one form or another for the past 5000 years of human history.<br /><ul><li>Hunting Societies:</li></ul>Political systems have changed over the courses of history. Technologically simple hunting and gathering societies were found over the planet, operated like large families without formal governments. Leadership generally fell to a man with unusual strength, hunting skills or personal charisma.<br /> (John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)<br /><ul><li>Agrarian Societies:</li></ul> Agrarian societies are larger with specialized jobs and material surplus. In these societies a small elite gains control of most of wealth and power, moving politics from the family to become social institution in its own rite.<br />This is the point in the history when leaders start to claim divine right to rule. Leaders may also benefit from rational –legal authority to the extent that their rule is supported by law.<br />As societies grow even bigger politics take the form of national government, or political state. Currently, the world has 192 independent states each with a some distinct political system.<br /> (John .J Macionis, Kenyon college)<br />Evolution of government in the European tradition<br />The Greeks were the first to develop democracy as a means of governance of the people, by the people. However, this democracy was limited to free, male, landholders. Nevertheless, it demonstrated the viability of government by the governed. <br />The Roman Republic is credited with significant innovation in types of government. It was an early example of a bicameral legislative system, which divided power between the patrician aristocracy and plebian general citizens. It also contained the beginnings of representative democracy, having various officers selected for fixed terms by popular election. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe reverted to feudal monarchy. The Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution each increased the availability of education and leisure to otherwise disenfranchised classes along with a desire to participate in governance. In the 18th century democracy re-emerged as politics by the people, for the people. In the 19th century Karl Marx believed the process of political progress would not be complete until after economic classes no longer existed and every person was the master of his own fate.<br /> (Wikipedia article) <br /> Issues of Politics<br />There are three main issues of politics these are:<br />Power is the ability to impose one's will on another. It implies a capacity for force, i.e. violence. <br /> (John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)<br />Power is a measure of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power, perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to humans as social beings. In the corporate environment, power is often expressed as upward or downward. With downward power, a company's superior influences subordinate. When a company exerts upward power, it is the subordinates who influence the decisions of the leader. Often, the study of power in a society is referred to as politics. The use of power need not involve coercion (force or the threat of force).<br />Authority is the power to enforce laws, to exact obedience, to command, to determine, or to judge. <br /> (John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)<br /> Authority, from the Latin word auctorial, means invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. Essentially authority is imposed by superiors upon inferiors either by force of arms (structural authority) or by force of argument (sapiential authority). Usually authority has components of both compulsion and persuasion. For this reason, as used in Roman law, authority is differentiated protests legal or military power and emporiums persuasive political rank or standing.<br />Authority is further divide into following categories these are:<br /><ul><li>Traditional authority
Power legitimized by respect for long established cultural patterns.
Rational legal authority:</li></ul> It is power legitimized by legally enacted rules and regulation also non as Bureaucratic authority.<br /><ul><li>Charismatic authority:
It is power legitimized by extra ordinary personal abilities that inspire devotion and obedience.
( John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>Legitimacy is an attribute of government gained through the application of power in accordance with recognized or accepted standards or principles. <br />The increase in cases of political corruption, the loss of politicians' credibility, the development of social and political forms of pathology (notably the rise of the extreme right along with exclusionist ideologies), and the role of the State have been at the center of political debates. In one way or another, these problems raise the question of the legitimacy of the established powers. The result is that legitimacy, a key notion of political thought in general, has today become a burning issue. Coicaud examines all these issues and proffers insightful answers to questions such as the connections between morality and politics, how rulers acquire or lose the right to govern, and how one can become the advocate of a theory of political justice that, while establishing limits, respects and even ensures the promotion of plurality within societies.<br /> (Jean-Marc Coicaud, United Nations University, Tokyo)<br />A government is the body that has the authority to make and enforce rules or laws. In the social sciences, the term government refers to the particular group of people, the administrative bureaucracy, who control a state at a given time, and the manner in which their governing organizations are structured.<br />Types of political system<br />There are four types of political system that are<br /><ul><li>Monarchy
“A monarchy is a form of government in which all political power is absolutely or nominally lodged with an individual, known as a monarch ("single ruler"), or king (male), queen (female)”.
(John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>Monarchy is commonly found in the ancient agrarian societies; the Bible tells great kings such as David and Solomon.<br />Historically, the notion of monarchy may emerge under different circumstances. It may grow out of tribal kingship, and the office of monarch (kings) becoming typically hereditary, resulting in successive dynasties or "houses", especially when the leader is wise and able enough to lead the tribal’s. It may also be a consequent emergence after an act of violence is committed upon local communities by an invading group, which usurps the communities' rights over their resources and then gradually releases such rights under controlled conditions. The leader of the usurping group often establishes himself as a monarch. A state of monarchy is said to result that reveals the relationships between resources, communities, monarch and his office. Even in antiquity, the strict hereditary succession could be tempered by systems of elective monarchy, where an assembly elects a new monarch out of a pool of eligible candidates. The concept has also been modernized and constitutional monarchies where the title of monarch remains mostly ceremonial, without or with very limited political power.<br />Currently, 44 nations in the world have monarchs as heads of state, 16 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. The historical form of absolute monarchy is retained only in Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland and Vatican City.<br />Democracy:<br /><ul><li>“Democracy is a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people, by consensus (consensus democracy), by direct referendum (direct democracy), or by means of elected representatives of the people.”
( John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>There are several varieties of democracy, some of which provide better representation and more freedoms for their citizens than others. However, if any democracy is not carefully legislated – through the use of balances – to avoid an uneven distribution of political power, such as the separation of powers, then a branch of the system of rule could accumulate power, thus become undemocratic.<br />The "majority rule" is often described as a characteristic feature of democracy, but without governmental or constitutional protections of individual liberties, it is possible for a minority of individuals to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority". An essential process in representative democracies is competitive elections that are fair both substantively and procedurally. Furthermore, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are essential so that citizens are informed and able to vote in their personal interests.]<br />Popular sovereignty is common but not a universal motivating subject for establishing a democracy. In some countries, democracy is based on the philosophical principle of equal rights. Many people use the term "democracy" as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include additional elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government.<br />In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a supporting attribute, but in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the dominant philosophy is parliamentary sovereignty (though in practice judicial independence is generally maintained). In other cases, "democracy" is used to mean direct democracy. Though the term "democracy" is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organizations and other groups also.<br />Authoritarianism:<br /><ul><li>“It’s a political system that denies the people participation in government”.
( John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is opposed to individualism and democracy. In politics, an authoritarian government is one in which political power is concentrated in a leader or leaders, typically unelected by the people, who possess exclusive, unaccountable, and arbitrary power. The absolute monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are authoritarian, as is the military junta in Ethiopia. Usually people resist heavy handed government but not always, the thinking globally works looks at the soft authoritarianism that thrives in the small Asian nation of Singapore. <br />Totalitarianism:<br /><ul><li>“A highly centralized political system that extensively regulates people’s lives.”
( John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>Totalitarianism emerged in the twentieth century as technological advances gave governments the ability to rigidly control their populations.<br />Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the control of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarianism is generally characterized by the coincidence of authoritarianism (where ordinary citizens have less significant share in state decision-making) and ideology (a pervasive scheme of values promulgated by institutional means to direct most if not all aspects of public and private life).<br />Totalitarian regimes or movements stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism.<br />For example Vietnamese closely monitors the activities of just visitors but all its citizens .similarly, the government of north Korea uses surveillance equipment and powerful computers to control its people by collecting and storing information about them. <br /> <br /> Political spectrum<br />Political spectrum ranges from liberal on the left to extremely conservative on the right.<br /><ul><li> (John .J Macionis, Kenyon College)</li></ul>A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions.<br />Most long-standing spectra include a right wing and left wing, which originally referred to seating arrangements in the 18th century French parliament. According to the simplest left-right axis, communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, opposite fascism and conservatism on the right. Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right.<br />However, researchers have frequently noted that a single left-right axis is insufficient in describing the existing variation in political beliefs, and often include other axes. Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary, often in popular biaxial spectra the axes are split between cultural issues and economic issues, each scaling from some form of individualism (or government for the freedom of the individual) to some form of communitarians (or government for the welfare of the community). In this context, the left is often considered individualist (or libertarian) on social/cultural issues and communitarian (or populist) on economic issues, while the right is often considered communitarian (or populist) on social/cultural issues and individualist (or libertarian) on economic issues. The political spectrum helps us understanding two types of issues.<br />Economic issues <br />Social issues<br />Economic issues:<br /> It focuses on economic inequality. Economic liberals support both extensive government regulations of the economy and a larger welfare state in order to reduce income inequality, the government can reduce inequality by taxing the rich more heavily and providing more benefits to the poor. Economics conservatives want to limit the hand of government in the economy and allow market forces more freedom, claiming that this produces more jobs and makes the economy more productive.<br />Social issues:<br />Social Issues are matters which directly or indirectly affect a person or many members of a society and are considered to be problems, controversies related to moral values, or both. Under certain models of political issues, they are seen as distinct from economic issues. Some of the major social issues include:<br />Abortion <br />Age of consent <br />Ageism <br />Affirmative action <br />Assimilation <br />Bullying <br />Capital punishment <br />Civil rights <br />Corporal punishment <br />Crime <br />Disability rights <br />Discrimination <br />Divorce <br />Drug laws <br />Education and school leaving age <br />Family values <br />Social liberals support equal rights and opportunities for all categories of people, view abortion as a matter of individual choice, and oppose the death penalty because it has been unfairly applied to minorities. The family values agenda of social conservative supports traditional gander roles and opposes gay marriages, affirmative actions, and other special programs for minorities. Social conservative condemn abortion as morally wrong and support the death penalty.<br /> Special interest groups<br />A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a community with an interest in advancing a specific area of knowledge, learning or technology where members cooperate to effect or to produce solutions within their particular field, and may communicate, meet, and organize conferences. They may at times also advocate or lobby on a particular issue or on a range of issues but are generally distinct from Advocacy groups and pressure groups which are normally set up for the specific political aim; the distinction is not firm however and some organizations can adapt and change their focus over time.<br />Pakistan has a number of think tanks which mainly revolve around Internal Politics, Foreign Security Issues, and Regional Geo-Politics. Most of these are centered on the capital, Islamabad, and have been founded by former Military and Intelligence Personnel.<br />Other think tanks concern religion and how its influence could grow in an otherwise unreligious country. These are centered throughout the country and work under the umbrella of the mammoth Jamaat-e-Islami with headquarters in Lahore and have immense global influence, reach and regard among Muslims.<br />There are several other think tanks as well, such as those concerning the state of education in the country which holds many former or present educationists. There are also think tanks concerning human rights, women rights, labour rights, justice, city development, heritage protection and environmental protection, all headed by the country's urban dwelling, and educated elite living, most of who have studied and/or worked abroad. Most are known to the general public through seminars and newspaper articles, or conducting workshops and lectures at colleges and universities.<br />Theoretical Analysis of power in society<br />Power is very difficult topic to study because decision making is complex and open takes [place behind closed doors. Despite these difficulties researchers have developed three competing models of power in United States:<br />The pluralist model (the people rule).<br />“An analysis of politics that sees power as spread among many competing interest groups”.<br />Pluralists claim first that policies are an arena of negotiation. With limited resources no organization can expect to realize al its goals. Organization therefore operates as veto groups realizing some success but mostly keeping opponents from achieving all their ends. Pluralists see power as spread widely throughout society, with all people having at least some voice in the political system.<br /> (Dahl, 1961, 1982; Rothman &Black, 1998)<br />The power elite model (few people rule):<br />“An analysis of politics that sees power as concentrated among the rich”. <br />The term power elite was coined by C.Wright Mills 1956 who argued that a small upper class holds most of the society’s wealth, prestige and power.<br />Power elite theorists say that the United State is not a democracy because the concentration of wealth and power is simply too great for the average persons voice to be heard. They reject the pluralist idea that various centers of power serve as checks and balances on one another. From the point of view those at the top are power full enough that they face no real opposition.<br /> (Bartlett &Steele, 2000; Mooreet al; 2002)<br />The Marxist model( the system is biased):<br />“It is an analysis that explains politics in term of the operation of a society economic system”. <br />Like a power elite model, the Marxist model rejects the idea that the United State operates as a political democracy. But the power elite focus on just the enormous wealth and power of certain individuals. The Marxist model goes further and sees biased rooted in this nations institutions’ specially its economy.<br /> <br /> Power beyond the rules<br />In politics there is always disagreement over society goals and the means to achieve them.<br />A political system tries to resolve these controversies within a system of rules but political activity breaks the rules or tries to do away with the entire system.<br /> Revolution <br />It is the over throw of one political system in order to establish another.<br />Reform involves change within system, through modification of the law or in the extreme case a stroke of the state in which one leader topples another. <br />Terrorism:<br />Acts of violence or the threat of violence used as a political strategy by an individual or a group. Like revolution terrorism is a political act beyond the rules of established political systems. According to Paul Johnson terrorism has four distinguishing characteristics:<br />First terrorists try to paint violence as a legitimate political tactic, even though such acts are condemned by virtually every nation.<br />Second terrorism is used not just by groups but also by governments against their own people. Saddam Hussein, for example, relied on secretes police and state terror to protect his power in Iraq.<br />Democratic societies reject terrorism in principle but they give extensive liberties to their people and have less extensive police networks.<br />Forth and finally terrorism is always a matter of definition.<br />War:<br />“It is organized, armed conflict among the people of two or more nations, directed by their governments”.<br />War is as old as humanity but understanding it is crucial today because humanity now has weapons that can destroy the entire planet. For example war of United State against Iraq and Afghanistan, several men and women have been killed in armed conflicts. War of Pakistan and India 1965, and war of 1971 in which Pakistan loses its one part that declared on the map of world as Bangladesh.<br /> Politics in Pakistan<br />Politics of Pakistan has taken place in the framework of a federal republic, where the system of government has at times been parliamentary, presidential, or semi-presidential. In the current parliamentary system, the President of Pakistan is the largely-ceremonial head of state, the Prime Minister is head of government, and there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is largely vested in the Parliament.<br />The president of Pakistan, in keeping with the constitutional provision that the state religion is Islam, must be a Muslim. Elected for a five-year term by an Electoral College consisting of members of the Senate and National Assembly and members of the provincial assemblies, the president is eligible for reelection. But no individual may hold the office for more than two consecutive terms. The president may resign or be impeached and may be removed from office four incapacity or gross misconduct by a two-thirds vote of the members of the parliament. The president generally acts on the advice of the prime minister but has important residual powers.<br /> <br /> Different political stages in Pakistan<br />Pakistan came into being in 14 August 1947. From that till now following stages takes place.<br />Pakistan declared itself an Islamic republic on adoption of a constitution in 1956, but the civilian rule was stalled by the 1958 military coup d’état by Ayub Khan, who ruled during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965.<br />Economic grievances and political dissent in East Pakistan led to violent political tensions and army repression, escalating into civil war followed by the third war with India. <br />Pakistan's defeat in the war ultimately led to the secession of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.<br />Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, until he was deposed by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country's third military president. <br />Pakistan's secular policies were replaced by the Islamic Shariah legal code, which increased religious influences on the civil service and the military. <br />With the death of Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated power with Nawaz Sharif, as the country's political and economic situation worsened. <br />Military tensions in the Kargil conflict with India were followed by a 1999 coup d'état in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers. This occurred due to the defeat of Pakistan by India in Kargil and the economic hardship that followed after the Kargil conflict.<br />In 2001, Musharraf named himself President after the resignation of Rafiq Tarar.<br />In the 2002 Parliamentary Elections, Musharraf transferred executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was succeeded in the 2004 by Shaukat Aziz. <br />On 15 November 2007 the National Assembly completed its term and a caretaker government was appointed with the former Chairman of the Senate, Muhammad Mian Soomro as Prime Minister. <br />Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, that resulted in a series of important political developments, her husband Asif Ali Zardari was eventually elected as the new President in 2008.<br />