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(7,247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Hutter, Manfred | Schieder, Rolf | Thiemann, Ronald | Badry, Roswitha | Et al.
[German Version] I. Social Sciences Since its Greek origins, politics has meant (a) an action with a specific object, aiming to achieve the best way for all the inhabitants of the ancient city-state ( pólis) to live together and hence achieve the common good of the ¶ community ( koinón), and (b) the theory of this action (Sellin; see also Political science). Given that we no longer live in small urban societies but in large, open, and functionally complex societies (Society), politics includes – but cannot be limited to – the system of state governance that affords internal and external security. Today politics (including policy and polity) embraces all the processes of informed collective decision-making – concerning both the rules that determine the ongoing internal structure and external relationships of the collective and the specific plans and measures needed to implement them – whose outcome is authoritative and effective for the collective, its members, and the surrounding world. Politics comprises all processes of leadership, administration, organization, and governance of collectives (Ostrom). When agreement on the goals of the collective is possible, such processes presuppose social power, aim at preserving or increasing it, and bring about a specific allocation of that power within and between the collectives. The components of this power are the authority of people occupying functional positions or specially competent and respected individuals and the potential to call on superior physical force – or, in the best case, combinations of both components that allow the use of force to be minimized and eliminated. Politics in this sense is not limited to the state; it is present without exception in all activities, organizations, and institutions of society, for example in the form of “family politics,” “ecclesiastical politics,” “faculty politics” – all expressions denoting actions relevant to governance and control within such collectives. Expressions like “social policy,” “economic policy,” “cultural policy,” “foreign policy,” denote activities of governance on the part of the state affecting these particular functional areas of socie…


(6,537 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Hutter, Manfred | Schieder, Rolf | Thiemann, Ronald | Badry, Roswitha | Et al.
[English Version] I. Sozialwissenschaftlich Seit seinen griech. Anfängen bez. »P.« a) ein Handeln mit spezifischem Gegenstand, das auf die richtige Gestalt des Zusammenlebens aller in der antiken Stadtgesellschaft (»polis«) und insofern auf das Wohl des Gemeinwesens (»koinon«) aus ist, und b) die Theorie darüber (vgl. Sellin; s.a. Politikwissenschaft). P. schließt, unter Berücksichtigung, daß wir in großen, offenen, funktional ausdifferenzierten Gesellschaften leben (anstatt kleiner Stadtgesellschaften), das innere und äußere Sicherh…