Politics, Theory And Policing
Politics is a broad field of study that examines the institutions of politics and societal interaction. Politics is basically the arrangement of actions that are performed by powerful groups, including leaders, in response to changing conditions, such as those resulting from economic modernization or social changes. The field of politics is often viewed to include an ethical component. Politics, therefore, involves the practice of political behavior and is an attempt to understand political systems and institutions through the study of human actions and motivation. Politics is an important element in the study of society because it involves the allocation of scarce political resources.
There are two broad approaches to studying politics. The first is descriptive; that is, it attempts to discover politics’ effects on society by studying various aspects of politics in the context of particular societies. The second approach is interpretive; that is, it seeks to discover politics’ effects on society by studying the social relationships within a polity. One of the most influential practitioners of interpretive political sociology is Murray Rothman. His book, Human Political Parties, helped to develop the field of contemporary political sociology.
The focus of this book is on the relationship between politics and social policy-planning networks. Social policy-planning networks include groups like interest groups, civic organizations, and civic associations, as well as politicians and their supporters. Policy-planning networks emerged out of and connections among these groups. This book explores how these groups influenced each other’s decisions about politics and also how these connections relate to managerial power and the creation of political power.
Early in this book, we noted five broad categories of barriers to political participation. We identified three types: structural/institutional/identity barriers, institutional/identity barriers, and personal/identity barriers. Structural/institutional barriers include things like language, social awareness, education, representation, job qualities/abilities, and the like. Institutional/identity barriers include things like disability, ethnicity, or the like. Finally, personal/identity barriers include things like gender, ethnicity, nationality, and the like. These are described and suggested.
In the next chapter, we examine three examples of what we believe to be the major barriers to political participation. We will look at mass mobilization; party politics; national identity, national sentiment, and ethnicity; and political coalitions. Mass mobilization is described and offered examples of how people became politically active during major social policy crises. Party politics is looked at and then the relationship between parties and government officials is examined. National identity and national sentiment are discussed and then how these relate to government policies and the making of citizens.
The third chapter looks at the major theoretical contributions of political science and social science to politics. Comparative politics is discussed and then how this relates to politics. Alternative models of politics are also offered and then what they offer as alternatives to mainstream models are discussed. The focus is on issues that have been highlighted in introductory political science and social science texts.
This book is a very good primer on the political system and its institutions. It is also useful for those thinking about entering politics. It provides a clear account of the key themes and challenges facing contemporary political science and social science research. It is rich in case studies and methodology. It is designed to make the reader aware of the richness of research methods within the political science and sociology fields.
Political scientists, sociologists and other social scientists interested in politics have many things to gain from reading this book. It is written in an engaging and reader-friendly style. It uses three major theoretical frameworks: institutional, power/reign/ constituency, and participatory political science. It is comprehensive and very thorough. The student who is a political science major will benefit from having this book in their study of politics.