Politics is one of the most interesting branches of study. It has fascinated millions of historians, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and others for over two centuries. Politics is the group of political actions that are performed between people, including government representatives or governing bodies, in order to obtain status or a variety of benefits, or to prevent the loss of such benefits. The field of politics is also known as social science because of its focus on social interaction and analysis. Many think that politics is not only the making of laws that regulate our society; it is also the study of politics in the broadest sense, from its origins up to the present day.
There are many concepts that scholars have used to describe politics. Political theory is one such concept, which attempts to explain politics by means of an analysis of societal relationships. Some political theories include liberal democracy, utilitarianism, socialism, and revisionist philosophies. One of the most influential political theories, which describes political movements and politics in the broadest sense, is called social science. It is a product of the rise of the scientific revolution in Europe in the 18th century. It is called, "social science" because it studies social phenomena using methods similar to the natural sciences.
Politics is inherently controversial; that is, there are times when political action becomes controversial, and when this becomes the focal point of the matter at hand. When this happens, debate and argument erupt into a full-blown political controversy. These are basically the same concepts that have been used throughout history to explain politics. However, there are some political concepts that have been challenged, and these can be seen in political debate. Controversy generally occurs when a public figure engages in some form of political debate with another public figure - usually a conservative, or a member of the ruling party.
Controversy arises in politics when there is a clash of public opinions over an issue. In essence, this means that when there is a clash of views, a public figure comes under fire from their colleagues in the opposition, and perhaps the opposition itself. When this happens, politics turns into a battle field. Sometimes, there are battles over basic ideas, but more often than not, it's about one person versus another, or at the very least, two people versus one another. Controversy is at the core of politics.
There are essentially two different types of politics, American politics and international relations. International relations is what most of us imagine when we hear the term, and it involves how a country maintains, promotes its interests around the world. American politics on the other hand, involves more intangible aspects, since it involves how a country relates to its neighbors, as well as how it relates to the rest of the world. Basically, American political methodology revolves around economic, technological, and social issues.
American politics has generally been a product of American demographics, which means that the political events of the twenty-first century will continue to be determined by how America's population changes over time. This is why American politics is essentially contested, because no party has a clear majority in the House or the Senate. In the last few decades, the Democrats have enjoyed a steady growth in the House, while the Republicans have suffered a much steeper drop. In addition, there are many holdouts in either party's base, forming a vacuum in which the party with the majority is unable to govern effectively. As such, politics will continue to be highly partisan, with policies getting voted down in committees, and the party that does have the majority doing so with little to no support from the opposition. As such, we can expect that regardless of which party holds the White House, there will be a significant amount of controversy over the direction of American politics for the next several years.
The other major topic of discussion over the coming years will be American foreign policy, and whether the United States will follow a containment policy or engage in regime change in the Middle East. Both George W. Bush and Obama have made it clear that they want to increase American influence around the world, but the issue of American empire and what it means for the future of the twenty-first century will also come to the fore. These two events will likely have an effect on American politics beyond the events of the presidential election. For example, the emerging Asia-Pacific cooperation might create a political vacuum if the United States withdraws its attention from the region, and this in turn might push the United States towards a more isolationist approach to foreign affairs in the future.
Comparative political theory was developed in order to provide a detailed understanding of how various political institutions in the world work, and how they affect politics. Unlike political theory, however, comparative political theory relies on the use of complex statistical analysis to provide its analysis. As such, it provides us with a more detailed view of how politics work within the international arena than can be found in political science textbooks. As such, it is not only essential reading for students of international relations, but also for people who are interested in learning how various institutions interact with each other and how politics impacts them all.