Concept and nature of power
in society there has to be law and order, so that people can live peacefully with each other. politics resolves conflicts and priorites for policy action. governments are responsible for maintaining law and order. those in govrnemthave responsibility for organising society and making decisions exercise power over us. They have the ability to influence.
The concept of power is centralto any stufy of politics which is why some people would define politics as the struggle for power an influence or as the authority to govern.
what is politics? politics is about the theory and practice of governement. it concernsthe ways in which decisions are made about government, state and public affairs, where power lies, how governments and states work, and different theories and practices like democracy, equality, tyranny and violence.
importance of power in politics
notion of power is central to politics- enables the collective decisions of government ministers to be made and enforce.
power takes several forms: political, economi and military.
- organised religion has influence over the livers of those who attend some places of worship and over some of those who stay at home.
- schools exercise power not just in tyhe classroom
- mass media also exercise power having the ability to set the agenda for what we whink and what we think about.
power tends to be concentrated in relatively few hands and at national level
difference between power and authority
- power is the ability to get things done if necessary involving making others do what they would not do by free choice. means of persuasion
- authority is the ability of governments and individuals to direct others and achieve their goals because the mass of people accept that it is their right to tell them what to do. broader concept than power. authority imples that others will obey without force having to be used.
influence is the persuasive effect of one person or body on the actions and ideas of another. this influence aor sway may result from factors such as ability position or wealth.
mandate the authoirty of the government to carry out its programme according to the promises it advanced in its election manifesto.
Power and the state
The UK is a state -an independant entity whose main institutions include the executive(branch of government responsible for directing the nations affairs and initation and execution of laws and policies),the legislature (a type of representative assembly with the power to make and adopt laws), the judiciary (the branch of government responsible for interpreting and applying the laws in particular cases), and the bodies enforcing the law such as police, courts, secret service and armed forces. Exercises sovergin power (full legal power) and authority over all individuals and groups within a defined territory. an abstract and permanent body which does not change when a new gov is elected