What is Politics? The definition of politics is a matter which experts have discussed in great detail, never coming to any definite conclusions. The answer to this question is, therefore, a matter of opinion. David Easton, Professor of Political Science at the University of California Irvine, describes the idea of politics as ‘the authoritative allocation of values’. It is argued that the government (the authority) distributes (the allocation) money for welfare spending (the values). However, this view of politics, it could be said, is only relevant in certain circumstances. On the other hand, Harold Loswell uses the latin idea of qui bono to describe what is meant by politics. It is simply ‘who gets what, when and how’. For example the elderly (who) are eligible for Social Security benefits (what) when they retire (when) and they receive these benefits by going to their local post offices (how). This is again Politics. Although again, when looking at a different type of politics, such as a war,
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PPE PPE taught by Professor None during the Summer '08 term at Oxford University.