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Philip van Praag

Political Science And Changing Politics

Political Science And Changing Politics

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Politics is about conflict; struggle; decision-making; power and influence. But not every conflict and not every situation in which power is exercised is widely regarded as politics. A football coach who decides to leave a player on the bench because he has given him a bit of lip; is exerting power; and there is conflict here; too. However; few people would consider this a political issue. The same applies to a mother who quarrels with her adolescent daughter about going to a house party; a schoolteacher who gives a student detention; and so on. But if we were to limit our understanding of politics to official decisions that are taken by governments; in parliaments or on municipal councils; we would fail to recognise the political meaning of trade unions; lobbyists; protest groups; corporations and other more-or-less organised groups that influence collective decision-making.


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Amsterdam University Press


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