Understanding the Political World
According to Magstadt, order refers to the rules, structures, practices, rituals and procedures, which make up a political system in a society. Order in every society gives people equality and liberty, which ensure that people live in harmony amongst themselves. More so, order ensures that political institutions strive to provide their residents with security, and rule of law. In simple terms, order gives political system authority to ensure that every society has security as people obey and respect set authorities (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
A nation-state is a geographical region that is governed by a government. This state is independent from other states and its citizens share a common language. For instance, UK is a nation-state and her citizens share a common language that defines them as citizens of this state. The government ensures that its borders are secure and that the sovereignty of their state is not violated (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Power is the ability to run people or things in a political system. It may also entail influencing the behavior of people or institutions either through coercion or through persuasion. For instance, when a president assumes power, he or she has the ability to influence people and thing since he has ultimate power. Political power is the best form of power in a society since the bearer of the power can use his or her position to spread personal agenda. For instance, political leaders have power to pass rules, which they believe are for the best of the society. All sovereign states have powers to make rules, and laws that govern their people as well as, establish positive relationships with other states. Power is a key component in the study of politics in every society. For instance, America is the most powerful nation in the world and president Obama is the most powerful man on the universe because his position, and nation gives him remarkable power. In simple terms, power is the currency used in politics (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Justice refers to the fairness in the allocation of burdens and reward in a society in relation to what is deserved. For instance, in every society there are rules and laws that are put place to ensure that there is harmony. These rules are often made by a few people and imposed on the greater multitude. If the set rules are in favor of people and will bring positive public interest and development, these rules are able to bring justice. Justice is critical in any society or state because it ensures that people live in harmony and in fairness. All people have legal and civil rights granted by the political system. Although justice is core in every society, often times governments object to questions about justice especially when government ruling is criticized. Therefore, for justice to be achieved, rules should always ensure to be fair and abide by the set rules and order in their societies (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Order, power, justice and nation-state place a critical role in the creation of society, maintenance and decay. Order is the set of rules, practice and procedures that a political system must adhere to in order to ensure that there are proper governance and harmony. With rules and practice, people are able to create societies, and states that are sovereign and create stable nations. Creation means the ability to found societies or states that are governed by some set of rules and have a common interest and value (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Maintenance refers to upholding the set society or state with the rationale of making that civilization stand strong and resist any internal or external interference. When people in a nation-state abide by law, they ensure that their society and state is created and maintained. For instance, if people abide by laws, and their government embrace justice, then they are able found independent state whose people have rights and liberties. America is a founded state-nations and the observance of order, justice and power have helped the American people maintain their sovereignty for many year, and become the most powerful nations on earth (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984). Decay refers to the situation whereby a nation fails and it disintegrate from bad to worse because the element of power, justice and order have not been followed accordingly. Without order, and justice, power can be violated leading to havoc and tension like in Somalia, where terror groups have assumed political governance (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Power as the currency used in politics can help nation states ensure that their independency is upheld and that other states respect the legitimacy of that state. Rules and law ensure that people within a society or state abide by the set rules or risk being punished for violating order. The maintenance of a society of nation -state is therefore achieved by the presence of rules, practices, and laws in that political system (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Nonetheless, these components can be lead to decay if power, order and justice are misused by some few people who think that they are invisible or above the law. For instance, if some rulers use their position to benefit themselves and become corrupt, the society or state risks falling into decay. This eventually leads to stateless nations where all many factions want to seize power and control the people. For instance, DRC Congo and Somalia have had so many fighting as rebel groups try to capture power and govern the people. These are good example of decay that occurs as a result of wrong use of power, order and justice. Therefore, for creation and maintenance to be achieved, it is critical that every political system ensure that these components are observed accordingly to guarantee harmony and nation state (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Normative approach is associated with Immanuel Kant and it emphasizes on the intentional behavior of people bases on principles, values and reasons to be against some impulse. This theory stresses on what should have happed or what ought to happen and not that is happening. This approach introduces the aspect of standard and norm in political study with the intent to appraise values. This means that before a country go to war with another sovereign state, normative approach will try to introduce possible causes of war, and how this might affect people. For instance, normative approach will try to establish whether the art of war will distort peace and whether war itself is justifiable (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
On the other hand, behaviorism (positivist) is an approach that emphasizes observation and it express problems on the measurable variables. A behaviorist applies quantitative examination to understand the motive behind every action taken by people. For example, how voters vote and why a particular election turn out in a particular manner. Basically, behaviorism relies on statistic facts in why people behave in a particular way; what is the motive behind the actions people do (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
A normative approach in the study of political science aims at ensuring that a moral duty behind every decision that is taken. For instance, if a person does something that might trigger violence, this approach first seeks to analyses the nature of that person to understand why he or she engages in some actions. Is the nature of a person irrational or rational? More so, this theory also aims at understanding whether gender difference affect how people behave. By asking these questions, normative approach seeks to understand the problem and possible effects this might arise. For instance, after America was hit by terrorist, was it necessary to attack Iraq? Political scientists using this approach often rely on history, law and other treaties to understand what ought to happen (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
However, behaviorism approach believes only in measurable facts. For instance, during voting, why do people vote for some leaders or why some political parties win over others? In 2007, Kenya resulted to a bloody post election violence that left many displaced and others killed. The fact behind this political outburst was the alleged rigging on the government. The motive behind the Kenyan voters objecting to the 2007 election results was the rigging facts and election malpractice. Therefore, behaviorism bases its rationale of measurable variable and facts, which explain why; people react in a different manner in the political world (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
People study politics to understand why people behave differently in a political world. By understanding politics, people are able to understand the interaction between people, state, government, public policy and affairs. Political science helps a person understand these dynamic forces (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
More so, political science help a person understand values and interests in a society. For instance, if there are new laws and policies being discussed, political science helps people understand the magnitude of such laws through public debates in the media and social media. If there is a new law, people will understand its basis when politician and political scientist discuss the law. Understanding various interest group, age and ethnic group helps in learning more about civic education (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Another reason why people study politics is to understand government and other institutions and how it works. For example, political science helps a person understand the constitution of the land, how political parties organize and are run, and the general political behavior of a nation and her people. Every nation has different politics and it is critical for people to understand their own political structures, and the difference they posses compared to other nations. Understanding domestic politics and institutions helps a person become a better law abiding citizen and what rights a person has in reference to the constitution. For example, in America all people have legal rights even the criminals because the constitutions give people liberties and rights. When a person knows the law, he cannot be intimidated by law officers if he is innocent. People who know the politic of their nations are able to conduct businesses in relation to the set law and avoid breaking the law (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
One of the benefits of studying politics is that a person becomes informed. Information is power and people who study politics knows the laws of their country, as well as, other nations. Politics help people understand the interaction between public interest, power, order, and justice. It is hard to violate the rights of a person who know the politics of his nation because he or she knows the law and political proceedings (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Another benefit of studying politics is to understand how other nations operate and why they have different political structures. By studying politics, a person gain knowledge on international relations, and how people solve problems. Problem solving skills is beneficial in any career because employers seek to hire people who can go beyond listing a problem, but finding a solution as well (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Political science can be divided into political theory, political economy, international relations, comparative politics, public policy, US government and politics and public administration. Political theory aims at answering questions about predictable patterns, logic and experience behind political actors. It is essential to understand that there is an interaction between politics and ethic, which help people to be open- minded in relation to political ideologies and views on the cons and pros. In every state or society there are always opposing forces where some people believe in some ideologies and policies while others object. Political theory help people to be more cautious about moral issues in the political scene. This entails political rational choices that people make as a result of their emotion and behavior. The field of political theory helps people to understand politics in relation to political realism (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Political economy is the study of politics in relation to politics, economy and law. This is in reference to how organization develops in various economic and social systems such as communism, socialism and capitalism. In simple, this political science field analyzes the creation and implementation of public policy (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
International relations is the field that studies relationships between nations, and the roles inter-government organization, (IGO), non-government, (NGO), international non-government (INGO), and multinational corporation (MNC) (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984). This entails foreign diplomacy and how nations relate to each other and have harmonious relationship for growth and development.
Public policy is the field that seeks to study structures, institutions and organization. Public policy field focuses on the explanation and analysis of how government and non-government response in relation to public problems. This study explains how organizations and institutions, and the public interact on several governance structures in creating policies (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Public administration is the study of organization activities, the conduct of government and other administrative agencies. Public administration is also the study on how political institution and other bureaucracies interact. More so, this is the study of legal and political context of administration on how governance and organization structures affect the proceedings of government. It is essential to note that public administration field is embedded in American politics (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
American politics is the study of US government and politics. This study covers national institutions, national politics and political behavior. The most common American institutions are the courts, presidency, and the congress. These institutions are within the American constitutions, which gives them power to govern, make, and implement laws. All American institutions interact amongst themselves. For instance, the presidency, statutory, Congress, administrative law, constitutional and other extra-constitutional institutions like political parties (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
Comparative politics is the study that evaluates and contrast political systems and governments. The essence of comparative politics is to compare political traditions, economic various stages of development, and foreign policies with the rationale of creating meaning overviews. Political systems share some characteristic such as voting behavior, terrorism and political instability. This study helps students understand various political structures in relation to similarities and differences and how various political structures operate (Magstadt & Schotten, 1984).
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