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Politics is the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organised control over a human community, particularly a state. Furthermore, politics is the study or practice of the distribution of power and resources within a given community (this is usually a hierarchically organised population) as well as the interrelationship(s) between communities.
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A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting or forcing one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.
It is very often said that politics is about power. A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. History of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and the works of Confucius.
There are many forms of political organisation, including states, non-government organisations (NGOs) and international organisations such as the United Nations. States are perhaps the predominant institutional form of political governance, where a state is understood as an institution and a government is understood as the regime in power.
According to Aristotle, states are classified into monarchies, aristocracies, timocracies, democracies, oligarchies, and tyrannies. Due to changes across the history of politics, this classification has been abandoned. Generally speaking, no form of government could be considered the absolute best, as it would have to be the perfect form under all circumstances, for all people and in all ways. As an institution created by human nature to govern society, it is vulnerable to abuse by people for their own gain, no matter what form of government a state utilises, thus suggesting there is no 'best' form of government.
All states are varieties of a single organisational form, the sovereign state. All the great powers of the modern world rule on the principle of sovereignty. Sovereign power may be vested on an individual as in an autocratic government or it may be vested on a group as in a constitutional government. Constitutions are written documents that specify and limit the powers of the different branches of government. Although a constitution is a written document, there is also an unwritten constitution. The unwritten constitution is continually being written by the legislative branch of government; this is just one of those cases in which the nature of the circumstances determines the form of government that is most appropriate. England did set the fashion of written constitutions during the Civil War but after the Restoration abandoned them to be taken up later by the American Colonies after their emancipation and then France after the Revolution and the rest of Europe including the European colonies.
There are many forms of government. One form is a strong central government as in France and China. Another form is local government, such as the ancient divisions in England that are comparatively weaker but less bureaucratic. These two forms helped to shape the practice of federal government, first in Switzerland, then in the United States in 1776, in Canada in 1867 and in Germany in 1871 and in 1901, Australia. Federal states introduced the new principle of agreement or contract. Compared to a federation, a confederation has a more dispersed system of judicial power. In the American Civil War, the contention of the Confederate States that a State could secede from the Union was untenable because of the power enjoyed by the Federal government in the executive, legislative and judiciary branches.
According to professor A. V. Dicey in An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, the essential features of a federal constitution are: a) A written supreme constitution in order to prevent disputes between the jurisdictions of the Federal and State authorities; b) A distribution of power between the Federal and State governments and c) A Supreme Court vested with the power to interpret the Constitution and enforce the law of the land remaining independent of both the executive and legislative branches.