politicized | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction

Politicized means causing something to become political in character.

Politicized refers to the process by which a previously neutral or apolitical issue, person, or entity becomes the subject of political debate or controversy. This can occur in a variety of contexts, including social, economic, and legal issues.

In many cases, politicization occurs when issues that were previously viewed as personal or private matters become the subject of public discourse and political action. For example, issues related to reproductive rights, sexual orientation, and religious freedom have become highly politicized in many countries, with political parties and interest groups taking strong positions on these issues.

Politicization can also occur in the context of government institutions, such as law enforcement agencies, the military, and the judiciary. When these institutions are perceived as biased or partisan, they can lose public trust and become the subject of political controversy. This can have serious consequences for the functioning of government and the rule of law.

In the criminal justice system, politicization can have a significant impact on the administration of justice. When criminal justice policies and practices become politicized, the focus can shift from the pursuit of justice to the pursuit of political objectives. For example, when law enforcement agencies are pressured to focus on certain types of crimes or to adopt certain policing tactics for political reasons, this can lead to an imbalance in the criminal justice system and undermine public trust.

Similarly, when judges and prosecutors are perceived as partisan or influenced by political considerations, this can erode public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the criminal justice system. This can make it more difficult for the justice system to function effectively and can lead to increased levels of crime and social unrest.

Overall, the politicization of issues, institutions, and policies can have far-reaching consequences for society. It can lead to a breakdown in public trust, undermine democratic institutions, and make it more difficult for governments to address pressing social and economic problems. Therefore, it is important for policymakers, advocates, and citizens to be vigilant against the politicization of important issues and to work toward solutions that are based on evidence, reason, and a commitment to the public good.

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Last Modified: 04/08/2023


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