politics | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction

The term politics is used to describe the activities associated with government as well as the public debates surrounding these activities.

Politics is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of activities related to the governance of society. It can be defined as the art or science of government, with a focus on the decision-making process, the allocation of resources, and the exercise of power. Politics includes a variety of activities, such as running for office, campaigning, voting, lobbying, and making policy decisions.

At its core, politics is about the distribution of power in society. The government plays a significant role in this process by creating laws and regulations that shape the behavior of individuals and organizations. Political actors, such as elected officials and interest groups, use their power and influence to shape policy decisions and advocate for their interests. In addition, the media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and influencing political outcomes.

In many cases, politics can become contentious and divisive, particularly when there are significant disagreements over policy issues or the distribution of power. Partisan politics, for example, refers to political decision-making guided by party interests and ideology, which can lead to a lack of compromise and gridlock in the legislative process. This can make it difficult for the government to take action on important issues and address the needs of the public.

Politics also has a significant impact on the criminal justice system. The policies and laws created by government officials can have a direct impact on the criminal justice process, including the types of crimes that are prosecuted, the sentences that are imposed, and the resources allocated to law enforcement and the court system. Additionally, the appointment of judges and other officials can influence the outcomes of criminal cases.

Furthermore, the criminal justice system itself is often a highly politicized issue. Debates over criminal justice policy, such as the use of mandatory minimum sentences, the legalization of drugs, and the use of the death penalty, often reflect deeply held ideological beliefs and values. These debates can become contentious, and the outcomes can have significant consequences for individuals, communities, and society as a whole.


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Last Modified: 04/08/2023


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