Definition of Politics:
Politics is the practice and theory of influencing people, governing societies, and making decisions for communities. It involves the establishment of laws, the distribution of resources, and the organization of power within a society. Politics encompasses the activities, actions, and policies used to gain and hold power in a government or to influence the governance of a community or country.

Origin of Politics:
The term “politics” originates from the Greek word “polis,” which referred to city-states in ancient Greece. The concept of politics emerged in these city-states as citizens engaged in collective decision-making and governance.

  • Ancient Greece: Politics in ancient Greece involved direct participation by citizens in decision-making processes. The Athenian democracy, one of the earliest examples of political organization, allowed citizens to participate directly in legislative and judicial matters.
  • Philosophical Foundations: Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle laid the foundations for political theory. Plato’s “Republic” and Aristotle’s “Politics” explored the nature of justice, governance, and the ideal state.

Evolution and Changes in Politics

Classical Period:

  • City-States to Empires: As societies grew, the scale of political organization expanded from city-states to larger empires. This shift required more complex administrative structures and centralized forms of governance.
  • Roman Republic and Empire: The Roman Republic introduced representative institutions like the Senate, which influenced the development of later political systems. The Roman Empire further centralized political power under emperors.

Medieval Period:

  • Feudalism: In medieval Europe, feudalism became the dominant political system. Power was decentralized, with local lords exercising control over their territories in exchange for military service to the king.
  • Church and State: The Catholic Church played a significant role in politics, influencing governance and law. The relationship between secular rulers and the Church was a central political issue.

Modern Period:

  • Nation-States: The concept of the modern nation-state emerged, characterized by centralized authority, defined territorial boundaries, and national identity.
  • Political Revolutions: The Enlightenment and subsequent political revolutions (e.g., American and French Revolutions) introduced ideas of democracy, individual rights, and separation of powers.
  • Industrialization and Capitalism: The Industrial Revolution transformed economies and societies, leading to new political ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, and nationalism.

Deviation and Contemporary Changes in Politics

From Direct to Representative Democracy:

  • Ancient Direct Democracy: Early political systems, like those in ancient Athens, involved direct participation by citizens. This form of democracy was feasible in small, homogenous societies.
  • Representative Democracy: As societies grew larger and more complex, direct participation became impractical. Representative democracy emerged, where elected officials make decisions on behalf of the people.

Rise of Political Parties:

  • Early Politics: Initially, politics was often a personal affair, dominated by influential individuals or families.
  • Political Parties: The rise of political parties provided a way to organize and mobilize voters around shared ideologies and policy goals. Parties became essential in structuring political debate and competition.

Media and Technology:

  • Traditional Media: Historically, political information was disseminated through print media, public speeches, and face-to-face communication.
  • Digital Age: The advent of the internet and social media has dramatically changed political communication. Politicians can now reach a global audience instantly, and information (or misinformation) spreads rapidly. This shift has increased polarization and changed how political campaigns are conducted.


  • Local to Global: Political issues increasingly transcend national boundaries, requiring international cooperation and governance. Issues like climate change, global trade, and immigration demand coordinated political responses.
  • Supranational Organizations: Institutions like the United Nations and the European Union reflect the need for political structures that operate beyond the nation-state level.

Public Participation and Activism:

  • Historical Activism: Public participation in politics has evolved from traditional methods like voting and protests to more diverse forms of activism.
  • Modern Movements: Social movements and grassroots activism have gained prominence, often facilitated by digital communication tools. Movements like Black Lives Matter and climate activism show how public participation can drive political change.


Politics has evolved significantly from its origins in ancient Greek city-states to the complex global systems of governance we see today. Initially centered around direct citizen participation, politics transitioned to representative democracy as societies expanded. The rise of political parties, advancements in media and technology, globalization, and increased public activism have all contributed to the changing landscape of politics. Understanding this evolution helps us appreciate the dynamic nature of political systems and the ongoing challenges in achieving effective governance in a rapidly changing world.