Politics, in its broadest sense, is the activity through which people make, preserve and amend the general rules under which they live. Although politics is also an academic subject (sometimes indicated by the use of ‘Politics’ with a capital P), it is then clearly the study of this activity. Politics is thus inextricably linked to the phenomena of conflict and cooperation. On the one hand, the existence of rival opinions, different wants, competing needs and opposing interests guarantees disagreement about the rules under which people live. On the other hand, people recognize that, in order to influence these rules or ensure that they are upheld, they must work with others — hence Hannah Arendt’s definition of polit ical power as ‘acting in concert’. This is why the heart of politics is often portrayed as a process of conflict resolution, in which rival views or competing interests are reconciled with one another. However, politics in this broad sense is better thought of as a search for conflict resolution than as its achievement, as not all conflicts are, or can be, resolved.
‘Politics is not a science . . . but an art’, Chancellor Bismarck is reputed to have told the German Reichstag. The art Bismarck had in mind was the art of government, the exercise of control within society through the making and enforcement of collective decisions. This is perhaps the classical definition of politics, developed from the original meaning of the term in Ancient Greece. However , Aristotle declared that ‘man is by nature a political animal’, by which he meant that it is only within a political community that human beings can live the ‘good life’. From this viewpoint, then, politics is an ethical activity concerned with creating a ‘just society’; it is what Aristotle called the ‘master science’ and in the same length , Adrian Leftwich proclaimed in What is Politics? The Activity and Its Study (2004), ‘politics is at the heart of all collective social activity, formal and informal, public and private, in all human groups, institutions and societies’. In this sense, politics takes place at every level of social interaction; it can be found within families and amongst small groups of friends just as much as amongst nations and on the global stage.
Post Covid , the definition of Politics is changing fast . Today the World is witnessing a global medical emergency caused by a virus which, we have still do not fully understood . A self-inflicted economic catastrophe as a necessary policy response to contain its spread. The happy embrace of disinformation and misinformation about the virus (1), the rise of digital behavior such as remote working and learning, telemedicine, and delivery services. Other structural changes may also accelerate, including regionalization of supply chains and a further explosion of cross-border data flows.
The future of work has arrived faster, along with its challenges — many of them potentially multiplied — such as income polarization, worker vulnerability, more gig work, and the need for workers to adapt to occupational transitions. This acceleration is the result not only of technological advances but also of new considerations for health and safety, and economies and labor markets will take time to recover and will likely emerge changed.
With the amplification of these trends, the realities of this crisis have triggered reconsideration of several beliefs, with possible effects on long-term choices for the economy and society. These effects range from attitudes about efficiency versus resilience, the future of capitalism, densification of economic activity and living, industrial policy, our approach to problems that affect us all and call for global and collective action — such as pandemics and climate change — to the role of government and institutions.
Over the past two decades, in advanced economies, responsibility has generally shifted from institutions to individuals. Yet health systems are being tested and often found wanting, while benefits from paid sick leave to universal basic income are getting a second look. There is potential for a long-term shift in how institutions support people, through safety nets and a more inclusive social contract.
As history has shown, choices made during crises can shape the world for decades to come.(2)Public debt will balloon, creating financial challenges around the world. (3)
“Coronavirus has accelerated three of the key geopolitical trends that will shape our next world order… which will await us on the other side of this pandemic.
The first trend is deglobalization; the logistic difficulties brought to light by the current crisis are already pointing to a shift away from global just-in-time supply chains. Yet as economic difficulties mount, the inevitable growth of nationalism and “my nation first” politics will push companies to localize business operations that favor national and regional supply chains.
The third trend, China’s geopolitical rise, has been more than three decades in the making. But while China has successfully transformed itself into an economic and technological superpower, no one expected it to become a “soft power” superpower. This crisis can change that, if China’s crisis diplomacy continues and the perception endures that Beijing has been far more effective than the rest of the world in its response to the outbreak.”5
A wind of slow but steady dictatorship is blowing over democracy .Most surprisingly Covid , has shown Governments playing bigger role of insurer ,investor and perhaps that of invaders to personal liberty with draconian acts which resembles the carrot and stick policy ,instead of pluralistic participation This will invariably be highly counterproductive in coming days, as concentration of power at National Level will be meaningless at the Global arena , as all Nations will be optionless but to look at China for survival and growth
1Daniel Susskind- fellow in economics at Balliol College, Oxford University, and author of A World Without Work (Allen Lane, 2020).
2James Manyika- chairman and director of the McKinsey Global Institute.
3Sergio Rebelo-professor of international finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
4 ibid 3
5 Ian Bremmer-president and founder of Eurasia Group.