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What is politics?
What is politics?

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1 Politics: the extraordinary and the ordinary

As you are obviously interested in studying politics, you probably already have a sense that politics is important. You may also have developed some ideas of what politics is all about.

Activity 1

Timing: About 5 minutes

Jot down your preliminary thoughts on what politics is and why it is important.

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Keep these thoughts in mind as you progress through the material in this course. See how they compare with the different definitions of politics and the variety of views you will encounter on why politics is important. You’ll have a chance to revisit and review your thoughts at the end of the course.

Let’s begin by considering the importance of politics. First we’ll look at the ‘extraordinary’ face of politics, at some of the attention- and headline-grabbing global political events. We will then turn to the more ‘ordinary’ face of politics and consider the role politics plays in our everyday lives.