This free course, What is politics?, introduces you to the world of politics. It is dedicated primarily to answering the question of what politics is. Although the question might seem rather simple, it elicits various, often contradictory responses. As you will realise, in politics as in much of the humanities and social sciences definitive answers are difficult to come by. What politics is and equally, who does it, and where it is done are hotly debated and highly contested. This OpenLearn course will introduce you to some of these debates, and their implications for the study and practice of politics.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
understand the competing interpretations of what politics is, who does it and where it is done
grasp the importance of politics and the variety of ways in which politics affects your everyday life
better understand the contestability of concepts in politics, and the implications of such contestability for the practice and study of politics.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
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Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These
materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
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