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What is politics?
What is politics?

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What is politics?


This course 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 and 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 – is hotly debated and highly contested. This course will introduce you to some of these debates, and their implications for the study and practice of politics. It will also explore a second, perhaps equally crucial question: Why is politics important?

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course DD211 Understanding politics: ideas and institutions in the modern world [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .