Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about political terminology, including established definitions and appropriate usage, and subjects directly related to it.

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What is meant by the "left" and the "right"?

When discussing political issues and parties, I often hear mention of a party being "left", "centre-left", "right" or "extreme right". In broad terms, what do these designations mean?
Graham Wager's user avatar
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47 votes
5 answers
270k views

What is the difference between liberalism and libertarianism?

According to wikipedia Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on the idea of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on ...
Fela's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
6k views

What specific political traits classify a political leader as a fascist?

Background Fascism does not have an easy clear cut definition. However, several figures throughout history are identified as unambiguously fascist, with Mussolini belonging to the original fascist ...
isakbob's user avatar
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39 votes
7 answers
15k views

What does “woke indoctrination” mean?

In the following CNBC article the author uses the term “woke” which Merriam Webster defines as a US slang adjective meaning “to be socially and politically aware”. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ...
Gio's user avatar
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11 votes
7 answers
8k views

Differences and Similarities Between a Democracy and a Republic

What are the key differences and similarities between republics and democracies? Here on politics.SE there are a fair number of questions like "Is X a Democracy?" or "Is Y a Republic?&...
indigochild's user avatar
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26 votes
4 answers
4k views

When and how did the term "liberal" acquire a leftist/socialist meaning in the US?

Some comments on another question show confusion over the definition of “liberal”: @Eva, still going to have the same problems. For example, what is the liberal position on economic ...
dan04's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
966 views

What is 'post truth', and why do I hear it all the time?

Some are pushing this idea that somehow there is something to the media environment, that does not allow for truth. The Oxford definition of it goes relating to or denoting circumstances in which ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Which countries (if any) does China characterize as its allies?

When discussing foreign policy, at least in English, many political leaders will mention the importance of working with their country's allies. A case in point would be the US and recent statements ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
629 views

What is gerrymandering?

What is gerrymandering? Is Adam Ruins Everything - Why Rigging Elections Is Completely Legal an accurate description of gerrymandering? What was the original idea behind it?
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116 votes
9 answers
20k views

Why is Trump dubbing COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" considered offensive, while many past epidemics have had similar naming schemes?

To preface this, I'm not a supporter of Trump, but I disagree with the way some major media outlets have criticized him over his nickname for COVID-19, the "Chinese virus". In addition, it is not ...
yuritsuki's user avatar
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30 votes
10 answers
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Can the U.S. technically be called an oligarchy and a democracy?

I thought theoretically the U.S. could be a democracy (because people have a say in the daily workings of the government) and an oligarchy ( the president, the Supreme Court, etc... are the only ones ...
user50780's user avatar
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28 votes
4 answers
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What exactly is China's "whole-process people's democracy"? In what ways does it function "democratically" based on traditional definitions?

CNN's China claims its authoritarian one-party system is a democracy -- and one that works better than the US says: In his keynote speech, Huang Kunming, the ruling Communist Party's propaganda tsar, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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27 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is gerrymandering called if it's not the result of redrawing districts?

The result of gerrymandering is a set of voting districts that are not representative of the overall ideology of a larger region. Gerrymandering refers specifically to obtaining that result by ...
MrMcPlad's user avatar
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19 votes
6 answers
3k views

Does "government" mean something different in British and American English?

There's been lots of news in the past couple of days about votes in the UK Parliament regarding Brexit. These reports seem to use the word "government" in a way that I don't understand. For instance, ...
Barmar's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
8k views

Grey area of "impeachment"

According to what I've read: the House has the ability to impeach a President, however this doesn't mean the President has to leave office. He only has to leave office if the Senate finds him guilty. ...
Alex's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
3k views

What is the 'Alt-Right'?

Recently, Clinton gave a speech in which she claimed that the majority of Trump supporters were young, tech-savvy, enthusiastic, radically right-wing individuals who have taken over the Republican ...
easymoden00b's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
657 views

What does it mean to be "On the record", and why does it matter?

What does it mean when something is on or off the record? Why do we need a "record" to be on? And what makes something stated "On the record" different from something stated otherwise? I've been ...
Tirous's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
533 views

What characterizes an act of war as "war crime?"

With the Israel-Gaza tension going on, I hear a lot of talk about "war crimes" by the UN. However, to me the war going on doesn't seem different at all from any other war, and leaves me to wonder how ...
Shahar's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does anyone want Ukraine to be called "the Ukraine"?

According to the Wikipedia article Name of Ukraine, Ukrainians prefer the English term to be "Ukraine" rather than "the Ukraine". Do any governments, such as Russia, or other political groups want ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Did the Biden administration have a working definition of democracy when it chose which countries to invite to its "democracy summit"?

The New York Times' Biden Rallies Global Democracies as U.S. Hits a ‘Rough Patch’ The president kicked off his summit as critics questioned the guest list and whether the United States could be an ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
365 views

Is the there a term for state (or local) officers not caring about enforcing federal law?

I think it's generally accepted that in the US: state officers cannot be compelled to enforce federal law. For more details as to why that is accepted: In Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between sortition and demarchy?

What is the difference between demarchy and sortition? The Wikipedia article for demarchy: Demarchy (or lottocracy) is a form of government in which the state is governed by randomly selected ...
gerrit's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
342 views

is this definition of the State complete?

The State is an organization intended/designed/created and maintained by a People in order to make known, apply and defend People's Will. The State ensures the progress in fulfilling the People's ...
Laurence Dwin's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

How do these differ: Politics vs Political Science vs Political Philosophy vs Political Theory?

I've Googled several sources that compare two of these, but none that contrast all four: This Reddit thread contrasts Political Philosophy with Political Theory. This Quora thread contrasts Political ...
user avatar
80 votes
12 answers
16k views

What is the meaning of "Cancel Culture"?

This expression has getting popular these days. Googling it led to the explanation from Wikipedia that says: Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is ...
r13's user avatar
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58 votes
8 answers
25k views

What is the Alt-Left?

What is the Alt-Left and how different are they from the Far-Left or Ultra-Left? Are they similar to the Alt-Right in any way?
Jøê Grèéñ's user avatar
41 votes
9 answers
13k views

What is the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism?

Both ideologies seem to have a dictatorship-like system of governance, no tolerance of dissenting opinions, and an executive which holds absolute power. What is the difference between these two ...
CDJB's user avatar
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35 votes
7 answers
6k views

What is "liberalism" in the USA political discourse?

I've recently registered to Facebook and Quora. It exposed me to a lot of political propaganda, mostly USA-centric. Republicans blaming Democrats and vice versa. Reading this was an amusing and void ...
Danubian Sailor's user avatar
33 votes
12 answers
11k views

Is there a term for someone whose preferred policies are a mix of left and right?

I, um, know a guy, 'Bob'. Bob is in favor of social safety nets and LGBTQ rights (leftist). Bob is also very pro-capitalism and in favor of gun rights (rightist). We have terms in the political ...
Jared Smith's user avatar
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32 votes
12 answers
17k views

How does antisemitism differ from racism? [closed]

If 'antisemitism' is no different to 'racism', then why is it necessary to have a separate "...ism" that relates specifically to only one religious/racial group?
WS2's user avatar
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32 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the difference between democracy and ochlocracy?

The Wikipedia definition of democracy states: Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία dēmokratía, literally "rule by people") is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their ...
Evil Dog Pie's user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
6k views

How much of the US media referred to the COVID-19 as the "Wuhan Virus" until it received an official designation from the WHO?

It has been claimed in a fairly upvoted answer here (which is why this not a notable-enough claim for Skeptics SE) that For a fun exercise, put a news organization into google's search along with "...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
24 votes
10 answers
241k views

What is the difference between a nation and a state?

These terms seem to be used interchangably - what is the difference between them? Additionally, why is it that a "state" appears to be just an entity of a federal government in certain contexts - e.g....
Affable Geek's user avatar
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21 votes
11 answers
11k views

How is North Korea democratic, if there's only one party with one ideology?

How is North Korea, which is officially called the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea", democratic, if there's only one party with one ideology? Is this a moving box in a non-movable box?...
CSD's user avatar
  • 390
20 votes
2 answers
5k views

In the UK, what is pairing?

In The Guardian on July 19 2018 I found this under the headline "Tory MP casts doubt on claim pairing breach was honest mistake as row escalates - Politics live". Up to five Tory MPs were told to ...
Jens's user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
5k views

What does "bipartisan support" mean in the United States?

Is there a definition of "bipartisan support"? For the Senate in the US, when can you claim a bill was supported/passed by bipartisanship, and when you can't claim thus?
r13's user avatar
  • 2,450
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is "demographic engineering" and how does it differ from ethnic cleansing?

The Guardian reports (emphasis mine): Ankara says the planned safe zone could allow up to two million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey to return, although international observers and the ...
gerrit's user avatar
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16 votes
7 answers
4k views

What does the term "White Privilege" mean?

I hear this term "white privilege" when something major happens like a school shooting, police shooting, or even during sentence hearings involving people of different ethnicity. What does "White ...
Noah's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

How do anti-zionists define zionism and zionists?

Social media is full of people decrying the evils of zionism and zionists. But I had always understood zionism to mean the Jewish wish for a homeland. This clearly isn't what the anti-zionists mean by ...
Simd's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is "politology"?

I have seen this word "politology" twice recently on politics.SE [here and here]. What does it mean? Judging by the context it seems to be similar to political science. I googled it, but ...
indigochild's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
8k views

What exactly do political aides do?

Whenever you read about the history of any recent politician (or at least, American politicians) it says "They were an aide in the Clinton administration" or something similar. What exactly do these ...
corsiKa's user avatar
  • 901
8 votes
5 answers
6k views

What is "crypto-mobilization"?

For the past few days, the Institute for the Study of War has been mentioning "crypto-mobilization" in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For example: Russian officials ...
isanae's user avatar
  • 1,053
7 votes
4 answers
19k views

What is Economic Populism?

I saw an article this morning on NBC declaring that Economic Populism Will Be Front And Center for 2016 Elections. It goes into detail about why this will be such an important issue in the coming year....
Zibbobz's user avatar
  • 1,470
7 votes
2 answers
862 views

What vexillologically (flag-based) named coalitions exist (theoretically) in German politics?

In German political speech, multi-party (three or more party) coalitions are sometimes described by vexillological analogy:: I have seen: Jamaica coalition between conservatives (black), liberals (...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 47.9k
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

How did the extended UNHCR definition of refugee come about?

According to Wikipedia: As of 2011, the UNHCR itself, in addition to the 1951 definition, recognizes persons as refugees: "who are outside their country of nationality or habitual ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Methodology of Deny, Obfuscate, Admit but deny significance; generally accepted term, notable implementations?

A recent comment below the question What is Trump's position on the whistle blower allegations? What does he mean by “witch hunt”? includes the following (I've reformatted for easier reading): The ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
497 views

Is an Anarchosocialist a valid political term?

I once heard Noam Chomsky describe himself as one. I have never heard the term before. If it is a valid term, what does it mean beyond the obvious mash up?
Vincent Ashley's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
708 views

Does the definition of Antisemitism used by the FBI differ in any way from the one used by the State Department?

The FBI apparently has to report how many hate crimes were based on Antisemitism. On the other hand, the State Department has also adopted a definition of Antisemitism. Is there any difference between ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What would be the terminology for a state that has democracy but is also totalitarian?

Suppose, a country has democracy, i.e., people can properly vote and elect their leader. However, because of some reason, like populism or inherent hate toward a minority group, the country ...
user366312's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
4k views

What's the difference between a state and a country?

What's the difference between a state and a country? Is there any precise political definition that, perhaps, the UN would follow?
brilliant's user avatar
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