Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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113
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9answers
19k 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 ...
81
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7answers
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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?
45
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5answers
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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 ...
42
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4answers
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What is it called when someone votes for an option that's not their first choice?

Say we have three candidates: A, B, and C. Say, a voter wants to vote for C. However, he knows that C can’t win and hence choose A instead. Hence, in a sense, the voter is “dishonest”. He doesn’t ...
42
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8answers
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Why do Republicans and others accept the propagandaic use of the term “Progressives”?

The word "progressives" has always confused me. It's sort of like an antonym to "conservatives", but the difference is that "conservative" is a neutral word. It tells us that you want to "conserve" ...
33
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6answers
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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 ...
33
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3answers
8k views

Where are the “shires” in the UK?

Today's Guardian article, "Local elections: Tories tipped for heavy losses," contains the following statement: ...the Conservatives could lose about 500 seats to the Lib Dems and 300 to Labour. ...
33
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3answers
7k views

Why does the Scottish National Party object to being called nationalist?

On a number of occasions in the House of Commons I have noticed MPs, usually Conservatives, referring to the Scottish National Party (SNP) as "the Scottish Nationalist Party", or just "...
32
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3answers
7k 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 ...
31
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11answers
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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 ...
31
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11answers
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How does anti-Semitism differ from racism?

If 'anti-Semitism' is no different to 'racism', then why is it necessary to have a separate "...ism" that relates specifically to only one religious/racial group?
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Is there an unambiguous name for the social/political theory “liberalism” without “leftist”?

Wikipedia defnes liberalism as follows: Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views ...
30
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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 ...
27
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4answers
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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 demographics in a larger region. Gerrymandering refers specifically to obtaining that result by ...
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4answers
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What is the difference between a separatist and a rebel?

The internet does not give a satisfactory explanation as to the slightly differing nuances of these two notions. Question: When speaking politically, what is meant by "separatists" and "rebels" and ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 "...
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8answers
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A word that means rule by the vocal minority?

If plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, and meritocracy is rule by individual ability or achievement, then what's a word that means rule by the vocal minority? Extrovert-ocracy? An example I'm thinking ...
23
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10answers
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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....
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5answers
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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 ...
22
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10answers
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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?...
22
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2answers
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Why did the acronym GOP stick to the Republicans and not to the Democrats?

The general definition “Grand Old Party” appears to have been originally used for both the Republicans and the Democrats, but it was finally used to specifically refer to the Republican Party: GOP ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What's the difference between declaring sovereignty and declaring independence?

What's the difference between declaring sovereignty and declaring independence? Aren't those the same thing? Please help me make sense of the following sentence (but keep in mind that my question is ...
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5answers
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Is the concept of nation explicitly ethnic?

Is the concept of nation explicitly ethnic? I always thought that a “nation-state” was a synonym for a sovereign country, but the Wikipedia article on the subject reads a little ambiguous. It is a ...
18
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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. ...
18
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5answers
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Do dog-whistle politics only refer to racist and right-leaning statements?

I don't think I have ever heard the term applied to statements on the left. Supposedly racists can understand a hidden meaning or applied to the Christian right, but the majority of voters cannot hear ...
18
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1answer
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Why aren't White Americans called European-Americans? [closed]

Black Americans in the USA are commonly referred to as "African Americans", and similarly there are "Asian" and "native" Americans, and people from South America are called "Hispanics". From my ...
18
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2answers
482 views

Is there a term for the practice of defunding a public asset in order to privatize it?

In a lecture entitled The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival given by Noam Chomsky in 2011, at the University of Toronto, a 'standard technique of privatization' is described: ...
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3answers
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What do terms like “I yield my time, Mr. Speaker” mean?

What do terms like "I yield back" and "I reclaim my time" and "I yield to..." mean? I sorta get it, but am still quite clueless as to the details, let alone any name it may have.
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Democratic Socialism vs Social Democracy

When Senator Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for the presidency, the term “Democratic Socialism” has been heavily thrown around in political discourse. However, people who believe in Sanders’s “...
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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, ...
16
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1answer
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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 ...
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5answers
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Are “keep your powder dry” or “Stand back and standby” arguably examples of “dog whistles”?

My question is as much about the proper use of terminology as it is about the use of the phrases. But I'm asking about instances and usage rather than intent, I'm not asking to read minds. Background ...
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2answers
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Who coined the term “madman theory”?

Madman theory revolves around the idea of appearing more "crazy" than one actually is. It is actually a signaling game in its simplest form. At least nowadays such games are exemplified with a "...
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5answers
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What is the difference between representative and parliamentary democracy?

In the case of "representative democracy", the common sense makes you think that you elect congressmen or speakers to represent your wishes, and in the "parliamentary democracy" you do almost the same;...
13
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1answer
597 views

Does any organisation refer to itself as terrorist?

Does any organisation refer to itself as terrorist ? It seems to me this word is only used by political opponents to such organisations, as the term terrorism has a quite negative connotation. But I'm ...
12
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9answers
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What is the opposite of populism?

The Guardian (a UK newspaper) is running a series on populism. Among other things, it has a quiz, which places you in a 2-dimensional political map, with axes being how populist and left/right-wing. ...
11
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2answers
477 views

What does unmasking refer to in the Flynn investigation?

A recent article on Politico mentions a list of names from the Obama administration that was recently sent to Republican senators: Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell on ...
11
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2answers
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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 ...
10
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2answers
826 views

Why are the Greek nationalists against resolving the name dispute and calling FYROM “North Macedonia”?

According to yesterday's newspapers (22th January, 2019), Greek nationalists made street protests against the agreement to resolve the infamous naming dispute when it comes to former-Yugoslav ...
10
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4answers
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Are the viable political alternatives in the US (e.g. Democrats and Republicans) considered (far) left and (far) right?

This question phrases the US political situation as: Today the federal government is in a seemingly interminable pendulum effect going between far-right and far-left. Coming from Europe and ...
10
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1answer
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Lumpenproletariat In Marxist Theory?

I am having a lot of trouble visualizing Karl Marx's socio-economic class Lumpenproletariat. Marx gives these examples: Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious ...
10
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3answers
185 views

Is there a term for a test or requirement given in bad faith?

In Australia under the White Australia Policy, the Dictation Test was a test given in bad faith to exclude non-whites and other undesirables. As one example, a Jewish communist was asked to be tested ...
9
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3answers
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What exactly is ineptocracy?

I heard about some people arguing about ineptocracy as applying to the country I live in. I searched up the term and found these definitions: The phenomenon of governance or leadership by the ...
9
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3answers
894 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 ...
9
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
356 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 ...
9
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1answer
675 views

What does Farrakhan mean by “false Jews”?

In a speech of his, Farrakhan referenced "false Jews": These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral ...
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3answers
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What does “teabagger” mean in the politics?

I have faced it in the political news. For example here in the comments under the article: Rowhani's 'path of moderation' also shows limits What does it mean exactly and why is it called like this?