Activism: Are Politics Local?

Politics have been a hot-button issue of debate from the beginning of governments. The nature of this debate while having a very wide scope oftentimes boils down to, who has the power? Is political action the result of top down thinking where the leader makes a decision and expects everyone else to fall in suit, or is it a movement of the people where the citizens band together to shape policy?

Historically, there are examples of both. There have been many instances where a leader has made a decision without the consent of the people or without a huge public outcry to implement certain policy. This is most common in totalitarian regime types, but can also be found in many different types of government. Recently, there has been a major shift in the nature of politics. Looking to the Middle East and North Africa as a region that is currently and very visibly undergoing this change, we see a shift from leader controlled policy decisions to citizen outcry leading to policy change.

This recent change in the region is enabled by the growth of technology in the region where satellite television, cell phones, and internet have begun to take over. It is especially important to mention the importance of social media sites as a source of building coalitions by which people can organize and gain strength. This allows the citizenry to push through policy through popular support. Never before in this region has activism been so important in shaping the nature of politics.

So, to answer the question, are politics local? Yes, to an ever growing degree, politics are becoming more and more local as the people, despite limits on democratic freedoms and liberty, have gained the ability to band together and begin to make change. For this to happen politics must occur on the local level before anything can take hold on any broader platform.

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