In everyday usage, the term phenomenon and phenomenal suggest that something is impressive, very great, a marvel or an unusual occurrence. A person or an institution perceived as an inexplicable fact, very successful or has made outstanding expressions in the society, is also often seen or considered a phenomenon or phenomenal.
As will be seen later, an obvious import of the definition of Political analysis is the fact that by and large Political analysis focus on Political phenomeno. The task of Political analysis centres on explanation, description, interpretation, and prediction of a given phenomenon in politics. What , then, is Political phenomenon ?
What is Political phenomenon
The word phenomenon is rooted in pheinomena, phainein (Greek) meaning ‘appearance’ or ‘show’. In the language of political science, Political analysis and philosophy, phenomenon is more or less “an object of experience perceived by the sense”. This implies that it refers largely to something that exists, has occurred or is occurring in Political life. Thus, it can be observed, thought of, apprehended or felt in a substantial but uncertain way in Political situation.
In the political sphere, an activity, issue, event, factor, fact or experience is considered a political phenomenon on three major grounds. Firstly, it has appearance and therefore real- that is to say, it has objective reality.
Secondly, it is substantially or impressive, and therefore likely to affect many.
Thirdly, it appears not to have been fully understood and explained. Against this backdrop, Political phenomenon can be usefully defined as an observation or experience in Political situation that exists, has occurred or is occurring. This is particularly true when such occurrence is meaningful, yet not fully understood and explained. An observation, experience or occurrence is deemed meaningful when it impacts or is likely to impact impressively or substantially in Political life.
In the conduct of Political analysis, Political scientists are often interested in the investigation, documentation and explanation of how a political phenomenon (or phenomena: plural) exists, is occurring or has occurred. The political phenomenon in question may, for instance, be formal Political institutions such as the legislature, judiciary, urban administration or even processes such as the copious steps that are involved in law making as a political activity.
Attempts to understand and explain the phenomenon and workings of formal institutions such as the legislature may also require a focus on the phenomenon of informal actors in the legislative process. In this case, the phenomenon of interest may be lobbyists, the press or even primordial groups in the legislative process of a given legislature. Typical example of this is the phenomenon of Political instability in many countries of the Third World. Closer looks often show that they are traceable or linked to the challenges of the phenomenon of economic and electoral / Political succession problems.
Similarly, a focus on the phenomena of Political conflict will enable a political analyst come to terms with the basic character of the phenomenon. Typically, conflict as a phenomenon involves rivalry, intense competition and strives between political factions or groups. It also involves coercive interaction between collective, rise and suppression of rebellion and so on. All these further underline the fact that a major Political analysis is to isolate and establish the general and specific character of identified Political phenomenon. As a matter of fact, emergence of a theory hinges, not only on the examination of a specific phenomenon, but also on the regularity of occurrence of the phenomena that gives rise to hypothesis.