Political is a ubiquitous and seemingly indispensable term in the discussion of human affairs. We use it to speak of quite different kinds of things — institutions, actions, conflicts, expenditures, a type of discourse, a branch of science, and such. We apply it to the life and thought of modern nations, ancient cities, and primitive tribes. Even the internal affairs of businesses, unions, schools and churches are sometimes called “political.” In all these cases, we assume that the term has, or at least can have, some definite meaning. Yet it is difficult to say what, if anything, “political” signifies in its various applications and how it signifies what it does.