Your friend who's obsessed with watching Congressional debates and listening to experts discuss the bills being voted on in the Senate has a keen interest in politics, or the details of governing or managing a state or a country.

While politics usually refers to the government of a city, state, or country — or the relationship between countries — it can also be used to talk about the way people use their positions in a company or organization to gain power or authority. This is often called office politics. Another similar phrase is playing politics, which means doing something in order to become more powerful rather than doing what's right.

Definitions of politics

n the activities and affairs involved in managing a state or a government

“unemployment dominated the politics of the inter-war years”
“government agencies multiplied beyond the control of representative politics
Type of:
any specific behavior
transactions of professional or public interest

n the profession devoted to governing and to political affairs

Type of:
an occupation requiring special education (especially in the liberal arts or sciences)

n social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power

“office politics is often counterproductive”
political relation
Type of:
social relation
a relation between living organisms (especially between people)

n the opinion you hold with respect to political questions

political sympathies
Type of:
opinion, persuasion, sentiment, thought, view
a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty

n the study of government of states and other political units

government, political science
the study of the effects of economic geography on the powers of the state
practical politics, realpolitik
politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations
the branch of geopolitics dealing with strategy
Type of:
social science
the branch of science that studies society and the relationships of individual within a society

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