e-book The Politics of Harry Potter

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Show Info. Accio Politics! A Harry Potter Podcast. Save Episode. When the kiss is performed, the dementor sucks the soul out of their victim and it is described as a fate worse than death.

The Politics of Harry Potter (A Response)

It can also be mentioned that this is not too long after a war within the wizarding community and a lot of criminals failed to be trialed; consequently still being out there. Why the Ministry focuses so much effort on this one criminal seems like a strange priority. Not only does it seem that the measures of the Ministry are an overreaction and out of proportion, the Ministry was also very unsuccessful in their search.

Not only did Black succeed at hiding from the Ministry, he even managed to sneak into the heavily guarded school at multiple occasions during the school year without getting caught. In the fourth book of the series, Hermione works out that the reason why paparazzi reporter Rita Skeeter was able to spy and eavesdrop on private conversations to dig up gossip is that she was an unregistered animagi, possessing the ability to transform into a beetle. If a fourteen year old girl can figure out that Skeeter could move around undetected thanks to being an animagi, how come no one at the Ministry even though of the possibility the same could be the case about Black?

In the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , Harry has no problem communicating by owl post to Sirius who still is on the run from the Ministry , even though Sirius is in hiding in another country and Harry has no idea where he is.

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Some possible reasons for their failure is basically that the Ministry is a terribly inefficient organisation or that the people working there simply are incompetent. Perhaps the purpose of these large scale operations were something else than what was stated? In a democracy, we can at least hope that politicians will try and enact the policies they believe is good for the country, because they otherwise would be voted out of office by the citizens.

The problem is not really that the wrong people become leaders. Even the most well-meaning, selfless and virtuous person must, in order to use a position of political power to do good, first get in a position of power.

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A person with political ambitions must have the pursuit for power or when in a position of power, to maintain that position as their first priority. So, how does one get in a position of power in the magical world? In the first Harry Potter book, we find out that the head of the Ministry, the Minister for Magic , is chosen, not elected. The answer is instead gaining the support of some key political players.


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Loyalty is the currency of political power in the same way that money is the currency of economic power. It is reasonable to assume that the interest of these key players influences the behaviour of the Ministry. When people feel unsafe, they will more easily accept or perhaps even demand greater government control and security services. It is not at all unlikely that this would be in the best interest for the political elite, whom can then use this opportunity to increase the size and authority of the government; in the process increasing their own influence and power.

We know that a lot of former death eaters are in positions of power in the magical society, such as Lucius Malfoy. These people would of course know Sirius Black was no ally of theirs, and they would probably know he was innocent. His escape, however, created an opportunity they could take advantage of. Black gets caught, but with the help of headmaster Dumbledore, Harry and Hermione, he escapes yet again.

There are a lot of subjects linked to the topics of politics and power in the Harry Potter books. For example, in the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we observe the power struggle between the corrupt Lucius Malfoy and the good and honest Dumbledore, the disobedience and distrust towards the legal process when Dumbledore, Harry and Hermione liberate Black from captivity, and how the desire for power brings Peter Pettigrew to betray his friends.

In this post I have focused on analyzing the political system in the wizarding world in the third book.