Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Competition is understood as the struggle between two or more agents to capture scarce, limited, and valued resources within a defined system or context. It is often assumed that competition is a zero-sum game, in which one participant's gain or loss is exactly matched by the loss or gain of another. Political competition involves the struggle for power, for example, through elections in a democratic regime. It is a concept employed in virtually all subdisciplines of political science, for it is a universal aspect of human life. Although in one way or another everyone is affected by it, a clear definition of the concept remains elusive. This entry is structured as follows: First, the term competition is isolated from other concepts with which it has been fused or mixed. Second, using an analysis of measurement, a distinction is drawn between the two most important areas of political competition in One ...