At the beginning of the twenty-first century’s second decade, societies have grown ever more complex. New phenomena that take place at breakneck speed in every kind of society demand reflection that must consider and recognize the reshaping of the world through trends that are the landmarks of our times: societies that inscribe their different economic, political, cultural and technological aspects in an unprecedented era of globalism; new demands for democracy involving not just clean and trustworthy elections, but also governments held to accountability, transparency, and governability in terms of effectiveness and the creation of public policy clearly aimed at the generation of a public good; the challenges posed by key balances and the redefinition of borders and jurisdictions between market, state and civil-society activity; the tendency to universalize rights and question established values, such as has been the case regarding minority, women’s and sexual diversity rights; coexistence between religions and between religion and those who profess no organized faith; new socialization models for individuals and groups that create new virtual worlds as a result of technology; environmental questions that define the limits of human development as a civilizing proposition; and many other phenomena that define our current situation.

Faced with such, “classic” responses such as liberalism, social democracy, and socialism—among others—may seem to lag behind, to be anachronistic or be in some process of refashioning. Even the left/right binary has been called into question and demands a thorough re-elaboration of the coordinates that allow us to classify political diversity. Complex societies should be understood—and its practices be guided—in light of this complexity and its resultant dislocations to the overall framework when it comes to building societies.

We call this section Política specifically because we understand politics and policy not only as the art of governing or the methods and protocols that afford access to power and its preservation, but also, fundamentally, as the human activity society creates and institutes—and that therefore contains the potential to transform it. Society’s individuals, collectivities and governments—and no others—are responsible for this creation/transformation.