How can I differentiate between "domestic politics" and "domestic policy" in Spanish?

According to what I've seen they both translate to política interna or política interior.

Is it possible to translate them into Spanish without ambiguity?

  • 1
    Unfortunately these two have the same translation. You may could use vida política nacional/interior or ambiente político nacional/interior for politics to distinguish, but generally context makes them clear. Can you give us an example of where you need to translate them and it's not? Jun 22, 2019 at 19:34
  • A policy, countable, could also be translated as normativa.
    – fitojb
    Jun 25, 2019 at 23:52

2 Answers 2


One often sees that politics, in Spanish, appears as política, and this word by itself tends to correspond to "politics", in a general sense or in the sense of "party politics". When speaking about policy, there are a couple non-exclusive alternative forms:

  • Using the plural, políticas, when referring to policy measures as a set. For example: políticas de estado "state policies", políticas públicas "public policy/policies", las políticas y programas de gobierno "government policies and programmes", políticas antiinmigratorias "anti-immigration policies".
  • Using a qualifier, especially when referring to general policy or tendency in one area of government. For example: la política económica de este gobierno "the economic policy/policies of this government", política de estado "state policy", política migratoria "immigration policy".

There's also the detail that política in the sense of "politics" is an abstract noun and tends to appear as definite:

La política es el arte de lo posible.
"Politics is the art of the possible."

But política in the sense of "policy" is a countable noun and thus often appears with an indefinite article, in the plural, and even with a numeral:

Hay un consenso sobre estas dos políticas de Estado.
"There's a consensus regarding these two state policies."

Given all of the above, a good idea would be translating "domestic policy" as políticas domésticas, since "policy" is always actually a set of policies, so the meaning is preserved.


For "Domestic politics" one can often use la política and make the "domestic" part clear from the context, for example:

Los extranjeros no deben entrometerse en cuestiones de política.

Here, we understand the sentence is talking about politics in the context of the country we're in. Or we could be more explicit. As an example, let's say we're in Mexico. We could say

La política mexicana es complicada y a veces produce alianzas extrañas.

For "domestic policy", we might use política sobre asuntos domésticos, for example

El Prof. X de la Universidad Y opina que aunque el enfoque del nuevo proyecto de ley se concentra principalmente en las relaciones exteriores, sale lógicamente de la nueva política que anunció el presidente ayer sobre asuntos domésticos.

I made those examples up. You could probably get better examples from linguee.com.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.