The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Status quo

For the perennial British rock band, see Status Quo (band)

Status quo is a Latin term meaning the present current, existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep things the way they presently are. Compare it with status quo ante, meaning "the state of things as it was before."

Arguing to preserve the status quo is usually done in the context of opposing a large, often radical change. The term frequently refers to the status of a large issue, such as the current culture of social climate of an entire society or nation.

Politicians sometimes refer to a status quo. Sometimes there is a policy of deliberate ambiguity, referring to the status quo rather than formalizing the status. An example of political ambiguity is the political status of Taiwan. Clark Kerr is reported to have said, "The status quo is the only solution that cannot be vetoed," meaning that the status quo cannot simply be decided against; action must be taken if it is to change.

Laurence J. Peter is reported to have said, "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status."

See also

Last updated: 02-06-2005 06:38:52
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01