INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY
BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Assignment – 1
1 Write a note on what is politics.
When we hear the term politics, we usually think of the government, politicians and political parties.
For a country to have an organized government and work as per specific guidelines, we require a certain organization.
This is where politics comes in, as it essentially forms the government. Every country, group
and organization use politics to instrument various ways to organize their events, prospects and more.
Politics does not limit to those in power in the government. It is also about the ones who are in the run to achieve the same power.
The candidates of the opposition party question the party on power during political debates. They intend to inform people and make them aware of their agenda and what the present government is doing. All this is done with the help of politics only.
Dirty politics refers to the kind of politics in which moves are made for the personal interest of a person or party. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
It ignores the overall development of a nation and hurts the essence of the country. If we look at it closely, there are various constituents of dirty politics.
The ministers of various political parties, in order to defame the opposition, spread fake news and give provocative speeches against them.
This hampers with the harmony of the country and also degrades the essence of politics. They pass sexist remarks and instill hate in the hearts of people to watch their party win with a majority of seats.
Furthermore, the majority of politicians are corrupt. They abuse their power to advance their personal interests rather than that of the country.
We see the news flooded with articles like ministers and their families involving in scams and illegal practices. The power they have makes them feel invincible which is why they get away with any crime.
Before coming into power, the government makes numerous promises to the public. They influence and manipulate them into thinking all their promises will be fulfilled.
However, as soon as they gain power, they turn their back on the public. They work for their selfish motives and keep fooling people in every election. Out of all this, only the common suffers at the hands of lying and corrupt politicians.
Lack of Educated Ministers:
If we look at the scenario of Indian elections, any random person with enough power and money can contest the elections. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
They just need to be a citizen of the country and be at least 25 years old. There are a few clauses too which are very easy.
The strangest thing is that contesting for elections does not require any minimum education qualification.
Thus, we see how so many uneducated and non-deserving candidates get into power and then misuse it endlessly. A country with uneducated ministers cannot develop or even be on the right path.
We need educated ministers badly in the government. They are the ones who can make the country progress as they will handle things better than the illiterate ones.
The candidates must be well-qualified in order to take on a big responsibility as running an entire nation.
In short, we need to save our country from corrupt and uneducated politicians who are no less than parasites eating away the development growth of the country and its resources.
All of us must unite to break the wheel and work for the prosperous future of our country.
2 Examine the normative approach of political theory.
Ans: Normative approach of political theory:
The normative conception in political theory is known by different names. Some people prefer to call it philosophical theory, while others refer to it as ethical theory.
The normative conception is based on the belief that the world and its events can be interpreted in terms of logic, purpose and ends with the help of the theorist’s intuition, reasoning, insights and experiences. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment 2022
In other words, it is a project of philosophical speculation about values. The questions, which are asked by the normativists, would be:
what should be the end of political institutions? What should inform the relationship between the individual and other social organisations?
What arrangements in society can become model or ideal and what rules and principles should govern it?
One may say that their concerns are moral and the purpose is to build an ideal type. Hence, it is these theorists who have always conceived ‘utopia’ in the realm of political ideas through their powerful imagination.
Normative political theory leans heavily towards political philosophy, because it derives its knowledge of the good life from it and also uses it as a framework in its endeavour to create absolute norms.
In fact, their tools of theorisation are borrowed from political philosophy and therefore, they always seek to establish inter-relationships among concepts and look for coherence in the phenomena as well as in their theories, which are typical examples of a philosophical outlook.
Leo Strauss has strongly advocated the case for normative theory and has argued that political things by nature are subject to approval or disapproval and it is difficult to judge them in any other terms, except as good or bad and justice or injustice.
But the problem with the normativists is that while professing values which they cherish, they portray them as universal and absolute.
They do not realise that their urge to create absolute standard for goodness is not without pitfalls. Ethical values are relative to time and space with a heavy subjective content in them, which precludes the possibility of any creation of absolute standard.
We will do well to remember that even a political theorist is a subjective instrument in the assessment of the world and these insights are conditioned by many factors, which may be ideological in nature. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment 2021-22
The exponents of empirical theory criticise normativism for:
i. Relativity of values.
ii. Cultural basis of ethics and norms.
iii. Ideological content in the enterprise.
iv. Abstract and utopian nature of the project.
But in the distant past those who championed normative theory always tried to connect their principles with the understanding of the reality of their times.
In recent times, again the old sensibility within the normative theory has re-emerged and the passion for good life and good society has been matched by methodological and empirical astuteness.
John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is a case in point which attempts to anchor logical and moral political theory in empirical findings.
Rawls, with his imagination, creates ‘original position’ to connect normative philosophical arguments with real world concerns about distributive justice and the welfare state.
Assignment – ii
1 What are Isaiah Berlin’s ‘Two concepts of Liberty’? Explain.
Ans: Isaiah Berlin’s ‘Two concepts of Liberty’:
Two Concepts of Liberty (first published in 1958) Isaiah Berlin tries to reconcile the negative and positive notions of liberty, i.e., the notion of liberty as the absence of restraints with the various views pertaining to its operation within the social context.
For Berlin, the ‘negative’ notion of liberty can be understood by addressing the following question: ‘What is the area within which the subject a person or group of persons – is or should be left to do or be what he is able to be, without interference by other persons?’
On the other hand, the positive sense is concerned with the answer to the question: ‘what, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that?’ BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Positive liberty, on the both being left alone but as ‘self-mastery’. The theory involves a special theory of the self. The personality is divided into a higher and a lower self.
The higher self is the source of an individual’s genuine and rational long-term goals, while the lower self caters to his irrational desires which are short-lived and of transient nature.
A person is free to the extent that his higher self, is in command of his lower self.
Thus, a person might be free in the sense of not being restrained by external forces, but remains a slave to irrational appetites; as a drug addict, an alcoholic or a compulsive gambler might be said to be unfree.
The main feature of this concept is its openly evaluative nature, its use is specifically tied to ways of life held to be desirable.
The idea of positive liberty involves a special interpretation of the self and assumes not just that there is a realm of activity towards which the individual ought to direct herself/himself. er hand, does not interpret freedom as simply.
2 Discuss some arguments against liberty.
Ans: Arguments against liberty:
Arguments against Liberty is a collection of essays on libertarianism, with each author arguing from a different ethical framework.
One author employs utilitarianism, one employs virtue ethics, one employs natural rights, and so on. The book’s conceit is that regardless of one’s basic moral philosophy, the conclusion favors liberty. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Christopher Freiman makes the utilitarian case for liberty.
His discussion of liberty largely focuses on economic liberty, including,robust private property rights, freedom of exchange, and freedom of contract; the central place of markets in the production and distribution of goods; and the minimization of forceful interference in people’s private choices.
Freiman concludes, The great virtue of the market, from a utilitarian perspective, is that it leads us to promote the happiness of others without demanding that we prioritize their happiness or even know how to make them happy.
No institution is perfect, but the market does the best job of extracting social benefits from people’s limited supply of impartiality and information.
The utilitarian principle of “the greatest good for the greatest number” has problems, as other authors point out.
If killing me and harvesting my organs for transplants to others is the way to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number, then utilitarianism would appear to justify doing so.
To avoid this, utilitarians must appeal to a different level of argument.
They might say that if everyone lived under the threat of being killed for organ harvesting, then most people would be unhappy, so therefore a rule against organ harvesting would be utilitarian.
3 Elaborate the concept of social justice.
Ans: Social justice:
The concept of social justice is broader than that of justice The word ‘social’ is connected with society. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Its scope is wide, including social issues, problems and reforms, thereby it encompasses social and economic change.
Social justice involves measures taken for the advancement of the depressed and disadvantaged classes of society.
Hence it calls for social engineering which is an attempt to change society in order to deal with social problems. Such socio-economic changes can be brought through law.
Social justice aims towards creating political, economic and social democracy, ending class and caste distinctions. It combines the principles of socialism with the personal freedom granted by democracy.
So the word ‘social’ has a wide connotation, connected with society and how it should be organised, and what should be its social values and structure.
The concept of justice can be defined by different perspectives. The Greek philosopher Plato saw justice as the true principle of social life.
According to Ernest Barker, an English political scientist, justice was the hinge of Plato’s thoughts and the text of his discourse.2 Plato in his book The Republic discusses the concept of justice through a dialogue with friends like Cephalus, Polemarchus and Glaucon.
Cephalus says justice consists in speaking the truth and paying one’s debt, while Polemarchus explains justice is in giving to each man what is proper for him.
“Justice is the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies.” Glaucon argues justice is in “the interest of the weaker Thrasymachus, a sophist of ancient Greece, saw justice as the interest of the stronger, in other words, might is right.
Plato rejected all these definitions because they treated justice as something external and artificial. For Plato, justice is the primary moral value and is intrinsically linked with other essential and moral qualities. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Assignment – III
1 Nature of Rights
Ans:Nature of Rights: It is rather easy to identify as to what lies at the roots of rights on the basis of what has been hitherto discussed.
The nature of rights is hidden in the very meaning of rights. Rights are not only claims, they are in the nature of claims.
Rights are claims but all claims are not rights. Rights are those claims which are recognised as such by the society. Without such recognition, rights are empty claims.
Society is organised in character and an individual obviously cannot have any right apart from what the society concedes.
Rights are social; they are social in the sense that they emanate from society at any given point of time; they are social because they are never, and in fact, can never be, anti-social;
they are social because they had not existed before the emergence of society; and they are social because they can not be exercised against the common good perceived by the society.
2 Overview of Indian democracy
Ans: Overview of Indian democracy: Democracy in India, as elsewhere, is not just about periodic elections, nor about voter turnouts, nor about oratory.
The central objective of democracy is to enable every person to have a say in deciding about the greater collective social worth. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
In an age given to superficiality and facile soundbites, ?
Indian Democracy: Meanings and Practices? edited by Rajendra Vora and Suhas Palshikar is a perspicacious anthology of sixteen essays that address, brood and elaborate upon ?the substance and vibrancy of Indian democracy?
with rare academic depth and seriousness. Democracy, like so many other
important notions like independence, socialism, secularism, constitutionalism, equality, liberalization, was thrust upon the Indian masses by their enlightened elites.
Thereafter intertia has seen to it that it continues.
How has Indian democracy lasted and how is it likely to proceed in future amidst the enveloping militarized environment nurtured by a corporatized economy under the darkening shadow of communalism?
3 Gender and politics
Ans: Gender and politics:
Gender and politics, also called gender in politics, is a field of study in political science and gender studies that aims to understand the relationship between peoples’ genders and phenomena in politics.
Researchers of gender and politics study how peoples’ political participation and experiences interact with their gender identity, and how ideas of gender shape political institutions and decision-making.
Women’s political participation in the context of patriarchal political systems is a particular focus of study.
Gender and politics is an interdisciplinary field, drawing not just from political science and gender studies but also related fields such as feminist political thought, and peoples’ gendered treatment is commonly seen as intersectionally linked to their entire social identity.
4 Communitarian perspective of citizenship
Ans: Communitarian perspective of citizenship:
Communitarians argue that an individual does not exist prior to the community. They criticize the liberals for ignoring social nature of individuals by focusing too much on the individual. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Further communitarians also argue that liberals have not given any importance to duties and responsibilities towards community as their focus is on rights of an individual.
Skinner said that individual liberty is maximized through public service and prioritization of common good over pursuit of individual interests.
Here, the citizen is conceived as someone who plays an active role in shaping the future direction of society through political debate and decision-making.
The main tenet of this theory is that a citizen should identify himself with the community, of which he is a member, and take part in its political life and contribute to the realization
of civic virtues.
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others.
Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.
The control of the information and ideas circulated within a society has been a hallmark of dictatorships throughout history. BPSC 131 Free Solved Assignment
In the 20th Century, censorship was achieved through the examination of books, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other forms of communication for the purpose of altering or suppressing ideas found to be objectionable or offensive.
The rationales for censorship have varied, with some censors targeting material deemed to be indecent or obscene; heretical or blasphemous; or seditious or treasonous.
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