UNDERSTANDING POLITICAL THEORY
BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Assignment – I
Q 1. Discuss the relationship between political theory and other inter –related terms.
Ans. Political theory is a field of study that deals with the analysis and interpretation of political concepts and ideas.
It aims to understand the nature of political power, the principles of governance, the distribution of authority, and the role of the state in society.
Political theory is closely related to other inter-related terms, such as politics, philosophy, ethics, and law.
Politics is the process of making collective decisions for a group or a society. It involves the exercise of power, the negotiation of interests, and the allocation of resources.
Political theory is concerned with the study of political power and the principles of governance that underpin political decisions. It provides a conceptual framework for understanding the nature of politics, the functions of government, and the relationship between the state and society.
Political theory is, therefore, a crucial component of the study of politics, as it provides a theoretical foundation for the analysis of political phenomena.
Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, and ethics. Political theory is a branch of philosophy that deals specifically with questions about political power, authority, and justice.
Political theory is, therefore, closely related to other branches of philosophy, such as ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and logic.
Political theorists draw on philosophical concepts and theories to develop their arguments and to analyze political phenomena.
For example, political theorists often rely on ethical theories to assess the moral implications of political decisions, or on epistemological theories to examine the reliability of political knowledge.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with questions about morality and right and wrong conduct. Political theory is closely related to ethics because it involves questions about the legitimacy and morality of political power.
Political theorists are concerned with issues such as the principles of justice, the rights and obligations of citizens, and the responsibilities of government.
They analyze the ethical implications of political decisions, and they use ethical theories to evaluate the actions of political actors.
For example, political theorists might use the concept of social justice to argue that certain policies are unfair or unjust, or they might use the concept of human rights to criticize government actions that violate individual freedoms.
Law is the system of rules and regulations that govern behavior and enforceable by legal institutions. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Political theory is related to law because it deals with questions about the sources and limits of political power, the role of law in society, and the relationship between law and morality.
Political theorists analyze the legal structures and institutions that govern political decisions, and they examine the relationship between law and politics.
For example, political theorists might study the role of constitutional law in limiting government power or the impact of legal decisions on social justice.
In addition to these inter-related terms, political theory is also related to other disciplines such as economics, sociology, history, and international relations.
Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Political theory is related to economics because it involves questions about the allocation of resources and the role of the state in the economy.
Political theorists analyze economic policies and institutions, and they examine the relationship between economic power and political power.
Sociology is the study of human social behavior and the organization of society. Political theory is related to sociology because it involves questions about the distribution of power and resources in society, and the relationship between social structures and political institutions. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Political theorists analyze the social dimensions of political power, and they examine the impact of social structures on political decision-making.
History is the study of past events and the evolution of human societies. Political theory is related to history because it involves questions about the origins of political power and the development of political institutions over time.
Political theorists analyze the historical context of political ideas and concepts, and they examine the impact of historical events on political thought.
For example, political theorists might study the historical development of democracy, or the impact of colonialism on the structure of modern states.
International relations is the study of the interactions between states, non-state actors, and international organizations.
Political theory is related to international relations because it involves questions about the nature of international power and the role of international institutions in global governance. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Political theorists analyze the principles of international law and the mechanisms of international cooperation, and they examine the relationship between national interests and global issues.
The relationship between political theory and these inter-related terms is complex and multifaceted.
Political theory draws on these disciplines to develop its arguments and to analyze political phenomena, but it also contributes to these disciplines by providing a theoretical framework for understanding political concepts and ideas.
Political theory is, therefore, a dynamic field of study that is constantly evolving in response to new political challenges and changing social realities.
Political theory is an interdisciplinary field that is essential to our understanding of the world we live in. It allows us to analyze and critique political systems, ideologies, and institutions, and to envision alternative visions of society.
Political theory is also a normative field, meaning that it is concerned with questions of value and morality.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Political theorists often argue for the importance of democratic participation, social justice, human rights, and other normative ideals, and they use these ideals to critique existing political systems and propose alternative visions of society.
Moreover, political theory is not just an academic exercise but also has practical applications.
Political theorists often work as policy advisors, consultants, and activists, using their knowledge and expertise to shape political decision-making and promote social change.
For example, political theorists might work with non-governmental organizations to develop policy recommendations, or they might engage in grassroots activism to promote democratic participation or social justice.
Finally, political theory is not just about abstract concepts and ideas but also about the lived experiences of individuals and communities.
Political theorists are concerned with questions of power, inequality, and representation, and they seek to give voice to marginalized groups and to promote their interests in political decision-making.
Political theory, therefore, has a critical and transformative function, enabling us to imagine and work towards a more just and democratic society.
Q 2. Explain what is politics.
Ans. Politics is the process of making collective decisions in a society, in which different groups and individuals compete for power and influence.
Politics is an essential aspect of human society, and it shapes our social, economic, and cultural lives in profound ways. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
At its core, politics involves the exercise of power, which can take many forms, including economic power, social power, military power, or political power.
One of the key features of politics is that it involves decision-making, which can occur at various levels, from the individual to the global.
Political decisions can be made by individuals, groups, institutions, or governments, and they can be formal or informal, written or unwritten.
Political decisions can also have significant consequences, both positive and negative, for individuals and society as a whole.
For example, political decisions can lead to changes in laws, policies, or regulations, which can impact social, economic, or environmental outcomes.
Another important aspect of politics is power, which refers to the ability to influence or control the behavior of others. Power can be exercised in various ways, including through the use of force, coercion, persuasion, or manipulation.
Power can also be distributed unequally in society, with some individuals or groups having more power than others. This unequal distribution of power can lead to conflicts and struggles over resources, rights, or privileges.
In addition to decision-making and power, politics also involves competition between different groups and individuals. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
These groups and individuals can have different interests, values, or goals, and they may compete for resources, status, or influence. Political competition can take many forms, including electoral contests, lobbying, advocacy, or social movements.
Political competition can also be influenced by factors such as race, class, gender, or ideology, which can shape the distribution of power and influence in society.
Moreover, politics is a social activity that takes place within a larger context of social, economic, and cultural structures. These structures can shape the outcomes of political decisions and influence the behavior of individuals and groups.
For example, economic structures such as capitalism or socialism can influence the distribution of resources and power, while cultural structures such as religion or ethnicity can shape attitudes and values towards political issues.
Finally, politics is a dynamic and evolving process that is shaped by historical, cultural, and institutional factors. Political systems can change over time, as new ideas, technologies, or social movements emerge.
Political institutions can also adapt to new challenges or pressures, such as globalization, environmental crises, or social inequality.
Politics, therefore, is not a static or fixed phenomenon, but a dynamic process that reflects the changing nature of human society.
The study of politics is a multidisciplinary field that draws on a wide range of academic disciplines, including political science, sociology, economics, philosophy, history, and law. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Political science is a central discipline within the study of politics, which focuses on the analysis of political systems, institutions, and processes.
Political scientists use a variety of methods, including quantitative and qualitative research, to study political phenomena at different levels of analysis, from the local to the global.
Politics has significant implications for individuals and society as a whole, and it can shape our social, economic, and cultural lives in profound ways.
Political decisions can impact access to healthcare, education, and other public services, as well as the distribution of resources and power in society.
Political decisions can also affect the rights and freedoms of individuals, as well as the quality of life and well-being of communities.
The study of politics, therefore, is crucial for individuals and groups who seek to understand and shape political decisions that impact their lives.
Politics can also be a source of conflict and division, as individuals and groups with different interests and values compete for power and influence.
Political polarization and partisanship have become increasingly prominent in many societies, creating challenges for democratic governance and political stability.
Understanding the causes and consequences of political conflict, and developing strategies to address them, is an important area of study within the field of politics.
Moreover, politics is not just about formal decision-making processes, but also about informal social norms, practices, and values that shape behavior and attitudes towards politics. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The study of political culture, for example, examines the values, beliefs, and attitudes that underpin political behavior and decision-making.
The study of political communication, on the other hand, examines how information is disseminated and processed in the political sphere, and how it influences political attitudes and behavior.
Politics also has significant implications for international relations, as countries interact with each other on political, economic, and military issues.
The study of international relations examines the dynamics of cooperation and conflict among nations, as well as the role of international organizations and institutions in shaping global politics.
The study of global governance, for example, examines how different actors and institutions work together to address global problems, such as climate change, poverty, and human rights.
Assignment – II
Q 1. Write a note on classical Liberalism.
Ans.Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that emerged in the 18th century and was influential in shaping the political systems and economic policies of many Western countries.
It is based on the principles of individualism, liberty, and limited government, and it emphasizes the importance of private property, free markets, and the rule of law.
Classical liberalism emerged as a response to the prevailing political and economic systems of the time, which were characterized by absolute monarchies, mercantilism, and colonialism. Classical liberals sought to challenge these systems and promote a more democratic, egalitarian, and market-based society.
One of the key principles of classical liberalism is individualism, which emphasizes the importance of individual rights and freedoms.
Classical liberals believe that individuals are the basic unit of society, and that they should be free to pursue their own interests and goals without interference from the government or other institutions. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This includes the right to own property, to engage in voluntary contracts, and to express their opinions and beliefs freely.
Another key principle of classical liberalism is liberty, which is seen as essential for individual flourishing and human progress.
Classical liberals believe that individuals should be free to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm others.
This includes the freedom to engage in economic activity, to form voluntary associations, and to participate in political life.
Limited government is also a central feature of classical liberalism. Classical liberals believe that the role of government should be to protect individual rights and freedoms, rather than to control or direct society.
This includes the protection of property rights, the enforcement of contracts, and the provision of public goods and services that cannot be efficiently provided by the market.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Classical liberals also emphasize the importance of free markets, which they believe are the most efficient and effective means of allocating resources and promoting economic growth.
They argue that government intervention in the economy, such as price controls, subsidies, or regulations, can distort market signals and lead to inefficiencies and economic stagnation.
Instead, they advocate for a laissez-faire approach to the economy, in which individuals and firms are free to compete and innovate without government interference.
Finally, the rule of law is another key principle of classical liberalism. Classical liberals believe that all individuals, including the government, should be subject to the same laws and legal procedures.
This includes the protection of property rights, the right to a fair trial, and the presumption of innocence. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The rule of law also implies that the government should be accountable to the people and should not abuse its power or engage in arbitrary actions.
Classical liberalism has had a significant impact on the development of modern political and economic systems.
It has influenced the creation of democratic constitutions, the protection of individual rights and freedoms, and the promotion of free markets and economic growth. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Classical liberal ideas have also been influential in the development of international human rights norms and institutions, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.
Q 2. What do you understand by the theory of Surplus Value? Elaborate.
Ans. The theory of surplus value is a central concept in Marxist economics, which explains the exploitation of labor by capitalists in capitalist societies.
According to this theory, the value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labor required to produce it. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, capitalists do not pay workers the full value of their labor, but only a portion of it, which Marx called the “necessary labor.”
The difference between the full value of labor and the necessary labor is called the surplus value, which is appropriated by the capitalist as profit.
Marx argued that the extraction of surplus value is the fundamental characteristic of capitalist production.
He believed that the capitalist system was inherently exploitative, since workers were forced to sell their labor power to capitalists in exchange for a wage, which was always less than the value they created through their labor.
This surplus value was then appropriated by capitalists as profit, which they used to expand their businesses and accumulate wealth.
Marx also argued that the extraction of surplus value created a fundamental contradiction within capitalist societies.
Since workers were not paid the full value of their labor, they were unable to consume all the goods and services they produced.
This created a surplus of commodities, which capitalists were unable to sell without reducing their prices. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This led to periodic crises of overproduction and underconsumption, which could only be resolved through the expansion of markets, the exploitation of new resources, or the destruction of existing capital.
The theory of surplus value has been criticized by some economists, who argue that it is based on a labor theory of value that has been refuted by modern economic theory.
They argue that the value of a commodity is not determined solely by the amount of labor required to produce it, but also by other factors such as scarcity, demand, and supply.
However, Marxist economists argue that the theory of surplus value is still relevant today, as it explains the persistence of inequality and exploitation in capitalist societies. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They point to the fact that wages have stagnated in many developed countries, while profits have increased, indicating a rising rate of exploitation.
They also argue that the extraction of surplus value creates a fundamental instability within capitalist economies, as it leads to overproduction and underconsumption, which can only be resolved through the expansion of markets or the exploitation of new resources.
Q 3. What is Conservatism? Explain with reference to the views of Edmund Burke.
Ans. Conservatism is a political philosophy that seeks to preserve traditional institutions, values, and social arrangements.
It emphasizes the importance of stability, continuity, and gradual change, and is often associated with a skepticism towards rapid social and political reforms.
One of the most influential conservative thinkers in modern history is Edmund Burke, whose ideas have shaped conservative thought to this day.
Burke believed that society was a complex organism, with its own laws and traditions that were developed over time.
He argued that these traditions were the result of the accumulated wisdom of generations, and that they should be preserved because they provided a sense of stability and continuity. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Burke believed that social and political changes should be gradual and organic, and that radical changes to the existing order could lead to chaos and upheaval.
One of the key ideas in Burke’s philosophy was his opposition to abstract theories of government and society.
He believed that these theories were often based on idealistic notions of human nature and reason, and that they ignored the complexity and diversity of human societies.
Burke argued that society was too complex to be governed by a single set of principles, and that any attempt to impose such principles would lead to disaster.
Burke was also skeptical of the idea of individual rights, which he saw as a threat to social stability. He believed that individual rights could be used to justify selfish behavior and undermine the authority of established institutions.
Instead, Burke emphasized the importance of duties and responsibilities, and argued that individuals had an obligation to serve the common good and uphold the traditions of their society.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another key aspect of Burke’s conservatism was his emphasis on the importance of religion and tradition. He believed that religion provided a moral foundation for society, and that it was essential for maintaining social order and stability.
Burke was also a strong supporter of traditional institutions, such as the monarchy and the aristocracy, which he believed played a vital role in maintaining the social order.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Burke’s conservatism was rooted in his belief that human nature was flawed and that society needed strong institutions to curb human passions and impulses.
He saw the state as a necessary institution for maintaining order and promoting the common good, and he believed that the state should be guided by the principles of justice and wisdom.
Assignment – III
Q 1. Write a note on the First Wave of feminist political theory.
Ans. The First Wave of feminist political theory refers to the period from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century when feminist activists and thinkers began to articulate demands for women’s rights and gender equality.
During this period, women’s suffrage movements emerged in Europe and North America, demanding the right to vote and other political rights.
One of the key figures of the First Wave was Mary Wollstonecraft, who published her influential book “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” in 1792.
Wollstonecraft argued that women were not inferior to men in intellect and moral sense, but were rather oppressed by social and legal structures that denied them education and political rights. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
She called for greater access to education and employment opportunities for women, and argued that women should have the right to participate in politics and government.
In the United States, the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 marked a key moment in the First Wave of feminism.
The Declaration of Sentiments adopted at the convention called for women’s suffrage, as well as for legal and economic rights for women.
The convention was led by activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who went on to play major roles in the suffrage movement in the United States.
The First Wave of feminist political theory also included debates about the role of women in society and the family. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Some feminists argued for greater gender equality in marriage and for the right to control their own bodies and sexuality.
Others, such as French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, argued that women were oppressed by patriarchal social structures and that gender roles were not natural, but rather socially constructed.
Overall, the First Wave of feminist political theory marked an important moment in the history of women’s rights and gender equality.
It laid the foundation for later feminist movements and contributed to the expansion of women’s political rights and opportunities.
While there were certainly limitations and blind spots in the First Wave, its ideas and demands for greater gender equality continue to inspire feminist activism and scholarship to this day.
Q 2. Examine Jean Francois Lyotard’s views on Post –Modernism.
Ans. Jean-Francois Lyotard was a French philosopher who is often associated with the development of postmodernism.
In his seminal work “The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge” published in 1979, Lyotard argues that the modernist project of seeking objective knowledge and universal truths has come to an end.
He believes that in the postmodern era, knowledge is no longer based on grand narratives or overarching theories, but rather on a multiplicity of competing perspectives and discourses.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Lyotard argues that postmodernism is characterized by a distrust of metanarratives, or overarching explanations of the world.
He believes that the idea of a single, objective truth is no longer tenable, and that knowledge is instead produced through the interaction of different language games or forms of discourse.
In this sense, knowledge is not seen as a product of reason or logic, but rather as a social and cultural phenomenon.
One of the key aspects of Lyotard’s postmodernism is his emphasis on the role of language in shaping our understanding of the world.
He argues that language is not simply a neutral tool for communication, but rather a complex system of signifiers that shapes our perceptions and understanding of reality.
Lyotard argues that language games are constantly evolving and changing, and that different communities and groups have their own unique forms of discourse and ways of understanding the world.
Lyotard also emphasizes the importance of difference and diversity in postmodern thought. He argues that diversity is not simply a matter of tolerance or acceptance, but rather a fundamental aspect of human experience.
In the postmodern era, he suggests, we should embrace the complexity and diversity of the world, rather than trying to reduce it to a single, unified perspective.
Overall, Jean-Francois Lyotard’s views on postmodernism are characterized by a rejection of grand narratives and an embrace of difference and diversity.
His work has had a major influence on postmodern thought and has contributed to a wider cultural shift towards an acceptance of plurality and complexity in the world
Q 3. Distinguish between procedural and sustentative democracy.
Ans. Procedural democracy and substantive democracy are two different concepts that relate to how democracy is practiced and implemented in a political system.
Procedural democracy focuses on the formal procedures and institutions that are used to govern a society. This includes things like regular and free elections, universal suffrage, freedom of speech, and the rule of law
. In a procedural democracy, the emphasis is on ensuring that these procedures are followed and that democratic institutions are respected.
This means that a government can be considered democratic even if it does not necessarily produce outcomes that are viewed as just or equitable.
On the other hand, substantive democracy emphasizes the actual outcomes of democratic procedures and institutions.
This means that substantive democracy places greater emphasis on ensuring that democratic procedures produce fair and equitable outcomes for all members of society. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This includes things like reducing economic inequality, promoting social justice, and ensuring that marginalized groups are represented and have a say in decision-making processes.
In other words, while procedural democracy is concerned with the process of democracy, substantive democracy is concerned with the outcomes of that process.
While procedural democracy ensures that all individuals have an equal say in the political process, substantive democracy focuses on ensuring that the decisions made through that process promote justice and equality.
While both procedural and substantive democracy are important for creating and maintaining a democratic society, they can sometimes come into conflict with one another.
For example, a government may be democratically elected through free and fair elections, but still fail to produce outcomes that are viewed as just or equitable.
In this case, proponents of substantive democracy might argue that the procedures of democracy need to be reevaluated and changed to ensure that they produce more equitable outcomes.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Overall, the distinction between procedural and substantive democracy is an important one for understanding how democracy is practiced and implemented in different political systems.
While both concepts are important, they emphasize different aspects of the democratic process and can sometimes come into conflict with one another.
Q 4. Examine any one theory of democracy.
Ans. One prominent theory of democracy is deliberative democracy, which emphasizes the importance of public deliberation and discussion in the democratic process.
This theory argues that democracy should not simply be about voting or electing representatives, but should also involve a process of collective reasoning and dialogue.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Deliberative democracy emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all members of society have an equal opportunity to participate in democratic deliberation.
This means that the democratic process should be open to all individuals, regardless of their social status, political views, or economic power.
In a deliberative democracy, the focus is on fostering public discourse and dialogue that is respectful, informed, and productive.
This means that individuals should be encouraged to engage in meaningful conversations about issues that are relevant to their lives and to society as a whole.
Through this process, deliberative democracy seeks to create a shared understanding of common problems and to identify collective solutions that reflect the needs and interests of all members of society.
Deliberative democracy also emphasizes the importance of creating democratic institutions and procedures that support public deliberation.
This might include things like citizen assemblies, public forums, and participatory budgeting processes that allow individuals to engage in democratic decision-making at the local level.BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Overall, deliberative democracy is a theory that emphasizes the importance of public deliberation and dialogue in the democratic process.
By creating democratic institutions and procedures that support meaningful conversations and collective reasoning, deliberative democracy seeks to create a more inclusive and democratic society that reflects the needs and interests of all members of society.
Q 5. What is the foreign policy dimension of democracy? Elaborate.
Ans.The foreign policy dimension of democracy refers to the ways in which democratic states interact with each other in the international system.
Democratic states, which are defined by their commitment to democratic principles and institutions, often have unique foreign policy priorities and practices that reflect their democratic values.
One key aspect of the foreign policy dimension of democracy is the promotion of democracy abroad. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Democratic states often see the promotion of democracy as a key aspect of their foreign policy, and may use a variety of tools and strategies to encourage other states to adopt democratic principles and institutions.
This might include providing foreign aid to support democratic transitions, engaging in diplomatic efforts to pressure authoritarian regimes to democratize, or even using military force to promote democracy in certain cases.
Another important aspect of the foreign policy dimension of democracy is the promotion of human rights and the rule of law.
Democratic states often see the protection of human rights and the rule of law as essential components of their foreign policy, and may use a variety of tools to promote these values abroad.
This might include providing support for civil society organizations that work to protect human rights, engaging in diplomatic efforts to pressure other states to respect human rights, or even using military force to protect human rights in certain cases.
In addition to promoting democracy and human rights, democratic states may also have unique foreign policy practices that reflect their democratic values.
For example, democratic states may be more likely to engage in multilateralism, which involves working with other states and international organizations to address common challenges and promote collective solutions to global problems.
This is because democratic states often see multilateralism as a way to promote democratic values like cooperation, dialogue, and compromise.
Overall, the foreign policy dimension of democracy is an important aspect of the democratic project. BPSC 101 Solved Free Assignment 2023
By promoting democracy and human rights abroad, and by engaging in unique foreign policy practices that reflect their democratic values, democratic states can help to create a more democratic and just international system.