COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Assignment – I
Q 1. Examine the characteristic features of democratic regimes. What challenges do they face in developing states?
Ans. Characteristic Features of Democratic Regimes:
Elections: Democratic regimes are characterized by free and fair elections where citizens have the right to vote and choose their leaders.
Rule of law: In a democratic regime, the rule of law is supreme. All citizens are equal before the law, and no one is above the law. The judiciary is independent and impartial.
Civil liberties: Democratic regimes ensure that citizens enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of speech, assembly, and association.
Separation of powers: There is a clear separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in democratic regimes. Each branch has its specific roles and functions.
Checks and balances: Democratic regimes have a system of checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. The legislature can check the executive, and the judiciary can check both the executive and the legislature.
Transparency and accountability: Democratic regimes are characterized by transparency and accountability. Government officials are answerable to the people, and there is a free flow of information.
Challenges Faced by Developing States in Establishing Democratic Regimes:
Lack of institutional capacity: Developing states often lack the institutional capacity to establish and maintain democratic regimes. Weak state institutions, including the judiciary and the police, undermine the rule of law.
Poverty and inequality: Poverty and inequality make it difficult to establish and maintain democratic regimes. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Poor citizens are often excluded from the political process and may not have access to information or the means to participate effectively.
Ethnic and religious conflicts: Ethnic and religious conflicts can destabilize democratic regimes in developing states. These conflicts often arise due to historical grievances and unresolved issues of discrimination.
Corruption: Corruption undermines democratic regimes and erodes public trust in government institutions. Corruption can be a significant obstacle to economic development and poverty reduction.
Authoritarian legacy: Many developing states have a history of authoritarian rule, making it difficult to establish and maintain democratic regimes.
The authoritarian legacy can influence the behavior of government officials and citizens and undermine democratic institutions.
External interference: Developing states may face external interference from other countries or international organizations, which can undermine their efforts to establish democratic regimes. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Foreign aid and assistance can come with conditions that limit the ability of developing states to determine their own political and economic priorities.
Lack of political culture: Developing states may lack a political culture that supports democracy. This can make it challenging to establish and maintain democratic institutions and practices.
Citizens may not have a strong sense of civic responsibility, and political parties may not have well-established platforms and ideologies.
Limited media freedom: Freedom of the press and access to information are critical components of democratic regimes.
However, in developing states, there may be limited media freedom, which can restrict citizens’ ability to hold their government accountable.
External economic pressures: Developing states may face external economic pressures that limit their ability to establish and maintain democratic regimes.
International financial institutions and powerful countries may impose conditions on aid and investment that prioritize economic growth over democratic governance.
Limited civil society: A robust civil society is essential to the success of democratic regimes. However, developing states may have limited civil society organizations due to restrictive laws and regulations, limited funding, or government suppression.
Education levels: Education levels can influence the success of democratic regimes. Higher levels of education can lead to better-informed citizens and a stronger civil society. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, in developing states, access to education may be limited, which can hinder the establishment and maintenance of democratic institutions.
Political instability: Political instability can undermine the establishment and maintenance of democratic regimes in developing states.
Instability can arise from ethnic conflicts, economic downturns, or political crises, and can lead to the collapse of democratic institutions.
Weak political leadership: Weak political leadership can hinder the establishment and maintenance of democratic regimes in developing states.
Leaders may lack the vision, skills, or commitment to democratic governance, which can undermine democratic institutions.
Historical legacy: Historical legacies of colonialism and authoritarianism can impact the success of democratic regimes in developing states.
These legacies can create deep-seated problems, such as economic inequality, social exclusion, and political fragmentation, that can undermine the establishment and maintenance of democratic institutions.
Q 2. What are pressure groups? Examine their role in modern political systems.
Ans. Pressure groups, also known as interest groups, are organizations that advocate for a specific interest or cause, typically on behalf of a particular segment of society. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They are separate from political parties and seek to influence the policies and decisions of governments and other institutions.
The role of pressure groups in modern political systems is multifaceted. First and foremost, pressure groups serve as a mechanism for citizens to voice their concerns and interests in the policymaking process.
Pressure groups represent a wide range of issues and interests, including business, labor, environmental, and social justice issues.
Secondly, pressure groups serve as a check on the power of government officials and other decision-makers.
They provide an alternative source of information and expertise that can challenge the assumptions and biases of policymakers.
Thirdly, pressure groups help to bridge the gap between citizens and government institutions. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
By advocating on behalf of their members, pressure groups help to raise awareness of important issues and encourage public debate and dialogue.
Fourthly, pressure groups can serve as a source of political influence and power. Through lobbying, campaigning, and other forms of advocacy, pressure groups can influence the policies and decisions of government officials and other decision-makers.
However, the role of pressure groups is not without controversy. Critics argue that pressure groups can represent the interests of narrow and self-interested groups, rather than the broader public interest.
They can also contribute to the fragmentation of political systems, as different groups with different interests compete for attention and resources.
Furthermore, pressure groups can also be accused of exerting undue influence on government officials and decision-makers.
This can be particularly problematic in systems where the regulatory framework for lobbying and advocacy is weak or non-existent.
Additionally, pressure groups can also be seen as a source of expertise and knowledge on particular issues. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They may conduct research, provide data and analysis, and offer policy recommendations to policymakers. This can be especially valuable in areas where policymakers may lack expertise or experience.
Moreover, pressure groups can also serve as a means of democratic participation and representation.
They allow citizens to have a say in the policymaking process, even if they do not have direct access to government officials or institutions.
Furthermore, pressure groups can help to mobilize public opinion around specific issues.
They may engage in campaigns, demonstrations, or other forms of public action to raise awareness of important issues and influence public opinion. This can be particularly important in systems where the media is controlled or restricted.
In some cases, pressure groups may also serve as a source of innovation and experimentation in policy development.
They may develop and pilot new policy ideas and approaches, which can later be adopted by government institutions.
Pressure groups can also play a role in holding policymakers accountable for their actions. By monitoring and reporting on government decisions, pressure groups can expose corruption, abuse of power, and other forms of malfeasance.
However, pressure groups can also contribute to the fragmentation of political systems. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
When multiple groups with conflicting interests compete for attention and resources, it can lead to a lack of coherence in policymaking and political gridlock.
Moreover, some pressure groups may use unethical or illegal means to achieve their goals, such as bribery or blackmail.
This can undermine the legitimacy of both the pressure group and the policymaking process as a whole.
Assignment – II
Q 1. What are various explanations for the intervention of military in politics?
Ans. The intervention of military in politics can have various explanations, which can differ depending on the specific context and historical circumstances. Some of the main explanations for military intervention in politics include:
Perceived threat to national security: The military may intervene in politics when it perceives a threat to the national security of the country.
This could be in response to an external threat, such as a military invasion, or an internal threat, such as political instability or a breakdown of law and order.
Corruption and inefficiency in government: Military intervention can also occur when the military perceives that the civilian government is corrupt or inefficient.
The military may believe that it is necessary to take control in order to root out corruption and implement more effective policies.
Political polarization and instability: Military intervention can also be triggered by political polarization and instability.
When the civilian government is unable to resolve conflicts between different groups or factions, the military may step in to restore order and stability.
Ideological differences: Military intervention can also be motivated by ideological differences between the military and the civilian government.
The military may view itself as the defender of a particular ideology or set of values, and may intervene when it perceives that the civilian government is not upholding those values.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Power and privilege: Military intervention can also be motivated by the desire for power and privilege. The military may see political power as a way to advance their own interests and maintain their position of authority.
Historical precedent: In some cases, military intervention may be seen as a historical precedent. If previous military interventions have been successful in achieving certain goals, the military may be more likely to intervene in the future.
One major consequence of military intervention in politics is the erosion of democratic institutions and values.
Military intervention often involves the suspension of civil liberties, the suppression of political opposition, and the restriction of free speech and the media.
This can have a chilling effect on political participation and can lead to a culture of fear and mistrust.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another consequence of military intervention is the potential for human rights abuses.
The military may engage in extrajudicial killings, torture, and other forms of violence against civilians, particularly those who are seen as political opponents or threats to the military’s authority.
Military intervention can also have economic consequences, particularly if it leads to sanctions or other forms of economic isolation. This can have a negative impact on the country’s economic development and can exacerbate poverty and inequality.
Furthermore, military intervention can exacerbate ethnic or religious tensions within a country, particularly if the military is seen as representing a particular ethnic or religious group.
This can lead to increased conflict and violence, and can further destabilize the country’s political system.
In addition, military intervention can damage the country’s international reputation and lead to diplomatic isolation.
Other countries may impose sanctions or other forms of punishment, and the country may find it more difficult to attract foreign investment or support.
Military intervention can also have long-term consequences for the military itself. The military may become more deeply involved in politics, and may see itself as having a greater role in shaping the country’s political system.
This can lead to a cycle of military intervention and political instability, and can further erode democratic institutions and values.
Finally, military intervention can also have psychological consequences for the country’s citizens. It can lead to a sense of helplessness and despair, and can damage social trust and cohesion. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
It can also lead to a culture of violence and impunity, and can make it more difficult for the country to achieve peace and reconciliation.
Q 2. Briefly describe the plurality and majority systems of representation.
Ans. Plurality and majority systems are two different methods of representation in democratic elections.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In a plurality system, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins the election, regardless of whether they have a majority of the votes.
This means that a candidate can win with less than 50% of the votes, as long as they have more votes than any other candidate.
Plurality systems are commonly used in single-member district elections, such as in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
In a majority system, the winning candidate must have a majority of the votes, meaning that they need to have more than 50% of the votes to win the election.
If no candidate achieves a majority of the votes in the first round of voting, a second round may be held between the two candidates with the most votes.
Majority systems are commonly used in multi-party systems, such as in France, where the President is elected through a two-round system.
Both plurality and majority systems have their advantages and disadvantages. Plurality systems can be simpler and easier to understand, but they can also result in the election of candidates who do not have broad support.
Majority systems can ensure that the winning candidate has a broader base of support, but they can also lead to run-off elections and a more complex election process. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Ultimately, the choice between these systems depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the country in question.
Some critics argue that plurality systems can lead to a lack of representation for certain groups, particularly minority groups.
This is because a candidate who is popular with the majority may win the election, even if they do not represent the interests of minority groups.
In contrast, majority systems can encourage candidates to appeal to a broader range of voters, which may lead to greater representation of minority groups.
However, majority systems also have their own limitations. For example, they may lead to a concentration of power in the hands of a small number of parties or candidates, which can limit the diversity of ideas and perspectives in the political system. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This can be particularly problematic if the dominant party or candidate is corrupt or abusive of their power.
Additionally, run-off elections in majority systems can be expensive and time-consuming, which can limit the ability of smaller parties or candidates to participate in the election process.
Q 3. Briefly describe the three dominant approaches to globalisation.
Ans. There are three dominant approaches to globalization: hyperglobalist, sceptical, and transformationalist.
The hyperglobalist view argues that globalization is an all-encompassing process that is transforming the world into a single global society.
This approach emphasizes the growing interdependence of countries, the emergence of global markets, and the decline of the nation-state.
The hyperglobalist view sees globalization as an inevitable and irreversible process that is leading to greater economic prosperity, cultural homogenization, and political integration.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The sceptical view, on the other hand, argues that the impact of globalization has been overstated and that it is not leading to the demise of the nation-state or the emergence of a single global society.
This approach emphasizes the continued importance of national borders, cultural differences, and political institutions.
The sceptical view sees globalization as a complex and contested process that is characterized by both opportunities and challenges.
The transformationalist view takes a middle ground between the hyperglobalist and sceptical views.
This approach argues that globalization is a transformative process that is leading to significant changes in the world, but that the outcomes of this process are uncertain and depend on the actions of various actors.
The transformationalist view sees globalization as a complex and dynamic process that is characterized by both continuity and change, and that is shaped by the interplay of economic, cultural, and political factors.
Each of the three dominant approaches to globalization has its own strengths and weaknesses. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The hyperglobalist view, for instance, has been criticized for its tendency to overemphasize the economic aspects of globalization while neglecting other important factors such as culture, politics, and the environment.
The sceptical view, on the other hand, has been criticized for underestimating the impact of globalization and overlooking the many positive changes that it has brought about, such as the reduction of poverty and the spread of democracy.
The transformationalist view, meanwhile, has been praised for its ability to capture the complexity and nuance of globalization, as well as for its emphasis on the importance of agency and the potential for social and political change.
However, it has also been criticized for its lack of theoretical coherence and its tendency to rely on vague and abstract concepts such as “global governance” and “transnationalism.”BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Despite these limitations, the three dominant approaches to globalization continue to play an important role in shaping our understanding of this complex and dynamic process.
By providing different perspectives on the causes, consequences, and challenges of globalization, they help us to better grasp the opportunities and risks associated with this ongoing transformation of the world.
Assignment – III
Q 1. What is the role of the state from the perspective of neo-pluralism?
Ans. From the perspective of neo-pluralism, the state is seen as just one of many centers of power in society.
Unlike traditional pluralism, which views the state as the ultimate arbiter of power, neo-pluralism argues that power is dispersed among a variety of groups and institutions, including corporations, interest groups, and social movements.
In this view, the state is not a neutral entity that stands above society, but rather a contested terrain in which various groups compete for influence and resources.
The state is seen as a site of ongoing political struggle, in which different groups use a variety of tactics, such as lobbying, protest, and media campaigns, to advance their interests and agendas.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The role of the state, then, is not to mediate between competing interests or to serve as the ultimate source of legitimacy, but rather to act as a facilitator of social and economic processes.
The state is seen as providing the legal and institutional framework within which groups can operate and interact, and as setting the rules of the game that determine the distribution of power and resources in society.
Overall, the neo-pluralist perspective on the role of the state reflects a broader shift away from traditional models of governance that emphasize hierarchy, centralization, and control, and towards more flexible, decentralized, and networked forms of power and authority.
Q 2. Differentiate between decentralisation of power and non-centralisation of power.
Ans. Decentralization and non-centralization of power are two distinct concepts related to the distribution of power within a political system.
Decentralization refers to the transfer of power and authority from a central government to lower levels of government, such as regional or local governments.
This involves devolving certain responsibilities, resources, and decision-making powers to these lower levels of government, which allows them to respond more effectively to local needs and preferences.
Decentralization is often seen as a means of promoting democratic participation, accountability, and efficiency, as well as enhancing the autonomy of subnational entities.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Non-centralization of power, on the other hand, refers to a situation where power is not concentrated in any one central authority or institution, but is rather dispersed among a variety of actors and institutions.
This can include groups, organizations, and individuals who wield power through informal networks, social norms, or other non-institutional channels.
Non-centralization of power may occur in societies with weak or fragmented states, where power is contested and diffuse, or in more egalitarian societies where power is distributed widely.
In summary, decentralization involves the transfer of power from a central government to lower levels of government, while non-centralization of power refers to the dispersion of power among a variety of actors and institutions, rather than being concentrated in any one central authority.
Q 3. Comment on the use of historical method in comparative studies.
Ans. The historical method is a valuable tool in comparative studies, as it allows researchers to examine how specific events, institutions, and cultural practices have evolved over time in different contexts.
By tracing the historical roots of particular phenomena, scholars can gain a deeper understanding of the factors that have shaped their development and their impact on contemporary societies.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One advantage of using the historical method in comparative studies is that it can help researchers to identify causal mechanisms and trace the long-term effects of particular policies or practices.
For example, by examining the historical development of welfare systems in different countries, researchers can gain insights into how different policy choices have affected the provision of social services and the distribution of resources over time.
In addition, the historical method can help to contextualize contemporary issues within broader historical trends and processes.
By examining how different societies have responded to similar challenges or opportunities over time, researchers can gain a more nuanced understanding of the complex interactions between political, social, and economic factors.
However, there are also some limitations to using the historical method in comparative studies.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One challenge is that historical data may be incomplete or unreliable, which can make it difficult to draw firm conclusions or generalizations about particular phenomena.
In addition, historical accounts may be influenced by the biases and perspectives of the individuals who wrote them, which can complicate efforts to compare across different societies or time periods.
Q 4. Describe the functions of political parties in democratic politics.
Ans. Political parties play a central role in democratic politics by representing and mobilizing different interests and preferences within a society. Some of the key functions of political parties in democratic politics include:
Representation: Political parties serve as vehicles for representing the diverse interests and perspectives of citizens.
By competing in elections and campaigning on different platforms, parties offer voters a range of choices and opportunities to express their preferences and hold elected officials accountable.BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Recruitment and selection of leaders: Political parties play a critical role in identifying, recruiting, and promoting leaders who are best suited to represent their interests and advance their policy agendas.
Parties also help to ensure that political leadership is subject to competition and accountability, rather than being monopolized by a small group of elites.
Policy formulation and implementation: Political parties develop policy platforms that articulate their vision for how society should be governed and address the major challenges facing their constituents.
Parties also work to promote the implementation of these policies once they are in power, through legislative action and executive decision-making.
Mobilization of voters: Political parties mobilize voters to participate in the political process, through voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote campaigns, and other forms of political outreach. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Parties also work to build coalitions and alliances with other groups, such as labor unions, business organizations, and social movements, to advance their political goals.
Accountability and oversight: Political parties provide a crucial check on the power of the government, by monitoring the actions of elected officials and holding them accountable to the electorate.
Parties also play a role in ensuring that government institutions and officials are subject to appropriate levels of transparency and scrutiny.
Q 5. What are the core assumptions of neo-Marxism?
Ans. Neo-Marxism is a critical theory that emerged in the mid-20th century as a response to what its proponents saw as the limitations of traditional Marxism. Some of the core assumptions of neo-Marxism include:
The importance of social and cultural factors: Neo-Marxists believe that social and cultural factors, such as race, gender, and identity, play a crucial role in shaping political and economic structures. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They argue that these factors are often overlooked or downplayed in traditional Marxist analyses, which tend to focus primarily on class relations.
The role of the state: Neo-Marxists view the state as a key actor in the political and economic system, playing a central role in shaping the distribution of power and resources within society.
They argue that the state is not a neutral arbiter of the public interest, but rather a site of class struggle and conflict.
The concept of hegemony: Neo-Marxists draw on the concept of hegemony, which refers to the ways in which dominant groups in society use cultural and ideological means to maintain their power and authority.
They argue that hegemonic ideologies serve to naturalize and legitimize existing power relations, making it difficult for marginalized groups to challenge them.
The importance of social movements: Neo-Marxists emphasize the importance of social movements in challenging existing power structures and promoting social change. BPSC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They argue that social movements provide a means for marginalized groups to articulate their interests and mobilize for collective action, and that they have the potential to fundamentally transform society.