Chapter 1 Political Theory: An Introduction
Textbook Questions Solved
Which of the following statements are true/false about Political Theory?
(a) It discusses ideas that form the basis of political institutions.
(b) It explains the relationship between different religions.
(c) It explains the meanings of concepts like equality and freedom.
(d) It predicts the performance of political parties.
Politics is more than what politicians do. Do you agree with this statement? Give examples.
The various arguments have been raised on this issue:
- Politics is associated with the manipulation and pursue ambitions and satisfy wants.
- Political leaders and persons who contest elections and hold public office, are argued to after a public service.
- A few people argue that politics is what politicians do-who sometimes practices floor-crossing (Aya Ram or Gaya Ram), commit false promises, pursue an individual interest in place of nation as a whole or having a criminal background sometimes, what about this notion?
Hence, the following prescriptions can be found out:
- It is unfortunate that politics has been associated with the pursuit of personal interests only and the need is to realise that politics is an integral part of the society.
- The important focus should be on how governments are formed and how they function because governments play an important role in different institutions and help people to fulfill their needs and aspirations.
- People may also be engaged in political activity to participate collectively in politics to promote social development and resolve the problems of common people.
Vigilant citizens are a must for the successful working of a democracy. Comment.
Vigilant citizens are a must for the successful working of a democracy for the following
- Vigilant citizens encounter the corrupt actions of their representatives and democratic government due to be aware in politics.
- Vigilant citizens form a public opinion by forming associations, public meetings, etc. against the malpractices done by the politicians, i.e. defection, false commitments to people, to look after only their own individual or family members’ interest, etc.
- Vigilant citizens keep a check on wrong policies issued by the government and corruption which endanger people’s lives and security as well.
- Vigilant citizens can organise the campaign also to negotiate the interests of particular groups and demonstrations to persuade the government to change the laws if required.
- Vigilant citizens aspire to create a better society by debating the actions of their representatives.
In what ways is the study of political theory useful for us? Identify four ways in which the political theory can be useful to us?
Political theory advocates the various views to be needed as science or art.
As a science: The following functions of political theory has been propounded by David Easton as a science:
- A political theory ensures analytical scheme which renders research meaningful and describes the mutual relations of political variables.
- The comparative study of various researchers verify the conclusions and reveal the areas to be required more empirical work.
- A relative consistent concepts make research more reliable.
As a social and natural entity: In the words of Wright and Mills:
- It is an ideology of justified practices to make criticism and to determine policies.
- It prepares goals and guidelines for aspirations and policies made at various levels of ideals.
- It prepares strategies and programmes to meet both the ends and means.
- It assumes the formation of society and conflicts to be arisen in the society as well as solutions to the particular conflicts.
Conclusion: Political theory can be concluded as a collection of systems and analysis of political data. It also aims to achieve a better world of politics.
Do you think that a good/ convincing argument can compel others to listen to you?
Yes, I agree that a good argument can compel others to listen to me, because:
- Everyone who is rationale always takes interest in debates, conversation or interactions to reach at a better conclusion.
- Every individual is impressed with the logic and rational points to be agreed/ convinced upon.
- In a positive manner, if I make the efforts to convince others, they listen to me very carefully.
- In a discussion or debate, even people participate to make their doubts clear and get convinced.
Do you think studying political theory is like studying mathematics? Give reasons for your answer.
No, studying political theory is not like studying mathematics because mathematics can have a specific definition of any shape or particular areas which may be applicable as per terms but political theory deals with the needs and aspirations of the peoples and states who may have different opinions on different issues to be encountered to develop harmonious relations.
Extra Questions Solved
Very Short Answer Type Questions
What do you mean by politics?
Politics has been regarded as the study of the state or power or a struggle to attain power.
The government as a part of politics can affect on daily life of humans both in a useful and a harmful way. How?
- The government in a useful manner can frame foreign policy, educational policy and economic policy to benefit the people.
- The government in a harmful manner can lead to violent protests in response to various conflicts which may hamper the daily life of people.
What do we study in political theory?
We study certain values and principles and ideals also which inspired people and guided policies like democracy, freedom, equality, etc.
Who wrote the Hind Swaraj?
Mahatma Gandhi wrote the Hind Swaraj.
Who argued first that equality was as crucial as freedom?
‘Human beings are unique’. Give any two arguments.
- Human beings possess reasons for any action and they have the ability to react upon actions also.
- Human beings are capable to converse and debate and discuss the issues.
Mention the characteristics to constitute the politics.
- Politics is found in a political system.
- Politics is about power.
- Politics involves an activity.
Why should we study political theory?
We should study political theory for the following reasons:
- It is relevant for all the professions except engineers, doctors, or mathematicians.
- To have a basic knowledge of political ideals and information’s to shape public opinion.
- It encourages us to examine our ideas and feelings about political activities.
- We can differentiate between just or unjust reactions and actions.
Question 9. How can we show our interest in government?
Government’s action deeply (Policies and Programmes) affect on us. Hence, we participate in the government’s actions as follows:
- To form associations
- To organise campaigns on particular issues
- We form a support of public opinion and target the governmental activities and goals
- We may protest and organise demonstrations if the government violates our rights and freedom.
Short Answer Type Questions
What is a class?
A class may be defined as a larger group of people to be different from each other in the following manner:
- by the place to be occupied in social production, i.e. master or slaves.
- by their relations through the production activities, i.e. owners or non-owners.
- by their role in social organisation, i.e. active members or followers.
- by the mode of acquiring the share of social wealth, i.e. entrepreneurs or wage earners.
Mention the characteristics of a class struggle.
- The conflicts arisen are the result of the society divided into various classes.
- The ownership of means of production originate the classes.
- The common interest is mainly associated with classes who are economically dominant.
- These classes keep fighting with each other in case of opposition with each other.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, page 7) given below carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Though freedom is guaranteed in our Constitution, we encounter new interpretations all the time. This is a bit like playing a game; as we play chess or cricket, we learn how to interpret the rules. In the process, we discover new and broader meanings of the game itself. Similarly, the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution are continually being reinterpreted in response to new circumstances. For instance, the right to life has been interpreted by the Courts to include the right to livelihood. The right to information has been granted through a new law. Societies frequently encounter new challenges which generate new interpretations. The fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution have been amended and expanded over time through judicial interpretations and government policies which are designed to address new problems.
1. How the right to freedom has been designed to address new problems?
2. Which right has been interpreted to include right to livelihood?
3. Which right has been granted by a new law?
1. Through judicial interpretations and government policies.
2. Right to life.
3. Right to information.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, page 6) given below carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Political theory deals with the ideas and principles that shape Constitutions, governments and social life in a systematic manner. It clarifies the meaning of concepts such as freedom, equality, justice, democracy, secularism and so on. It probes the significance of principles such as rule of law, separation of powers, judicial review, etc. This is done by examining the arguments advanced by different thinkers in defense of these concepts. Though Rousseau or Marx or Gandhi did not become politicians, their ideas influenced generations of politicians everywhere. There are also contemporary thinkers who draw upon them to defend freedom or democracy in our own time. Besides examining arguments, political theorists also reflect upon our current political experiences and point out trends and possibilities for the future.
1. What is a political theory?
2. Which concepts are cleared by a political theory?
3. How does the political theory defend all these concepts?
1. The political theory deals with the ideas and principles that shape constitutions, governments and social life.
2. Freedom, democracy, secularism, equality, separation of powers and justice.
3. Political theory examines the arguments advanced by different thinkers in defence of these concepts.
Long Answer Type Questions
‘Politics works as a pursuit of common good of people’. Justify the statement.
Politics implies to power to make laws and to enforce them for common good:
- Common good is both an objective and a procedure to be followed.
- Common good has been evolved with the growth of democracy.
- Common good may be associated with the concept of welfare state.
- Developing nations reflect common good in realization of objectives for a welfare’ state while developed nations believe to common good to be the efforts of state.
Politics as a pursuit of common good:
- Politics discovers a ‘common’ in all and promoter the spirit of ‘common hood’ among people.
- Politics does not refer to class struggle but it is a class permeation.
- The common good serves all the people living in society in place of individuals’ interests only.
- It begins with the establishment of social order and ends up in a state to serve all.
What are the differences between politics and political science?
- Politics may have different ideas to be argued upon.
- Politics is associated with the satisfaction of wants.
- Politics is sometimes considered to be what politicians do. But it associates them with teams due to their false commitments, etc.
- Politics promotes the interests of an individual by all means.
- It is a scientific study of political ideas and principles.
- Political Science shapes the government and public opinion in a well-mannered way.
- Political science examines the defections, false commitment and false promises made by politicians.
- Political Science examines the validity of concepts of equality, justice, freedom, democracy, secularism, etc.
- The philosophers in political science can generate the new ideas to mould society.
Picture Based Interpretation
1. Read the cartoon (NCERT Textbook, page 3) given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. What does the cartoon represent?
2. Mention some drawbacks of politics.
1. Cartoon represents the demerits of politicians.
2. Mostly leaders tell a lie frequently even in family to influence their young ones adversely.
Politics, is considered a ‘dirty game’ on the principle of ‘everything is fair to win the power’.