Political Science323 Syllabus
Note: There will be one Question Paper which will have 50 questions out of which 40 questions need to be attempted.
Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governace and power, and the analysis of political activities, political thought, political behavior, and associated consistutions and laws.
Politics in India Since Independence
1. The era of One-Party Dominance: First three general elections, nature of Congress dominance at the national level, uneven dominance at the state level, coalitional nature of Congress. Major opposition parties.
2. Nation-Building and Its Problems: Nehru’s approach to nation-building: Legacy of partition: the challenge of ‘refugee’ resettlement, the Kashmir problem. Organization and reorganization of states; Political conflicts over language.
3. Politics of Planned Development: Five- year plans, expansion of state sector, and the rise of new economic interests. Famine and suspension of five-year plans. Green revolution and its political fallouts.
4. India’s External Relations: Nehru’s foreign policy. Sino-Indian war of 1962, Indo-Pak war of 1965 and 1971. India’s nuclear programme and shifting alliances in world politics.
5. Challenge to and Restoration of Congress System: Political succession after Nehru. NonCongressism and electoral upset of 1967, Congress split and reconstitution, Congress’ victory in 1971 elections, politics of ‘garibi hatao’.
6. Crisis of the Constitutional Order: Search for ‘committed’ bureaucracy and judiciary. Navnirman movement in Gujarat and the Bihar movement. Emergency: context, constitutional and extra-constitutional dimensions, resistance to emergency. 1977 elections and the formation of the Janata Party. Rise of civil liberties organizations.
7. Regional Aspirations and Conflicts: Rise of regional parties. Punjab crisis and the antiSikh riots of 1984. The Kashmir situation. Challenges and responses in the North East.
8. Rise of New Social Movements: Farmers’ movements, Women’s movement, Environment, and Development-affected people’s movements. Implementation of Mandal Commission report and its aftermath.
9. Democratic Upsurge and Coalition Politics: Participatory upsurge in the 1990s. Rise of the JD and the BJP. The increasing role of regional parties and coalition politics. UF and NDA governments. Elections 2004 and UPA government.
10. Recent Issues and Challenges: Challenge of and responses to globalization: new economic policy and its opposition. Rise of OBCs in North Indian politics. Dalit politics in the electoral and non-electoral arena. Challenge of communalism: Ayodhya dispute, Gujarat riots.
Contemporary World Politics
1. Cold War Era in World Politics: Emergence of two power blocs after the second world war. Arenas of the cold war. Challenges to Bipolarity: Non-Aligned Movement, the quest for new international economic order. India and the cold war.
2. Disintegration of the ‘Second World’ and the Collapse of Bipolarity: New entities in world politics: Russia, Balkan states, and, Central Asian states, Introduction of democratic politics and capitalism in post-communist regimes. India’s relations with Russia and other post-communist countries.
3. US Dominance in World Politics: Growth of unilateralism: Afghanistan, first Gulf War, response to 9/11 and attack on Iraq. Dominance and challenge to the US in economy and ideology. India’s renegotiation of its relationship with the USA.
4. Alternative Centers of Economic and Political Power: Rise of China as an economic power in post- Mao era, creation, and expansion of European Union, ASEAN. India’s changing relations with China.
5. South Asia in the Post-Cold War Era: Democratization and its reversals in Pakistan and Nepal. Ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Impact of economic globalization on the region. Conflicts and efforts for peace in South Asia. India’s relations with its neighbors.
6. International Organizations in a Unipolar World: Restructuring and the future of the UN. India’s position in the restructured UN. Rise of new international actors: new international economic organizations, NGOs. How democratic and accountable are the new institutions of global governance?
7. Security in the Contemporary World: Traditional concerns of security and politics of disarmament. Non-traditional or human security: global poverty, health, and education. Issues of human rights and migration.
8. Environment and Natural Resources in Global Politics: Environment movement and evolution of global environmental norms. Conflicts over traditional and common property resources. Rights of indigenous people. India’s stand-in global environmental debates.
9. Globalization and Its Critics: Economic, cultural and political manifestations. Debates on the nature of consequences of globalization. Anti-globalization movements. India as an arena of globalization and struggles against it.
Tips For POLITICAL SCIENCE
Try to keep your political ideas to yourself.
If that fails, at the very least, avoid discussing your personal beliefs. Unlike popular belief, political science is more concerned with researching ideas than with defending them. To be effective, you must be able to evaluate both the merits and flaws in equal proportion; having a foot in either camp will impair your neutrality. Granted, you'll almost definitely be asked to defend one or more positions at some time. It's still a good idea not to hold any particular ideas in situations like this. Allow your studies and knowledge to lead you. Because this discipline's name includes the word "science," use the scientific method to falsify rather than verify your assumptions. Politics has a funny way of bringing out our biases, therefore doing everything you can to reduce them is a commendable and prudent practise.
Every time you argue, always do so in good faith.
A classmate or Thomas Aquinas does not matter. You should practise making each other look better and giving them the best arguments you can think of (to the best of your knowledge). This way, you have to fully understand the other side's point of view and are less likely to come up with a strawman. This is another way to get rid of your own personal biases, but it also serves another important purpose, like when you're in class or talking to your coworkers one on one. You show that you care about your opponent's point of view by arguing in good faith. If you're polite, your conversation partner should also be polite. This makes the practise even more powerful when there is more passionate opposition to it. To put it another way, it helps to lower the level of adrenaline that might be in a conversation.
Read a lot and read often.
Whether you're an expert or not doesn't make a difference. It's impossible for one person to understand everything that goes on in politics. However, you shouldn't let this stop you from giving it a try! As a young political scientist, you should read books about economics and political thinkers you haven't heard of to learn more about the field. When reading these writings, it's important to ask questions to make sure you understand everything. Even if it's a private blog or a notepad, write them down somewhere, even if it's just for you. Making time to broaden your horizons will help you with whatever your main goal is. The ideas of people in the past can often have an impact on people who came after them. In the same way, economics is a part of every political theory. The knowledge won't go to waste, and it won't be lost.