NIOS Political Science (317) Notes| Chapter-1 Meaning and Scope of Political Science

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes| Chapter-1 Meaning and Scope of Political Science. Important questions for NIOS Political Science 317 Questions Answers brings you latest queries and solutions with accordance to the most recent pointers SOS . Students will clear all their doubts with regard to every chapter by active these necessary chapter queries and elaborate explanations that area unit provided by our specialists so as to assist you higher. These queries can facilitate students prepare well for the exams thanks to time constraint . NIOS Political Science (317) Notes| Chapter-1 Meaning and Scope of Political Science

HS 2nd years Solutions (English Medium)

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes| Chapter-1 Meaning and Scope of Political Science

Intext Questions & Answers

 Q. No. 1. Fill in the blanks : 

(a) Political Science deals with both……….. and………. issues (empirical, normative, formal).

 Ans.: empirical, normative 

(b) Political Science studies………………….and……(society, state, nation, power, class). 

Ans. :State, power 

 (c) The term Politics is derived from the word….. ……(polis, police, state). 

Ans. : polis

(d)………… said Politics begins and ends with the state (Gettel, Garner, Lasswell). 

Ans.: Garner

 (e) …………defined Political Science as the study of shaping and sharing of power. (Kaplan, Easton, Garner).

 Ans. : Kaplan

 Q. No. 2. Fill in the blanks: 

(a)………..…called Political Science a ‘master science'(Plato, Aristotle, Laski).

 Ans.: Aristotle

 (b) Behaviouralism stressed on the ……..………..part of.Political Science (science, philosophy, political) 

 Ans. : science

 (c) The ……………. view Politics as a conflict between 

two classes of the haves and Individual and the State the have-nots (Greeks, Romans, Marxists). 

Ans. : Marxists 

(d) Skill of practical politics is acquired through ……………..(honesty, morality, craftiness). 

Ans. : craftiness

 Q. No. 3. Fill in the blanks: 

(a) The term ‘State’ was first used by ……….………….(Plato, Machiavelli, Kautilya). 

Ans.: Machiavelli

 (b) The term Liberty is derived from the …………….

word liber (Greek, Roman, Latin). 

 Ans. : Latin 

(d) Your liberty to swing your……… ends there where my nose begins (nose, arm, head). 

Ans. arm

 (e) The freedom of many may require restraints of law on the freedom of….. (all, some, none).

 Ans. : some

(f) Eternal……….. is the price of liberty (vigilance, liberty, freedom). 

Ans.: vigilance

Q. No. 4. Fill in the blanks: 

(a) According to…….. Justice is the reconciler of political values (Plato, Aristotle, Barker). 

Ans.: Barker 

(b) Equality does not mean…… treatment, equality of opportunity). 

Ans.: identity of treatment 

(c) Justice for Nozick meant respect for …………(entitlements, duties, need). 

Ans. entitlements Individual and the State 

(d) According to Rawls, Inequality is permissible if and only if it benefits the ………………… (the richest, middle class, least well-off).

 Ans: least well-off 

(e) Equality means ………………… (absence of special privileges, identity of rewards, freedom). 

Ans. : absence of special privileges 

Terminal Exercises

 1. Explain the meaning of Political Science.

 Aus. The term Politics is derived from the Greek word polis which means city-state. That is why many commentators, as you saw, rightly define Politics in terms of the state or government. Political Science deals with both empirical facts and normative issues. Facts are in the domain of “what is” and value preferences are in the domain of “what should be.” Politics also deals with power.

 Political Science is that part of social science which deals with the foundations of the state and the principles of the government. According to J W Garner, “Politics begins and ends with the state.” Similarly, R G Gettel wrote that Politics is the “study of the state in the past, present and future”. Harold J Laski stated in the same vein that the study of Politics concerns itself with the life of men and women in relation to organized state. Thus as a social science, Political Science deals with those aspects of individuals in society which relate to their activities and organizations devoted to seeking of power, resolution of  conflicts and all these, within an overall framework of the rule and law as laid down by the state. 

2. Write a note on the growth of the Discipline of Political Science. 

Ans.: Systematic study of Politics started with the Greeks in the fourth century BC. Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle used it in the most comprehensive sense. Aristotle called Politics a “master science”. For him, it comprised of not only the institutions of state or government but also family, property and other social institutions. Politics, for the Greeks, was an all encompassing activity. 

The ancient Greek view about Political Science was mainly ethical. In contrast, the ancient Romans considered the legal aspect of Politics more important for their governance. Individual and the State During the Middle Ages, Political Science became a branch of religious order of the Church. Political authority was, then, subordinated to the authority of the Church.

 As the state grew in size and became more complex, Political Science acquired a realistic and secular (non-religious) approach. After the Industrial Revolution, the role of the State, which was limited to maintenance of law and order and providing defence against external aggression, underwent considerable changes with the emergence of the new economic system called capitalism. In the twentieth century, after the Second World War, the ‘behavioural approach’ offered a new dimension of Political Science. The behavioural movement in American Political Science in the 1950s and the 1960s placed a lot of emphasis on the ‘science’ part of Politics. It wanted to model Politics after the methods followed by natural sciences like Physics, Botany, etc. The behaviouralists built theory inductively from empirical propositions. Those who follow inductive method would come to the conclusion after study, observation and experiment. 

For example, when some behaviouralists saw African-Americans (Blacks) of the southern United States of America (USA) voted for the Democratic Party of the United States, they came to the conclusion that the African-Americans do vote for the Democrats. This behavioural approach shifted the focus of its study from political institutions and structures to their functions. It placed stress on political activity and the behaviour of men and women who control these institutions. It replaced the study of ideas by the study of facts, evidence and behaviour. It considered political activity manifested in behaviour as the true subject of Political Science. 

A political activity may be in the form of an individual contesting an election. It may be the activity of a group seeking the adoption of a particular policy in its favour by the government. As different people pursue different interests, such activities tend to generate disagreement, competition and conflict. But the distinctive quality of Politics is that it includes physical coercion or force by the government. It may and usually does involve the persuasive influence and effort of the government to resolve conflicts through its balanced policy decisions. Politics is also viewed as a process whereby individuals, groups or communities seek to achieve their specific but conflicting goals. Politics, as the process, seeks to allocate resources (Easton calls it, values) authoritatively. 

Politics, as the study of structures, institutions, processes and activities, recognizes the possibility of the use of power. The Marxist approach, which is derived from the writings of the nineteenth century German philosopher Karl Marx, views Politics as a study of irreconcilable conflicts between the two classes ‘haves’ (those who have private property, or simply the rich) and the ‘have-nots’ (those who do not have any private property, or simply the poor); in other words, the exploiters and theexploited. The emancipation of the have-nots will come only through a revolution which would put an end to the institution of private property, thus changing the class society to the classless society. But Politics, as against the Marxist view, has another view also, the liberal view, according to which Politics is considered as an effort for conciliation and accommodation to bring about rule of order and Justice. Incidentally, the Marxist view of politics 

3. Describe the scope of Political Science in of the State and functions of government. 

Ans.: The term ‘State’ in its modern sense was first used by Machiavelli (1469-1527), the Italian statesman. The study of the State has since remained the focal point for the political scientists. The State consists of four elements. These are: (a) the people; (b) the territory on which they live; (c) the government to rule and regulate the lives of the people and (d) sovereignty, which implies unrestricted authority to take decisions and manage its own affairs. You will read in detail about these four elements in the second lesson. 

The role and nature of the State have been interpreted differently. Modern western liberal thinking, about which you will study more in the fourth lesson, arose with the commerial (Mercantile) Revolution in Western Europe in the sixteenth century and became prominent with the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. These Revolutions brought into focus a new economic system called capitalism. The social group consisting of traders, merchants and businessmen and later the industrialists (also known as the bourgeois) was the major beneficiary of this system. The liberals emphasized that the consent of the people is the true basis of the state. Early liberal thinkers also considered the state as a ‘necessary evil’- an evil but necessary for the purpose of protecting the individual from the external and internal enemies. According to this view, that government is the best which governs the least. In other words, the state should be a ‘police state’ and hence a limited one. It should also be limited in a different sense: as John Locke, the famous English liberal philosopher of the seventeenth century, said it is there to protect the individual’s natural right to life, liberty and property.

 By contrast, the Marxist view, about which you will study more in the fourth lesson, does not consider the State as an impartial institution. It asserts that, throughout the centuries, the state has been a tool in the hands of the “haves” for exploiting and dominating the “have-nots.” In the future classless society like the communist society, the state would “wither away,”. In Gandhian view, the State would justify its existence, by acting as a “trustee” of the people. It should help the poorest and the weakest one. It should restore to him or her, a control over his or her own life and destiny.

 The Welfare State, which slowly emerged during the 1930s, tries to promote the well being of its citizens, especially the poor, the needy, the unemployed and the aged. It is now generally agreed that the Welfare State exists to promote common good. So the functions of the state have increased manifold. Power refers to the ability of one person affecting the attitudes or action of another. I have power over you if I can make you do what you would not have done otherwise. But power is not always exercised openly. It can be exercised in unseen way, as in controlling the agenda. However, power can be best exercised when I can convince you about what is good/bad for you. To that extent, my power over you would be complete. And this dominance would always go unchallenged. By power of the government, we think of the different aspects of government. We think of ministers who have departments under them for the exercise of power over the area of their domains. There is the bureaucracy and the enormous structure of governmental administration, which has power over us. It can control our lives in various ways by making, administering and implementing laws.

 Here, one thing is to be noted. Power does not lie only in the highly publicized areas of social life, like government, administration, elections, etc. It also exists in small institutions like family etc.Many feminists are of the opinion that inside the private world of family man exercises power or dominance over woman. Hence, it is very aptly said, “even the personal is political.”

 Another thing to be noticed is that there is a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate power. There can be power, which is considered right or proper, while another may be improper. A dacoit’s power over me is very real, because if I do not comply with his wishes, I might lose my life or limb. But it is not proper power as is generally understood. Contrary to it the power that the government’s representatives, policemen or judges exercise over me is proper power. The dacoit’s power is illegitimate power while the government’s is legitimate. And the power of constitutional authorities over me is called authority. Authority contains the two ideas of power and legitimacy. Authority is that form of power which is legitimate. It is power plus legitimacy.

SL. No.Chapters Link
1Meaning and Scope of Political ScienceClick Here
2Nation and StateClick Here
3Distinction Between Society, Nation, State and GovernmentClick Here
4Major Political TheoriesClick Here
5Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of IndiaClick Here
6Fundamental RightsClick Here
7Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental DutiesClick Here
8Indian Federal SystemClick Here
9Emergency ProvisionsClick Here
10Union ExecutiveClick Here
11Parliament of IndiaClick Here
12Supreme Court of IndiaClick Here
13Executive in the StatesClick Here
14State LegislatureClick Here
15High Courts and Subordinate CourtsClick Here
16Local Government: Urban and RuralClick Here
17Universal adult franchise and the methods of representationClick Here
18Electoral System in IndiaClick Here
19National Political PartiesClick Here
20Regionalism and Regional PartiesClick Here
21Public Opinion and Pressure GroupsClick Here
22Communalism, Caste and ReservationsClick Here
23Environmental AwarenessClick Here
24Good GovernanceClick Here
25Human RightsClick Here
26India’s Foreign PolicyClick Here
27India’s Relations with USA and RussiaClick Here
28India and its Neighbors : China, Pakistan And Sri LankaClick Here
29Contemporary World OrderClick Here
30The United NationsClick Here
31United Nations’ Peace ActivitiesClick Here
32United Nations and Economic and Social DevelopmentClick Here
33Public Service CommissionsClick Here
34Administrative Machinery at the Centre, States and District LevelsClick Here
35Political Executive and BureaucracyClick Here
36Public Grievances and Redressal MachineryClick Here

 4. Distinguish between Political Science and Politics

. Ans.: The terms ‘Political Science’ and ‘Politics’ are often used interchangeably. However, the distinction between the two needs to be understood. Some scholars define Politics to be “the science and art of government.” But this is only a part of the total explanation of the subject of Political Science. Now-a-days the term Politics is used to mean the problems of the citizens interacting with the instrument of political power in one form or the other. Sometimes, Politics was and still is used as the technique of compromise or the method to capture power and retain it. According to many political scientists, the study of Political Science comprises theory of the state, concept of sovereign power, forms and functions of government, making and execution of laws, elections, political parities, rights and duties of citizens, policy functions and study of welfare activities of the State and government.

 There is another aspect of Politics that needs to be emphasised. Politics, many a time, implies practical politics. Practising politics is different from studying it. Practical politics includes actual formation of government, the working of government, administration, laws and legislation. It also includes international politics including matters such as peace and war, international trade and economic order, protection of rights, etc. All these also comprise the subject matter of the study of Politics. 

While the knowledge of Political Science as a discipline is acquired through study, the skill of practical politics is acquired through politicking or manipulations and craftiness or by exploiting caste and regional loyalties and religious sentiments. Practical politics is often described as the ‘dirty game’ and a ‘corrupting’ process in the common people’s mind.

 But we find that there are hardly any human groupings or societies, which are free from ‘politics’ and hardly any individual who does not know the implications of the “game of politics”. Practical Politics also has many positive aspects. In this era of welfare state many positive programmes such as removal of untouchability, land reforms, release of bonded labourers, prohibition of trafficking in human beings and begar (forced labour), introduction of minimum wages, employment generation programmes, empowerment of the other backward classes are all examples of positive aspects of practical politics. ‘Politics’ refers to the process of actual happenings in society and in institutions, which Political Science refers to its understand in a systematic manner.

 5. Write a note on the rights and the duties of an individual.

 Ans.: Rights are claims by an individual on the state. Natural rights are those rights with which an individual is supposed to have been born. These are, so to say, God-given rights. More importantly, individual is supposed to have acquired them even before the state came into existence. The important implication is that since the state has no role in the creation or granting of these rights, it cannot take away or abridge these rights. Declaration of rights of the individuals in the Constitution is considered as an important safeguard of liberty. This way the government can be prevented from encroaching upon the freedoms of the people.

 Impartial judiciary is rightly called the watchdog of liberty. Without it the liberty of the individuals would be meaningless. Decentralization of powers is another important safeguard of liberty. History is witness to the fact that concentration of power has very often led to despotism. 

Separation of powers, i.e. the executive, the legislature and the judiciary being separate, is a great ally of liberty. Montesquieu said, “Power should be a check on power.” Rule of law or equality in the eyes of the law is also an important safeguard of liberty. This is the bulwark against discrimination based on caste, class, colour, creed, etc. A large measure of social justice or diffusion of social and economic privileges is a prerequisite for liberty. If privileges become the prerogative of the select few, then effective liberty would be denied to a vast majority. 

A well-knit party system is also indispensable for the preservation of liberty. 

All these institutional safeguards are inadequate to preserve liberty if the citizens themselves do not possess the proud spirit to preserve it. People should always be on their toes to ensure that their liberty is not encroached upon. Eternal vigilance, it has been rightly said, is the price of liberty.

 6. Define Liberty in their negative and positive dimensions.

 Ans: The term liberty is derived form the Latin word liber meaning free. Thus liberty means freedom. Freedom is of paramount importance for the development of an individual’s personality. Historically speaking, the term liberty was initially defined as absence of all restraints on an individual. This is known as the negative concept of liberty. Early liberalism championed negative liberty. John Stuart Mill, the nineteenth century English political philosopher, described, “Restraint as an evil”. Mill was especially worried about the restraints coming from the state and society. 

However, since individuals live together in a society, complete absence of restraints would be neither possible nor desirable. Further, differentiating between the self-regarding and other regarding action is not always possible. It has been very aptly said that your liberty to swing your arm ends there where my nose begins. For liberty to be enjoyed by everyone, it should have reasonable restraints. This is the concept of positive liberty. This concept further means freedom to be a master of one’s own self. Harold J Laski supported this concept. Freedoms are’. opportunities which history has shown to be essential to the development of personality. The freedom of many requires restraint of law on the freedom of some. Later liberals supported the positive liberty. 

7. What do you mean by Equality of Opportunity?

 Ans.: Equality does not mean identity of rewards or identity of treatment, i.e. same reward or treatment for everybody, regardless of efforts and circumstances. For example, there wouldbe no equality if all the students were awarded sixty marks regardless of the quality of answer. Ideally, those who write better should get higher marks. And this is compatible with equality Likewise, in a society some people have more income and some have less. However, this state of affairs does not violate equality provided two conditions are met: (a) absence of privileges and (b) equality of opportunity 

(a) Absence of privileges strengthens equality, the existence of privileges would, conversely, promote inequality. This means that no one be given facilities/opportunities more than those given to others. Privileges create a situation of inequality, and in the process, harms equality.

 (b) Equality of opportunity means everybody should have the same chance to access public position and office. An example of the working of the equality of opportunity in India is the Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). Any Indian graduate from any university of India can take the examination. 

Allied to the concept of equality of opportunity is equality of (starting) conditions. Everybody should get a chance to be at the initial starting line; then the race of life could begin. Some would come first, some, second and others would fail. But this would not be a violation of equality. Many people are convinced that equality of conditions can only be achieved when the historically disadvantaged groups (like the Dalits the Scheduled Castes) are compensated through reservation of jobs or (as is known in the United States of America) affirmative action. 

Equality is closely connected to equity, i.e., even-handed treatment. Equity demands like cases to be treated alike. Relevantly similar cases are to be treated in similar ways.

 8. Explain the term Justice and bring out the different conceptions of it. 

Ans. : The term Justice is derived from the Latin word jus which means a bond. Thus the word Justice means joining or fitting, “Justice”, says E Barker, “is the reconciler and the synthesis of political values,”

 The best general definition of Justice is to “render to everyone his/her due.” Individual and the State 

When we turn to the broader question of Justice, it has other constitutions, we find a number of views. Herein comes the concept of distributive Justice distribution of income or social position in a given society. There are two major conceptions of distributive/social Justice, one involves the notion of merit and the other involves need and equality. 

The first conception argues that each person’s social position and (material) wealth must be decided on the basis of merit. When people talk of careers open to talents and equality of opportunity, they have merit in view. However, the question arises as to how to measure merit or talent? The liberals say that the price that someone can command in a free market is the reasonable indicator of his/her value to others. The socialist critics are of the opinion that market receipts are often affected by chance and social background which have nothing to do with merit. 

The second conception views that goods, positions, etc. should be allocated on the basis of a person’s needs. But how to define needs? Everybody agrees on food, shelter and clothing. Beyond this, there is no agreement. Communism (Marxism) believes that each person should define his needs and sufficient resources can be created under communism to meet all the needs of all individuals. However, others are of the opinion that needs can be satisfied by two agencies- welfare state and the market.

 Some needs can be satisfied through the welfare state and others being allocated through the market. 

Equality does not mean identity of rewards or identity of treatment, i.e. same reward or treatment for everybody, regardless of efforts and circumstances. For example, there would be no equality if all the students were awarded sixty marks regardless of the quality of answer. Ideally, those who write better should get higher marks. And this is compatible with equality. Likewise, in a society some people have more income and some have less. However, this state of affairs does not violate equality provided two conditions are met: (a) absence of privileges and by equality of opportunity

 (a) Absence of privileges strengthens equality, the existence of privileges would, conversely, promote inequality. This means that no one be given facilities/opportunities more than those given to others. Privileges create a situation of inequality, and in the process, harms equality.

 (b) Equality of opportunity means everybody should have the same chance to access public position and office. An example of the working of the equality of opportunity in India is the Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). Any Indian graduate from any university of India can take the examination.

 Allied to the concept of equality of opportunity is equality of (starting) conditions. Everybody should get a chance to be at the initial starting line; then the race of life could begin. Some would come first, some, second and others would fail. But this would not be a violation of equality. Many people are convinced that equality of conditions can only be achieved when the historically disadvantaged groups (like the Dalits/the Scheduled Castes) are compensated through reservation of jobs or (as is known in the United States of America) affirmative action. 

Equality is closely connected to equity, i.e., even-handed treatment. Equity demands like cases to be treated alike. Relevantly similar cases are to be treated in similar ways. 

This Post Has 9 Comments

Leave a Reply