Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 1: An Introduction to Political Theory. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The chapter 1 (An Introduction to Political Theory) provides a comprehensive overview of the field of political theory, its scope, significance, and its application in various domains.
Political theory is an analytical study of ideas and doctrines related to political phenomena and institutions. It delves into the thoughts of great thinkers like Plato, Kautilya, and Marx on justice, law, political power, and obedience to authority. It also explores the conditions under which Machiavelli sought to separate politics from morality, and when Karl Marx presented the theory of Class War.
The scope of political theory is broad, encompassing constitutionalism, an evaluation of various forms of government, rule of law and judicial independence, conditions of freedom, equality and justice, and new rights such as the rights of children, privacy, and the “rights of the planet”.
The study of political theory is significant for several reasons. It is relevant to solving our problems in life, provides knowledge of our rights and duties, liberalizes our outlook, and promotes growth in the reasoning powers of the mind. It also emphasizes that politics is essentially the art of the possible, and that we should not expect too much from government.
The chapter also highlights that politics can occur in seemingly non-political domains such as family life, sports, and film awards. It advocates for a rationalist approach to politics, which means resolving political arguments and conflicts through reasoning. Various means of resolving political conflicts include political parties, elections, debates in the legislature, interest groups such as business groups and trade unions, and the courts.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long answer questions
1. Explain the meaning of Political Science with reference to:
(a) Politics as understood by the ancient Greek thinkers
Answer: The ancient Greek thinkers, such as Socrates, had a profound influence on the development of political theory. The term ‘political’ refers to something that is ‘public’ or concerned with what is common to the whole community. Socrates, for instance, was deeply involved in the public affairs of his city-state, Athens. He was accused of not worshipping the city’s gods, introducing new gods, and corrupting the youth of the state, which indicates that his ideas were seen as challenging the established political order. In fact, there lay certain political motives behind his death sentence.
(b) Traditional view about the subject-matter of politics
Answer: The traditional view of the subject-matter of politics revolves around the functions of government, the need for government, and the forms of government. It also involves questions pertaining to freedom, justice, and equality. The core functions of the government are to make law, implement law, and interpret law. The term ‘Politics’ in its modern usage refers to “the day to day public affairs and the actual problems of government”. Therefore, the term ‘Political Science’ is considered the most appropriate title for the discipline.
2. Discuss the following conceptions of Political Science:
(a) Behavioural conception of Politics
Answer: There had been a ‘Behavioural Revolution’ in politics after the Second World War. Charles Merriam, the intellectual Godfather of Behaviouralism, argued that Political Science should become scientifically accurate. Moreover, Political Science should concern itself with the behaviour of individuals and political groups, rather than the formal composition and powers of political institutions (the Legislative Assembly, the Executive, the Judiciary, Administrators or the Civil Services).
(b) Politics as the Struggle for Power
Answer: According to Max Weber, Bertrand Russell and other thinkers, the student of Political Science is faced with questions as to how political power is distributed in modern societies. Political scientists seek to discover which individuals and groups exercise power in a given society. They also examine the source of power. Sources of power may be many, such as hereditary right or success at the polls or illegal seizure of authority either by some military General or by a charismatic leader. Power may be utilized for doing social good or it may be misused by the powerful groups for their narrow selfish gains.
(c) Politics as Authoritative Allocation of Values
Answer: David Easton in his book ‘The Political System’ constructed a theory that came to be known as Systems Analysis. According to David Eston, politics is concerned with “Authoritative Allocation of Values”. His is a complex theory. Let us try to understand what he means by the words ‘Values’ and ‘Authoritative Allocation’. By “values” he means things desired by the people, whether they may be material goods or offices or other facilities. The phrase “Authoritative Allocation” here signifies “the binding or authoritative decisions” which may be taken only by the legislators or the executive and judicial bodies. No person or group of persons can have every thing it wants. Therefore, every political system is faced with the task of evolving such a criterion for the sharing of goods as will satisfy most members of the society. Politics, then, is about “Who Gets What, When and How?”
6. What is the utility and significance of the study of Political Theory?
Make out how political theory can be useful to us with reference to the following:
(a) Knowledge of our Rights and Duties
Answer: A democratic government implies popular participation in political processes such as elections. We should be conscious of our rights, especially the right to vote. This right should be exercised sensibly. Our knowledge of political theory tells us that Right to Vote is not only a Right but a Duty as well. The voters should choose the best men. If they are guided by narrow or caste or religious considerations, society has to suffer the consequences of their choice.
Different parties have different ideas as regards the Uniform Civil Code, Special Provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and the role of Multinational Corporations in country’s economy. When choices have to be made, only an intelligent citizen can decide which policy is the best for our country
(b) Political theory liberalises the outlook
Answer: By the study of political theory an individual may think more logically about concepts such as liberty, equality and justice. The subject has an academic tradition which is associated with the names of great thinkers like Socrates, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill and Mahatma Gandhi. Political theory teaches us to be tolerant of other people’s attitudes or beliefs. Liberty and equality are not just abstract principles; these concepts reflect ideals that we should try to follow.
(c) A growth in the reasoning powers of the mind
Answer: A political concept is not merely a matter of faith; it develops through much thinking and reasoning.
Different ideologies (Liberalism, Marxism and Socialism) have been subjected to careful examination. At the same time, there are such theories also as have no scientific basis. The Fascist and the Nazi rulers, for instance, attempted to create a society based on “myths”. Some of the myths popularised by them were:
- The Leader is ever Right
- International Peace is a Coward’s Dream
- Imperialism is the Eternal Law of Life
7. “Political activity involves disagreements and the reconciliation of those agreements and, therefore, politics may occur in seemingly non-political domains also.” How would you illustrate this statement?
Answer: The statement “Political activity involves disagreements and the reconciliation of those agreements and, therefore, politics may occur in seemingly non-political domains also” can be illustrated through several examples:
Family Life: Politics can occur in family life as members may have disagreements over various issues such as division of chores, decision-making, or distribution of resources. These disagreements need to be resolved through negotiation and compromise, which are essentially political processes.
Sports: Politics can also occur in sports. For instance, there can be disagreements over rules, team selection, or strategies. Resolving these disagreements requires negotiation, compromise, and sometimes, the exercise of authority – all of which are political processes.
Film Awards and Censoring of Films: The process of selecting films for awards or deciding on the content that can be shown in films can also be political. There can be disagreements over the criteria for selection, the interpretation of rules, or the appropriateness of content. Resolving these disagreements involves political processes such as negotiation, compromise, and the exercise of authority.
Elections: A democratic government implies popular participation in political processes such as elections. Voters may have disagreements over which candidates or policies are best for the community. These disagreements are resolved through the process of voting, which is a political activity.
Debates in the Legislature: Political arguments and conflicts are often resolved through debates in the legislature. Legislators may have disagreements over laws, policies, or budget allocations. These disagreements are resolved through debate, negotiation, and voting, which are political processes.
8. Rationalist approach to politics means resolving political arguments through reasoning. What role do the political parties, elections and debates in legislature play in reconciling political conflicts?
Answer: The rationalist approach to politics, which involves resolving political arguments through reasoning, is embodied in several key political processes, including the roles of political parties, elections, and debates in the legislature. These processes play a significant role in reconciling political conflicts:
Political Parties: Political parties play a crucial role in reconciling political conflicts by representing different viewpoints within a society. They formulate policies and programs that reflect the interests and values of their constituents. Through negotiation and compromise within the party and with other parties, they help to reconcile disagreements over policy issues. Different parties have different ideas as regards the Uniform Civil Code, Special Provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and the role of Multinational Corporations in the country’s economy. When choices have to be made, only an intelligent citizen can decide which policy is the best for our country.
Elections: Elections are a key mechanism for resolving political conflicts in a democratic society. Through elections, citizens can express their preferences and choose representatives who best reflect their views. This process helps to reconcile disagreements by providing a peaceful and orderly means for competing parties and candidates to vie for political power. A democratic government implies popular participation in political processes such as elections. We should be conscious of our rights, especially the right to vote. This right should be exercised sensibly. Our knowledge of political theory tells us that the Right to Vote is not only a Right but a Duty as well. The voters should choose the best men. If they are guided by narrow or caste or religious considerations, society has to suffer the consequences of their choice.
Debates in the Legislature: Debates in the legislature provide a forum for elected representatives to discuss, argue, and negotiate over policy issues. Through reasoned debate, disagreements can be aired, different perspectives can be considered, and compromises can be reached. This process helps to reconcile political conflicts by ensuring that all views are heard and considered before decisions are made.
B. Short answer questions
9. Comment on the statement “Political Science is an analysis of the whole of Political System”.
Answer: Political Science involves the analytical study of ideas and doctrines that relate to political phenomena and political institutions. It is concerned with what major thinkers said about justice, freedom, equality, rule of law, and so on. It also examines the conditions under which various political theories were formed and how they have evolved over time. It is essentially an analysis of the entire political system, considering all its aspects and intricacies.
10. Examine the ancient Indian conception of politics.
Answer: There is an evidence of developed political thinking in ancient India in the works of Brihaspati, Shukracharya and Kautilya. They gave politics various names such as Rajadharma and Dandaniti. Kautilya called it Arthashastra. He defined it as “that branch of knowledge which deals with the acquisition and protection of artha, i.e., the territory, fort, treasury, etc.” Kautilya’s Arthashastra is a remarkable book which deals with the various aspects of statecraft, such as character of the King and his ministers, justice, taxation, war, diplomacy and relief to people in the event of natural calamities.
13. “Politics essentially is the art of the possible.” Comment.
Answer: This suggests that politics is about navigating the complexities and constraints of governance, managing expectations, and striving to achieve what is feasible within given circumstances. It underscores the inherent limitations of any political system and the need for balance in addressing various demands and interests.
C. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✓) the correct answer.
14. Who defined Politics as “that branch of knowledge which deals with the acquisition and protection of artha, i.e., the territory, fort, treasury, etc.”?
Answer: (b) Kautilya
15. Who among the following thinkers constructed a theory that came to be known as Systems Analysis?
Answer: (c) David Easton
16. The Business Groups and Trade Unions fall into the category of:
Answer: (b) Interest Groups
Extra/additional questions and answers
1. What are the core functions of the government?
Answer: The core functions of the government are to make law, implement law and interpret law.
2. How is the term ‘Politics’ defined in modern usage?
Answer: Nowadays, the term ‘Politics’ refers to “the day to day public affairs and the actual problems of government”.
3. Why is ‘Political Science’ considered the most appropriate title for the study of politics and political behaviour?
Answer: The term ‘Political Science’ is considered the most appropriate title for the study of politics and political behaviour because it deals with the whole body of knowledge relating to the phenomena of the State and the distribution and dynamics of power, both at the national and international levels.
40. How do interest groups influence the process of law-making in resolving political conflicts?
Answer: Interest groups such as Business Groups, Trade Unions, Peasants Organisations and Identity-based Groups influence the process of law-making. Their representatives meet Members of Parliament and hold rallies in support of their demands. They also turn to Courts for a sympathetic interpretation of laws relating to taxation, wage policy and service conditions of the workers. These groups form an essential part of a political system and are in tune with the democratic ethos of a nation.
41. What is the role of the Courts in resolving political conflicts through reasoning?
Answer: The major task of the Judiciary is to settle disputes between citizens and also the disputes that arise between the State and the Citizen. In countries like India and the United States, the Supreme Court possesses power to declare certain administrative actions or legislative enactments (laws) unconstitutional. The disputes between the Centre and States or between States themselves have to be settled by the Supreme Court. Therefore, Courts provide a framework within which political conflict may be reconciled and decisions reached through reasoning or well-thought-out arguments.
1. What is the primary function of the government?
A. Economic regulation B. Make law C. Education D. Healthcare
Answer: B. Make law
2. The term ‘Politics’ in modern usage refers to:
A. Law and order B. Public affairs C. Economic policies D. Religious activities
Answer: B. Public affairs
3. ‘Political Science’ is primarily concerned with the study of:
A. Religious affairs B. Social norms C. State phenomena D. Human behavior
Answer: C. State phenomena
4. The word ‘politics’ is derived from the Greek word:
A. Politeia B. Polis C. Polites D. Politika
Answer: B. Polis
5. The City State of Plato and Aristotle was considered as:
A. Government, army, state all in one B. Church, university, state all in one C. Family, society, state all in one D. Market, industry, state all in one
Answer: B. Church, university, state all in one
71. Who can declare certain administrative actions or legislative enactments unconstitutional in India and the United States?
A. President B. Prime Minister C. Parliament D. Supreme Court
Answer: D. Supreme Court
72. Who settles disputes between the Centre and States or between States themselves in India and the United States?
A. President B. Prime Minister C. Parliament D. Supreme Court
Answer: D. Supreme Court
Get notes of other boards, classes, and subjects