You are here: Home Academics Graduate Diploma Programme 2014 Programme Details

Pivotal Ideas in Political Theory 2014

Pivotal Ideas in Political Theory

 

First Semester 2014

Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences

Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Instructor: Hari Sharma 


Course Description

The study of politics is shaped by concepts and methods that have developed over the last three centuries and beyond. The study of political theory is concerned with the meanings and justification of those concepts and their continuing relevance to the nature of modern politics. The course is primarily a reading of modern political thought as a history of political thought.

 

Course Requirements

This section will examine the central issues of modern political thought and focus on theoretical concepts such as sovereignty, liberty, equality, citizenship etc. By exploring key political concepts, the course aims to enable students to obtain a critical understanding of these core ideas and examine their continuing relevance to modern politics. The intellectual exercise of associating the abstract with real events and contexts is expected to engage students in theoretical dialogue. The course will also cultivate the need for shared inquiry and critical analysis of theoretical arguments and political life.

 

Class Participation

 We will have two classes a week; each class will be 90 minutes. The classes are to be divided into two components: lecture and seminar discussion. The first class of the week will be lecture based and for understanding the context, life and times of the thinkers while the second will be held in the seminar format where we will read the text assigned for the week.

Periodic Assignments and Tests

Final Sit-in Written Examination

 

Detailed Course Outline


Week 1: Introduction to the Course/ Political Theory

Laycock, David and Darin Barney, “Introduction” in Howlett, Michael and David Laycock (eds.), The Puzzles of Power: An Introduction to Political Science (2nd ed.), Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 27-38.

Bhargava, Rajeev, “What is Political Theory” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory : An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 2-17.

Bhargava, Rajeev, “Why do We Need Political Theory” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 18-37.

 

Week 2: Liberty

Sriranjani, V, “Liberty” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Berlin, Isaiah, “Two Concepts of Liberty” in Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 110- 172.

“Liberalism and Aristocratic Conservatism” in Curtis Michael (ed) The Great Political Theories, Vol 2, New York: Harper Collins, 1981 (1962), pp. 186-204.

 

Week 3: Equality

Acharya, Ashok, “Equality” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1755, A Discourse on Inequality, London: Penguin 1984, partly reprinted in L. Pojman & R. Westmoreland (eds.), Equality. Selected Readings, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 36-45.

Sen, Amartya, 1992, Inequality Reexamined, Oxford: Clarendon Press, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 12-30.

 

Week 4: Justice

Menon, Krishna, “Justice” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Rawls, John, “A Theory of Justice” in Cohen, Mitchell and Nicole Fermon (eds.), Princeton Readings in Political Thought, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996, pp. 669-697.

Sen, Amartya, ‘Justice: Freedom versus Means’ in Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1990, pp. 111-121.

 

Week 5: Rights

Talukdar, Papiya Sengupta, “Rights” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Dworkin, R, Taking Rights Seriously, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978. Pp. 184-205

 

Week 6: Democracy

Srinivasan, Janaki, “Democracy” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Gordon Graham, What is Special About Democracy?, Mind, XCII/365, 1983, pp. 94-102


Week 7: Citizenship

Roy, Anupama, “Citizenship” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Heather Lardy, Is there a Right not to Vote?, Oxford J Legal Studies (SUMMER) 24(2): pp. 303-321.

 

Week 8: Power

Menon, Nivedita, “Power” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Arendt, Hannah, “What is Authority” in Between Past and Future, London: Faber, 1961, pp. 91-141.


Week 9: Sovereignty

Menon, Krishna, “Sovereignty” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Butler, Judith, “Indefinite Detention” in Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence, London: Verso, 2004, pp. 50-100.

 

Week 10: State

Das, Swaha, “State” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Mann, Michael, Has Globalization Ended the Rise and Rise of the Nation-State?’ Review of International Political Economy, 4(3) 1997, pp. 476-492.

 

Week 11: Civil Society

Singh, Mohinder, “Civil Society” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Vinod, M.J, ‘The Changing Dimensions of Civil Society in the Twenty First Century: Theory Versus Reality’ Indian Political Science Association, Vol 4 (Oct-Dec 2006, pp 783- 792.

Chandhoke, Neera, ‘Civil Society’ Development in Practice, Vol 17 (4/5) August 2007. Pp. 607-614

 

Week 12: Consent/ Dissent/ Civil Disobedience

Locke, John, “Second Treatise of Government” in Cohen, Mitchell and Nicole Fermon (eds.), Princeton Readings in Political Thought, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996, pp. 243-279.

Gandhi, M.K, Hindh Swaraj in Parel, Anthony J. (ed), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 1-126.

 

Week 13: Gender

Menon, Nivedita, “Gender” in Bhargava, Rajeev and Ashok Acharya (eds.) Political Theory: An Introduction, New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, pp. 40-57.

Pateman, Carole, “Feminism and Democracy” in Howlett, Michael and David Laycock (eds.), The Puzzles of Power: An Introduction to Political Science (2nd ed.), Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 39-50.

 

Week 14: Non-Western Political Thought

Parekh, Bhikhu, “The Poverty of Indian Political Theory” in Singh, Aakash and Silika Mohapatra (eds.), Indian Political Thought: A Reader, London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 19-30.

Dallmayr, Fred, “Liberal Democracy and its Critics: Some Voices from East and West, in Bilgrami, Akeel (ed.), Democratic Culture Historical and Philosophical Essays, New Delhi: Routledge, 2011, pp. 1-22.

Chatterjee, Partha, “The Poverty of Western Political Theory: concluding remarks on concepts like ‘community’ East and West’ in Singh, Aakash and Silika Mohapatra (eds.), Indian Political Thought: A Reader, London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 287-299.


Week 15: Recap