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IAS POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Optional Paper 2 Solutions- Section A Question-1,2





1. (a) Systems Approach


Answer: A systems approach is a way of understanding and solving problems by looking at them as part of a larger interconnected system. This approach considers how different components within the system interact with each other and how changes in one component can affect the entire system.


In a systems approach, the system is viewed as a whole rather than a collection of individual parts. It involves identifying the different components of the system, understanding how they interact, and analyzing how changes to one component can impact the entire system. This approach also considers the environment in which the system exists and how it affects the system.


The systems approach is used in a variety of fields including engineering, business management, and ecology. It is particularly useful for complex systems where there are many interconnected components and feedback loops. By taking a systems approach, problems can be solved in a holistic way that considers all aspects of the system, leading to more effective solutions.




(b) Cultural Relativism


Answer: Cultural relativism is the idea that cultural beliefs, values, and practices should be understood and judged in their own context rather than being compared to the standards of another culture. This means that one culture cannot be judged as superior or inferior to another, but rather each culture should be evaluated based on its own unique set of values and beliefs.


Cultural relativism recognizes that cultures vary widely in their beliefs and practices and that what may be acceptable or even desirable in one culture may be considered inappropriate or even immoral in another. For example, some cultures may view polygamy as a normal and acceptable practice, while others may view it as unethical and immoral.




Cultural relativism is important in promoting understanding and tolerance between cultures. It allows individuals to appreciate and respect cultural diversity, rather than imposing their own cultural values and beliefs onto others. However, critics of cultural relativism argue that it can lead to moral relativism, where there is no objective standard of right and wrong, and that certain cultural practices such as human rights violations should be universally condemned.


(c) "Revolution in Permanence"


Answer: "Revolution in Permanence" is a phrase that has been used in different contexts throughout history, but its meaning can vary depending on the context. Here are a few examples of how this phrase has been used:


Marxist ideology: In Marxist theory, the concept of "permanent revolution" refers to the idea that a socialist revolution should not stop at the level of overthrowing the ruling class but should continue until the establishment of a socialist society. "Revolution in Permanence" can be interpreted as a synonym of "permanent revolution" in this context.




Political activism: "Revolution in Permanence" can also refer to a continuous struggle for social and political change, rather than a one-time event. This concept emphasizes that social change is not achieved through a single revolution but requires constant struggle and mobilization.


Art and literature: In the context of art and literature, "Revolution in Permanence" can refer to a perpetual avant-garde movement that challenges established norms and forms of expression. This concept suggests that the artistic and literary revolution should continue indefinitely, questioning and subverting traditional forms.


Overall, the phrase "Revolution in Permanence" suggests a process of ongoing transformation, where change is not a one-time event but a continuous, evolving process.


(d) Bases of Power


Answer: Bases of power refer to the sources of influence and control that individuals or groups can use to achieve their goals and objectives. There are several different bases of power identified by social psychologists, including:


Coercive power: This is the power to punish or penalize others for not complying with demands. It relies on fear and the threat of negative consequences.


Reward power: This is the power to offer incentives or rewards to others for complying with demands. It relies on positive reinforcement.


Legitimate power: This is the power that comes from the position or role that a person holds within a formal organizational structure. It is derived from authority and hierarchy.


Referent power: This is the power that comes from being admired, respected, or liked by others. It relies on the ability to influence others through personal charisma or attractiveness.


Expert power: This is the power that comes from possessing specialized knowledge, skills, or abilities that others value and need. It relies on the ability to provide information or guidance that others require.


Information power: This is the power that comes from having access to valuable or important information that others do not possess. It relies on the ability to control the flow and dissemination of information.


Understanding these different bases of power can be useful for individuals and organizations to navigate power dynamics and achieve their goals effectively.


(e) Locke's Social Contract


Answer: John Locke was an English philosopher who lived in the 17th century and is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of political philosophy. Locke's social contract theory is one of his most influential ideas, and it has had a significant impact on political thought and practice.


Locke's social contract theory is based on the idea that individuals have certain natural rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property. According to Locke, these rights are given to us by God, and they are not subject to the whims of any particular government or ruler.





In order to protect these natural rights, individuals come together to form a social contract. This contract is an agreement among individuals to give up some of their natural rights in exchange for the protection of the remaining rights by a government. The government is formed by the consent of the governed, and its primary purpose is to protect the natural rights of the individuals who make up the society.


However, if the government fails to protect these rights, the people have the right to rebel and form a new government. This is because the government only has legitimacy as long as it is fulfilling its obligation to protect the natural rights of the people.


Overall, Locke's social contract theory is based on the idea that individuals have natural rights that must be protected by a government, and that the government is legitimate only as long as it fulfills its obligations to protect those rights.


2. (a) Factors like community, culture, and nation weaken the hegemony of neo-liberalism today. Discuss.


Answer: Neoliberalism is a socio-economic ideology that emphasizes free-market capitalism, deregulation, and the minimization of government intervention in the economy. However, the dominance of neoliberalism has been challenged in recent years, and community, culture, and nation are some of the factors that have weakened its hegemony.


One of the ways that the community weakens neoliberalism is by promoting social cohesion and cooperation. Communities can create networks of mutual support, share resources, and promote local economic development. This can provide an alternative to the individualistic and competitive ethos of neoliberalism, which tends to prioritize profit over community well-being. For example, the rise of community-supported agriculture and other forms of local food production and distribution have challenged the dominance of global agribusiness and the industrial food system.


Culture can also weaken neoliberalism by challenging the commodification of all aspects of life. Neoliberalism tends to view everything as a commodity to be bought and sold, including cultural goods and services. However, cultures can promote values such as cooperation, mutual support, and respect for the environment that are at odds with the profit-driven logic of neoliberalism. Additionally, cultural practices can help maintain a sense of identity and belonging in the face of globalization and homogenization.


A nation can weaken neoliberalism by providing a counterbalance to the power of transnational corporations and global financial institutions. Governments can regulate the economy, tax corporations, and wealthy individuals, and provide social welfare programs that support the needs of their citizens. National policies can also protect the environment, workers' rights, and public goods such as health care and education. This can limit the power of multinational corporations, which tend to prioritize profit over the well-being of people and the planet.


In conclusion, community, culture, and nation can all weaken the hegemony of neoliberalism by promoting social cohesion, challenging commodification, and providing a counterbalance to the power of global corporations. These factors offer alternatives to the individualistic and profit-driven ethos of neoliberalism and can help create a more equitable and sustainable society.


(b) "Equality of estates caused equality of power, and equality of power is liberty." Comment.

Answer: This statement is often attributed to the English philosopher and political theorist, James Harrington. It suggests that if individuals in a society have equal access to property and wealth, they will also have equal political power and therefore, liberty.


The idea behind this statement is that if a society is structured in such a way that everyone has an equal share of resources and property, there will be no significant power imbalances between individuals or groups. This would lead to a situation where people have an equal say in the decision-making process and are not dominated by those who hold greater wealth or resources.


From this perspective, equality of estates (property) is seen as a crucial precondition for the establishment of a genuinely democratic society where everyone has equal access to power and liberty.


However, it is worth noting that the relationship between equality of estates, equality of power, and liberty is not necessarily straightforward. Other factors, such as social and cultural factors, can also influence how power is distributed in a society. Moreover, it is not clear that the equality of estates alone is sufficient to ensure political equality and liberty. Other political and institutional arrangements, such as democratic institutions and the rule of law, may also be necessary to achieve these goals.


(c) Elitist theory of democracy denies the possibility of democracy as 'rule of the people'. Elucidate.

Answer: The elitist theory of democracy is a view that regards democracy as a system of governance in which power is controlled by a small and privileged elite group rather than by the people as a whole. According to this theory, the masses are incapable of governing themselves effectively and therefore must be led by a small group of individuals who possess superior intelligence, education, and other qualities.


One of the key arguments of elitist theory is that the majority of people lack the necessary knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions about complex political issues. Therefore, the elites, who possess the requisite knowledge and experience, must make decisions on behalf of the masses. Elitists argue that the masses are easily swayed by emotional appeals, propaganda, and demagoguery, and are therefore not capable of making rational decisions in their own best interests.


Elitists also point to the fact that in practice, democratic societies are often characterized by political apathy, low voter turnout, and a lack of interest in political issues among the general public. They argue that this is evidence of the people's inability or unwillingness to participate in the democratic process and that this leaves the door open for the elites to dominate.


Furthermore, elitists argue that the wealthy and powerful individuals who control society have disproportionate influence over the political process, due to their ability to fund political campaigns and lobby politicians. This allows them to shape public policy in ways that benefit their own interests, rather than those of the wider public.


In light of these arguments, elitists deny the possibility of democracy as the 'rule of the people'. They believe that democracy is, at best, a flawed system of governance that is vulnerable to manipulation by the elite. Instead, they advocate for a system of governance in which a small group of educated and experienced individuals make decisions on behalf of the wider public, in order to ensure that the best interests of society as a whole are served.



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