IAS POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Optional Paper 2 Solutions- Section A Question 3,4
3. (a) Examine the liberal theory of State in contemporary politics.
Answer: The liberal theory of the state is a political philosophy that emphasizes the importance of individual rights and freedoms, limited government, and the rule of law. It has its roots in the Enlightenment period of the 18th century when thinkers such as John Locke and Montesquieu developed ideas about the role of government in society.
In contemporary politics, the liberal theory of the state is still a dominant ideology in many Western countries. It is often associated with center-left and center-right political parties, which share a commitment to individual freedom, democratic values, and market-oriented economics.
The liberal theory of the state holds that government should be limited in its powers and scope and that individual rights should be protected from the encroachment of state power. This means that the state should not interfere in the personal choices and beliefs of its citizens, except where necessary to protect the public interest or prevent harm to others.
At the same time, the liberal theory of the state recognizes the importance of collective action to achieve common goals, such as public safety, infrastructure, and social welfare. This means that the state has a role in providing essential services and regulating economic activity, but it should do so in a way that respects individual rights and promotes competition and innovation.
In practice, the liberal theory of the state has been implemented in different ways in different countries, depending on their political and economic systems. In some countries, such as the United States, liberal principles are enshrined in a written constitution that limits the powers of government and protects individual rights. In other countries, such as Sweden, liberal principles are combined with a strong welfare state that provides a safety net for citizens.
Critics of the liberal theory of the state argue that it places too much emphasis on individual freedom at the expense of social justice and the common good. They argue that the market-oriented economics that often accompanies liberal politics can lead to inequality and social instability, and that government should play a more active role in regulating economic activity and redistributing wealth.
Overall, the liberal theory of the state remains a central influence in contemporary politics, shaping debates about the role of government in society and the balance between individual freedom and collective responsibility.
(b) Human Rights are complex and contested social practice that organizes relations between individuals, society, and the State. Comment.
Answer: Human rights are a complex and contested social practice that serves to organize relations between individuals, society, and the state. At their core, human rights are a set of universal principles that recognize the inherent dignity and worth of all people, regardless of their background, identity, or beliefs. These principles are enshrined in international legal documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which serve as a framework for governments and societies to uphold and protect the rights of individuals.
However, the implementation of human rights is often contested and subject to different interpretations and cultural values. The definition of human rights varies across different societies and cultures, and there may be disagreements over which rights are most important or which should take precedence in specific situations. For example, some societies may prioritize individual freedoms over collective responsibilities, while others may place greater emphasis on social justice and equality.
Furthermore, the practice of human rights is often influenced by power dynamics and political realities. Governments and other powerful actors may use human rights as a tool to legitimize their actions or to criticize those of their opponents. As a result, human rights discourse can sometimes be politicized and used for strategic purposes rather than for genuine concern for the welfare of individuals.
In addition, the implementation of human rights often involves balancing conflicting rights and interests. For example, the right to free speech may come into conflict with the right to privacy or the right to be protected from hate speech. In such situations, it can be challenging to find a balance that respects all rights while avoiding harm to any group or individual.
In conclusion, human rights are a complex and contested social practice that reflects the values and beliefs of different societies and cultures. While the principles of human rights are universal, their implementation can be influenced by political realities, power dynamics, and conflicting rights and interests. As a result, the practice of human rights requires ongoing dialogue, debate, and compromise to ensure that the rights and dignity of all individuals are respected and protected.
(c) Individualism is inherent in Hobbes' absolutist ideology. Comment.
Answer: Thomas Hobbes is one of the most prominent political philosophers of the modern era, best known for his work "Leviathan." Hobbes was an absolutist who believed that a strong central government was necessary to prevent chaos and anarchy in society. Individualism is indeed inherent in Hobbes' absolutist ideology, as he viewed individuals as self-interested, rational actors who enter into a social contract to secure their individual rights and protect themselves from the state of nature.
Hobbes argued that in a state of nature, life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." In this state, individuals would be in constant conflict with one another, fighting for resources and power. To avoid this, individuals would voluntarily relinquish some of their individual rights and freedoms to a sovereign authority, who would then have the power to protect them and maintain order in society.
However, Hobbes' view of the individual was not one of autonomy or freedom. He believed that individuals were driven by self-interest and a desire for power and that the only way to prevent them from harming each other was to have a strong central authority that could enforce the laws and punish those who violated them. In this way, Hobbes' absolutist ideology emphasized the importance of individual submission to the state, as individuals were seen as unable to govern themselves and in need of a powerful authority to maintain order and prevent chaos.
Therefore, while Hobbes' ideology may have placed importance on individual self-interest and the need to secure individual rights, it did so within the context of a strong central authority that demanded individual submission and obedience. Overall, Hobbes' absolutist ideology can be seen as inherently individualistic, but this individualism was subordinated to the overarching authority of the state.
4. (a) Dr. Ambedkar's idea of social justice leads to 'egalitarian justice' as compared to Rawls' 'justice as fairness' which aims at the notion of 'pure procedural justice'. Comment.
Answer: Dr. Ambedkar's idea of social justice emphasizes the need for equality in society, especially for historically marginalized sections such as Dalits, women, and other oppressed groups. His vision of social justice goes beyond mere legal equality and encompasses economic, political, and social equality. Dr. Ambedkar believed that social justice could only be achieved through the distribution of resources and opportunities in a fair and equitable manner.
On the other hand, Rawls' idea of justice as fairness is based on the principles of procedural justice. Rawls argued that justice should be based on a fair and impartial process that is applied equally to all individuals. According to Rawls, a just society is one in which all individuals have equal opportunities and basic liberties, and where inequalities are arranged to benefit the least advantaged.
While Rawls' theory of justice as fairness aims at procedural justice, Dr. Ambedkar's vision of social justice goes beyond that. Dr. Ambedkar's emphasis on egalitarian justice means that he believes in the redistribution of resources and opportunities to create a more equal and just society. This involves actively addressing past injustices and ensuring that everyone has equal access to resources and opportunities.
In conclusion, Dr. Ambedkar's idea of social justice emphasizes the need for egalitarian justice, which goes beyond mere procedural justice. Rawls' theory of justice as fairness focuses on the fair and impartial application of processes, while Dr. Ambedkar's vision of social justice stresses the need for active intervention to create a more just and equal society.
(b) "The Panchayats with Gram Sabhas should be so organized as to identify the resources locally available for the development in agricultural and industrial sectors." Examine the statement in the context of Gram Swaraj.
Answer: The statement "The Panchayats with Gram Sabhas should be so organized as to identify the resources locally available for the development in agricultural and industrial sectors" is in line with the concept of Gram Swaraj, which refers to the ideal of self-reliant and self-sufficient rural communities.
Gram Swaraj envisions a decentralized system of governance, where power and decision-making authority are vested in the hands of the local community. The Panchayats and Gram Sabhas play a crucial role in this system by providing a platform for the local community to participate in the decision-making process and identify the resources available for development.
The Panchayats, which are the local self-governing bodies at the village level, should work closely with the Gram Sabhas, which are the village assemblies comprising all adult members of the community, to identify the resources available for development in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The Gram Sabhas, being the primary unit of decision-making in Gram Swaraj, should be actively involved in the process of identifying the resources and determining their best use for the benefit of the local community.
By organizing the Panchayats and Gram Sabhas in such a manner, the local community can take charge of their own development, and the resources available to them can be utilized in a manner that is most beneficial to the community as a whole. This approach can lead to the development of sustainable and self-reliant rural communities, which is the ultimate objective of Gram Swaraj.
(c) Examine the entitlement theory of justice.
Answer: The entitlement theory of justice is a concept developed by Robert Nozick in his book "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" in 1974. It is a libertarian theory that suggests that individuals are entitled to their holdings, as long as they have acquired them through a legitimate means, such as voluntary exchange or inheritance, without violating anyone else's rights.
According to Nozick, any distribution of wealth or resources is just as long as it has arisen from voluntary exchanges, gifts, or other legitimate means. In this theory, the focus is on the process of acquisition rather than the end result. If someone has legitimately acquired something, then they are entitled to keep it, and it would be unjust to take it away from them.
Nozick also emphasizes the principle of transfer, which allows individuals to transfer their entitlements to others through voluntary exchanges. This principle recognizes the importance of voluntary transactions and the freedom of individuals to dispose of their property as they see fit. Therefore, the government should not interfere in voluntary exchanges between individuals.
Furthermore, the entitlement theory also recognizes the importance of rectification. If someone has been wrongfully deprived of their property or resources, then they are entitled to be compensated for the loss. The idea is that justice requires that people be made whole after being wronged.
In conclusion, the entitlement theory of justice emphasizes the importance of voluntary exchanges, the principle of transfer, and the need for rectification. According to this theory, individuals are entitled to their holdings as long as they have legitimately acquired them, and any attempt to redistribute wealth or resources would be unjust.