Concepts (Compulsory Course) Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences

Course Description

There is a body of concepts central to the discipline of Political Science which have been widely used to explore and evaluate public life and institutions. This course introduces key concepts underpinning politics as well as the contemporary challenges to the conceptual vocabulary of our discipline. This paper, the first of a set of two, examines some of these foundational political concepts, which have been presented here as a set of pairs with a view to (a) exploring the relationship between the two concepts, and (b) highlighting aspects of a concept that tend otherwise to be ignored. Placing concepts like state and civil society, and, power and authority, together allows us to draw attention to the distinction between the elements of the pair and raises questions that make for a better understanding of each concept. It also enables us to draw upon a range of different experiences, particularly from India, and to see how they speak to and impact upon our ways of thinking about essential political concepts.

Credits: 4

Requirements: class participation; 2 written assignments: mid semester (50%); end semester exam (50%)