Understand Political Theory and Practice , Constitutional design of Sates’ structure and institutions , and Political Processes in India.
Analyse Government and Politics , Public Administration, International Relations , and Global Politics.
Understand Dilemmas in Politics , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict Resolution, Democratic awareness , UN & Global Conflicts , Public Opinions and Legislative processes.
Analyse in Indian perspective: Development Process & Social Movements , Public Policy , Foreign Policy , Nationalism, Contemporary Political Economy , Gandhi & Contemporary world and Understanding South Asia
This course is divided into five units. The units introduce the students to the idea of political theory, its history and approaches, and an assessment of its critical and contemporary trends. Further the last two units tend to reconcile political theory and practice through reflections on the ideas and practices related to State, Citizenship and Democracy.
This course acquaints the students with the constitutional design of States’ structure and institutions, and their actual working overtime. The Constitution of India accommodates conflicting impulses (of liberty and justice, territorial decentralization and a strong union, for instance) within itself. The course traces the embodiment of some of these conflicts in constitutional provisions, and shows how these have played out in political practice. It further encourages a study of state institutions in their mutual interaction, and in interaction with the larger extra-constitutional environment.
This course is divided into five units. The Course helps the student familiarize with the basic normative concepts of political theory. Each concept is related to a crucial political issue that requires analysis with the aid of our conceptual understanding. This exercise is designed to encourage critical and reflective analysis and interpretation of social practices through the relevant conceptual toolkit. Further this course introduces the students to the important debates in the subject. These debates prompt us to consider that there is no settled way of understanding concepts and that in the light of new insights and challenges, besides newer ways of perceiving and interpreting the world around us, we inaugurate new modes of political debates.
Actual politics in India diverges quite significantly from constitutional legal rules. An understanding of the political process thus calls for a different mode of analysis - that offered by political sociology. This course maps the working of ‘modern’ institutions, premised on the existence of an individuated society, in a context marked by communitarian solidarities, and their mutual transformation thereby. It also familiarizes students with the working of the Indian state, paying attention to the contradictory dynamics of modern state power.
This is a foundational course in comparative politics. The purpose is to familiarize students with the basic concepts and approaches to the study of comparative politics. More specifically the course will focus on examining politics in a historical framework while engaging with various themes of comparative analysis in developed and developing countries.
The course provides an introduction to the discipline of public administration. This paper encompasses public administration in its historical context with an emphasis on the various classical and contemporary administrative theories. The course also explores some of the recent trends, including feminism and ecological conservation and how the call for greater democratization is restructuring public administration. The course will also attempt to provide the students a comprehensive understanding on contemporary administrative developments.
This paper seeks to equip students with the basic intellectual tools for understanding International Relations. It introduces students to some of the most important theoretical approaches for studying international relations. The course begins by historically contextualizing the evolution of the international state system before discussing the agency structure problem through the levels-of-analysis approach. After having set the parameters of the debate, students are introduced to different theories in International Relations. It provides a fairly comprehensive overview of the major political developments and events starting from the twentieth century. Students are expected to learn about the key milestones in world history and equip them with the tools to understand and analyze the same from different perspectives. A key objective of the course is to make students aware of the implicit Euro - centricism of International Relations by highlighting certain specific perspectives from the Global South.
In this course students will be trained in the application of comparative methods to the study of politics. The course is comparative in both what we study and how we study. In the process the course aims to introduce undergraduate students to some of the range of issues, literature, and methods that cover comparative political.
The paper seeks to provide an introduction to the interface between public policy and administration in India. The essence of public policy lies in its effectiveness in translating the governing philosophy into programs and policies and making it a part of the community living. It deals with issues of decentralization, financial management, citizens and administration and social welfare from a non-western perspective.
This course introduces students to the key debates on the meaning and nature of globalization by addressing its political, economic, social, cultural and technological dimensions. In keeping with the most important debates within the globalization discourse, it imparts an understanding of the working of the world economy, its anchors and resistances offered by global social movements while analyzing the changing nature of relationship between the state and trans-national actors and networks. The course also offers insights into key contemporary global issues such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons, ecological issues, international terrorism, and human security before concluding with a debate on the phenomenon of global governance.
This course goes back to Greek antiquity and familiarizes students with the manner in which the political questions were first posed. Machiavelli comes as an interlude inaugurating modern politics followed by Hobbes and Locke. This is a basic foundation course for students.
This course introduces the specific elements of Indian Political Thought spanning over two millennia. The basic focus of study is on individual thinkers whose ideas are however framed by specific themes. The course as a whole is meant to provide a sense of the broad streams of Indian thought while encouraging a specific knowledge of individual thinkers and texts. Selected extracts from some original texts are also given to discuss in class. The list of additional readings is meant for teachers as well as the more interested students.
Philosophy and politics are closely intertwined. We explore this convergence by identifying five main tendencies here. Students will be exposed to the manner in which the questions of politics have been posed in terms that have implications for larger questions of thought and existence.
Based on the study of individual thinkers, the course introduces a wide span of thinkers and themes that defines the modernity of Indian political thought. The objective is to study general themes that have been produced by thinkers from varied social and temporal contexts. Selected extracts from original texts are also given to discuss in the class. The list of additional readings is meant for teachers as well as the more interested students.
The primary aim of this paper is acquaint with the students with the politics of contemporary Assam and its neighbouring states. Moreover, being located in the Northeast region it is invariably the concern of the students to have proper understanding of the region.
This course is designed to explore, analyze and evaluate some of the central issues, values and debates in the/ contemporary world that has a bearing on normative political inquiry. The eight issues selected as dilemmas, though not exhaustive, are some of the salient ones discussed across societies.
This course attempts to build an understanding of human rights among students through a study of specific issues in a comparative perspective. It is important for students to see how debates on human rights have taken distinct forms historically and in the contemporary world. The course seeks to anchor all issues in the Indian context, and pulls out another country to form a broader comparative frame. Students will be expected to use a range of resources, including films, biographies, and official documents to study each theme. Thematic discussion of sub-topics in the second and third sections should include state response to issues and structural violence questions.
Under the influence of globalization, development processes in India have undergone transformation to produce spaces of advantage and disadvantage and new geographies of power. The high social reproduction costs and dispossession of vulnerable social groups involved in such a development strategy condition new theatres of contestation and struggles. A variety of protest movements emerged to interrogate and challenge this development paradigm that evidently also weakens the democratic space so very vital to the formulation of critical consensus. This course proposes to introduce students to the conditions, contexts and forms of political contestation over development paradigms and their bearing on the retrieval of democratic voice of citizens.
This course provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the concepts and methods that can be employed in the analysis of public policy. It uses the methods of political economy to understand policy as well as understand politics as it is shaped by economic changes. The course will be useful for students who seek an integrative link to their understanding of political science, economic theory and the practical world of development and social change.
This course aims to provide students a basic yet interesting and insightful way of knowing and thinking about the world around them. It is centered around three sets of basic questions starting with what makes the world what it is by instructing students how they can conceptualize the world and their place within it. The second module focuses on the basic fault lines that drives the world apart and the last one is designed to help students explore how and why they need to think about the ‘world' as a whole from alternate vantage points.
This course’s objective is to teach students the domestic sources and the structural constraints on the genesis, evolution and practice of India’s foreign policy. The endeavour is to highlight integral linkages between the ‘domestic’ and the ‘international’ aspects of India’s foreign policy by stressing on the shifts in its domestic identity and the corresponding changes at the international level. Students will be instructed on India’s shifting identity as a postcolonial state to the contemporary dynamics of India attempting to carve its identity as an ‘aspiring power’. India’s evolving relations with the superpowers during the Cold War and after, bargaining strategy and positioning in international climate change negotiations, international economic governance, international terrorism and the United Nations facilitate an understanding of the changing positions and development of India’s role as a global player since independence.
The course introduces the historical legacies and geopolitics of South Asia as a region. It imparts an understanding of political regime types as well as the socioeconomic issues of the region in a comparative framework. The course also apprises students of the common challenges and the strategies deployed to deal with them by countries in South Asia.
The purpose of this course is to help students understand the struggle of Indian people against colonialism. It seeks to achieve this understanding by looking at this struggle from different theoretical perspectives that highlight its different dimensions. The course begins with the nineteenth century Indian responses to colonial dominance in the form of reformism and its criticism and continues through various phases up to the events leading to the Partition and Independence. In the process, the course tries to highlight its various conflicts and contradictions by focusing on its different dimensions: communalism, class struggle, caste and gender questions.
Given the growing recognition worldwide of the importance of the political economy approach to the study of global order, this course has the following objectives: 1. To familiarize the students with the different theoretical approaches; 2. To give a brief overview of the history of the evolution of the modern capitalist world; 3. To highlight the important contemporary problems, issues and debates on how these should be addressed.
The aim of the course is to explain contemporary debates on feminism and the history of feminist struggles. The course begins with a discussion on construction of gender and an understanding of complexity of patriarchy and goes on to analyze theoretical debates within feminism. The paper also covers the history of feminism in the west, socialist societies and in anti-colonial struggles. Further a gendered analysis of Indian society, economy and polity with a view to understanding the structures of gender inequalities.
Locating Gandhi in a global frame, the course seeks to elaborate Gandhian thought and examine its practical implications. It will introduce students to key instances of Gandhi’s continuing influence right up to the contemporary period and enable them to critically evaluate his legacy.
This course is broadly intended to introduce Ambedkar’s ideas and their relevance in contemporary India, by looking beyond caste. Ambedkar’s philosophical contributions towards Indian economy and class question, sociological interpretations on religion, gender, caste and cultural issues; ideas on politics such as concepts of nation, state, democracy, law and constitutionalism are to be pedagogically interrogated and interpreted. This will help students to critically engage themselves with the existing social concerns, state and economic structures and other institutional mechanisms. This also will facilitate them to strengthen their creative thinking with a collective approach to understand ongoing social, political, cultural and economic phenomena of the society.
This paper deals with concepts and different dimensions of governance highlighting the major debates in the contemporary times. There is a need to understand the importance of the concept of governance in the context of a globalising world, environment, administration, development. The essence of governance is explored through the various good governance initiatives introduced in India.
The objective of this generic elective paper is to make students from diverse background understand the process of globalization from a political perspective. This paper will create a broad understanding of the issues and processes globalization based on critical analysis of the various anchors and dimensions of globalization.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the most important multilateral political organization in international relations. It provides a detailed account of the organizational structure and the political processes of the UN, and how it has evolved since 1945, especially in terms of dealing with the major global conflicts. The course imparts a critical understanding of the UN’s performance until now and the imperatives as well as processes of reforming the organization in the context of the contemporary global system.
The Proposed course aims to acquaint student with the structure and manner of functioning of the legal system in India.
The student should be aware of the institutions that comprise the legal system - the courts, police, jails and the system of criminal justice administration. Have a brief knowledge of the Constitution and laws of India, an understanding of the formal and alternate dispute redressal (ADR) mechanisms that exist in India, public interest litigation. Have some working knowledge of how to affirm one's rights and be aware of one's duties within the legal framework; and the opportunities and challenges posed by the legal system for different sections of persons.
This course will introduce the students to the debates, principles and practices of public opinion polling in the context of democracies, with special reference to India. It will familiarise the students with how to conceptualize and measure public opinion using quantitative methods, with particular attention being paid to developing basic skills pertaining to the collection, analysis and utilisation of quantitative data.
To acquaint the student broadly with the legislative process in India at various levels, introduce them to the requirements of peoples’ representatives and provide elementary skills to be part of a legislative support team and expose them to real life legislative work. These will be, to understand complex policy issues, draft new legislation, track and analyse ongoing bills, make speeches and floor statements, write articles and press releases, attend legislative meetings, conduct meetings with various stakeholders, monitor media and public developments, manage constituent relations and handle interoffice communications. It will also deepen their understanding and appreciation of the political process and indicate the possibilities of making it work for democracy.
The objective of an undergraduate application course for common students in Peace and Conflict Studies will cover in-depth knowledge of conflict analysis, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, as well as the historical and cultural context of organized violence. Peace and Conflict Resolution addresses the sources of war, social oppression and violence and the challenges of promoting peace and justice internationally and domestically. It also introduces more equitable, cooperative and nonviolent methods that can be used to transform unjust, violent or oppressive world situations. This course provides students with an overview of the Peace and Conflict Studies discipline, including key concepts and related theories. The course is designed to familiarize students with the historical background of various peace movements, to analyze principles used to resolve conflict, and to provide a view of how peace and conflict resolution are being pursued today. The course will also cover extensive understanding of current research and development within the field of peace and conflict studies and perspective of the environment, gender, migration, and ethnicity.
Assistant Professor (HOD)
M.A., M. Phill., Ph. D