Contemporary Political Theory

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Remarkable developments have taken place in the domain of political theory in the present age of liberalisation and globalisation. The concept of the nation-state has undergone a major change on account of the irresistible erosion of sovereignty in the internal and external spheres and the emergence of the model of a transnational state. Different models of state may be seen in the countries of the Third World. It has put a question mark on the future of the nation-state. The basic tenets of liberalism have been challenged by Neo-liberalism and Communitarianism with the result that now it is on the retreat. In the post-World War II period, the New Fabians had revised the tenets of Fabianism, but in the post-Cold War era it has been replaced by the Third Way.

The pluralists had attacked the classical theory of sovereignty, but the neo-pluralists have given a new shape to it. The theme of political legitimacy has been revisited. The old concept of citizenship requires to be reinterpreted in the contexts of civic republicanism, multi-culturalism and identity politics. It has happened with other themes as well which may be taken note of in the emergence of new topics like Neo-colonialism, Post-colonialism, Post-communism and the like. The task of a political scientist is to comprehend and critically describe the underlying principles of political behaviour in their empirical as well as normative dimensions. Inter-disciplinary focus has become so popular now that the implications of the themes of various social sciences have penetrated into the domain of each other.

The discipline of political science has become a study of ‘power’ and of ‘struggle’ for its sake at any level—local, regional, national and international. In the light of these salient features, university courses have been modernised, and the author has done well to cover them in this work so as to adequately meet the requirements of students offering this course at the degree and postgraduate levels and of candidates preparing for competitive examinations.

Contents: Political Science • The State—Elements • Nature • Functions and End • Origin and Historical Development of State • Sovereignty • Monism and Pluralism • Rights • Liberty and Equality • Law • International Law and Justice • Political Obligation • Revolution and Punishment • Concepts of Political Sociology • Political Power • Its Operation and Justification • Organisation of Government • Forms of Governments • Mechanism of Democracy • Democratic Theory • Constitution of State and Constitutionalism • Party System • Pressure Groups and Public Opinion • Nationalism • Internationalism and Imperialism • Socialism and Its Varieties • Scientific Socialism • Liberalism • Fascism and Idealism • Gandhism and Sarvodaya • Citizenship • Multi-Culturalism and Identity Politics • Bibliography • Index