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BPSC-105: Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics

BPSC-105: Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPSC-105/BPSC-105/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-105

Assignment Name: Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all questions in the three Assignments given below and submit them together.


Assignment - I


Answer the following Descriptive Category Question in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks.


Q1. New Institutionalism uses a variety of methodological approaches to explain how norms, rules, culture and structures constrain and influence individuals within a political institution. Explain.

Ans) Institutional thinking made a comeback in the 1980s under the name "New Institutionalism." Its resurgence can be attributed to the late 1970s increase in social science fields' interest in institutions. For many, institutional issues appeared to provide a more compelling justification for why nations seek various remedies to the same economic challenges (such as the oil crisis). At the same time, interest in behaviouralist had started to decline within the field of political science. The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life by March and Olsen, published in 1984, was a seminal study that launched the new institutionalism movement in political science. They claimed that analysing political behaviour at the individual level without also looking at institutional restraints on that behaviour would result in a biased view of political reality. Therefore, their plea to "bring the institutions back in" fits into the post-behavioural paradigm that had gained prominence.


The new institutionalism coupled behaviouralist researchers' attention to analysing the conduct of specific political actors with conventional scholars' interests in researching formal institutional rules and structures. It was different from previous institutional approaches in that it (a) expanded the definition of institutions to include not only formal rules and structures but also informal conventions and coalitions that shape political conduct, (b) examined how political institutions embody values and power relationships, and (c) rejected the determinism of earlier approaches and accepted that while institutions may constrain individual conduct, they are also highly influential.


Since the late 19th century, new institutionalists have employed a number of methodological techniques to comprehend how cultures, structures, norms, and regulations affect and restrict people inside political institutions.

While there are many different schools of new institutionalism, the normative, the rational choice approach, and the historical institutionalism all offer an alternative understanding of institutions that is pertinent for comparative politics. The view of institutions as providing norms and standards that shape individual behaviour is known as normative institutionalism, which is often connected with March and Olsen. Institutions are viewed more as aggregations of incentives and disincentives that have an impact on individual decisions by the rational choice institutionalism, which has its roots in the field of economics. On the other hand, historical institutionalism is predicated on the idea that political actors' behaviour during the policy-making process is governed by institutional rules, limitations, and long-term responses to them. Thus, there are three different institutional approaches that we might take to the issue of how people and structures interact to produce societal collective decisions.


The following traits can be attributed to new institutionalism: (a) Despite disagreements over the significance of institutions, new institutionalism has maintained its focus on the study of institutional theory and practise. They concentrate on how institutions connect to one another and how people interact with and within institutions rather than offering a broad framework within which the institutions may be claimed to function (as in the structural-functional approach). (a) Although they refrained from formulating overarching frameworks, they did draw generalisations.


Q2. Critically examine the issues and problems arising from capitalist development in contemporary times.

Ans) Unprecedented material and technological advancements are a result of capitalism, but it has also contributed to unemployment, climate change, community tensions, terrorism, and the rise of the self-interested and atomistic individual.


The issues and problems arising from capitalist development in contemporary times are as follows:


Climate Change: The emergence of a capitalist society inevitably results in population and productivity increase. As a result, human production, transportation, and social activities will increase greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and methane, much like the greenhouse effect. Climate change and wealth disparity are both being driven by global capitalism and economic expansion. Production and consumption are driven by the existence of global capitalism, which is a reflection of the systems in use today. Progressive academics are aware of the severe harm a global capitalist drive causes. Private owners' constant efforts to grow and boost their profits drive a "perpetual treadmill of production and consumption" that mostly relies on sources that emit greenhouse gases from fossil fuels or other alternative sources. Global capitalism is directly responsible for the continuous increase in global temperatures due to our reliance on the fossil fuel industry. Therefore, the global capitalist economies are a major factor in the growing emissions of greenhouse gases that produce an increase in global temperatures and sea levels.


Tensions among Communities: No ethnic conflict is exempt from causing economic ruin and disarray. Resources and material goods are frequently depleted or squandered in the process. The main goals of the combatants are typically strategic economic targets. Investors are scared off and leave with their money. Years may go by with fields lying fallow; irrigation systems, transportation, and communication networks fail. Rare foreign currency is now spent for 'security' demands such as weapons instead of productive or infrastructure needs. As unemployment rises, the labour force leaves conflict areas to take up arms or seek safety elsewhere, frequently in capital cities. The capacity of public services is at its limit. Refugee numbers are rising, placing a strain on both domestic and global resources. Whether in Bombay or Los Angeles, racial riots encompass looting, property destruction, and vandalism.


Terrorism: Terrorism is more frequently linked to nations that are developing economically and frequently appears in societies that are undergoing fast modernization and change. On the other side, social revolutionary terrorists who profess to speak for the poor and oppressed but are not themselves impoverished commonly use poverty as justification. Although it is not the main factor in terrorism, poverty is a societal ill that needs to be addressed for its own causes.


Unemployment: Politicians who work for capitalists and economists dislike full employment and the advantages of high unemployment. It can weaken the unity of the working class by pitting workers against one another in competition for specific occupations. Additionally, it makes it tougher for employees to form unions. These advantages (to the capitalists) encourage them to support policies that prevent unemployment from dropping too low. Business-oriented economists propose measures to "slow" the economy and increase unemployment if the total unemployment rate falls below roughly 5%. The explanation given is pretty straightforward: if unemployment decreases, workers will be better able to demand higher salaries and benefits. This may result in inflation or a decline in business earnings.


Growth of the Self-Interested and Atomistic Individual: To think that liberal democracy makes room for people's opinions to be heard will be overly idealistic and absurd. According to an empirical research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, organised business interests and the financial elites have significant power, whereas the typical person has little to no effect. In a democracy, the average voter has very little influence over legislative decisions. This is a harsh criticism of liberal democracy since it does not protect individual liberty and because business and private interests ultimately control the democratic process.

Assignment - II


Answer the following Middle Category questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks.


Q1. Describe the distinct features of the state in the developing world.

Ans) The distinct features of the state in the developing world are as follows:


It is an over developed state: Compared to where it is in time and space, the state is far further along. Therefore, the army and bureaucracy have taken on a central role in developing nations. The role of bureaucracy in western capitalist nations is auxiliary. It is a tool of the dominant class, as opposed to the developing world where it has a prominent position and has autonomy from the dominating classes. Democratic institutions are weakened in overdeveloped states. Even in those emerging nations with democratic institutions and elected officials in charge of state organisations, bureaucracy continues to dominate the state. It does, however, work in concert with politicians to exercise control.


It enjoys autonomy from the dominant classes: It has little power to influence the economy, the capitalist class is weak. Either the local landed gentry or the urban bourgeoisie control a significant portion of economic production. No class is sufficiently powerful to rule the state. Since there is no single dominant class, the state gains the authority to control how the various classes in the historical bloc interact with one another. By using enormous economic resources to replicate the capitalist production process in the interest of the local dominating classes and the bourgeoisie of the metropolis, the state in the developing countries maintains its autonomy.


It protects the interests of the metropolitan bourgeoisie: In the developing world, external forces have authority over the state. The state is dependent on foreign aid and money because of the underdeveloped state of the economy and the makeup of the ruling class. However, it has indirect effects on the state of the developing world. By erasing national borders, the overdeveloped third-world nation creates the ideal environment for the global market to infiltrate the developing world. The third world is integrated into the global market by the state through encouraging the introduction of technology and investment. The state, the ruling class, has less and less power and ability to interact with the outside world.


Q2. Trace the evolution of the practice of parliamentary supremacy in the United Kingdom.

Ans) The evolution of the practice of parliamentary supremacy in the United Kingdom is as follows:


First Phase

In the Middle Ages, the House of Lords was the only house that served as the parliament's representative. It was made up of "wise men" during the Saxon era, who frequently served as both religious and political counsellors. As expensive battles put a strain on the nation's considerable tax collections from both the lords and the freemen, the Commons was also established in the 13th century. There was some kind of restricted right of representation added to this tax obligation. Each county then chose four knights to be transported to Westminster. The two houses, or chambers, gradually split into the House of Lords and the House of Commons throughout the 14th century.


Second Phase

Beginning in 1485 and lasting until the 17th century, the parliamentary evolution was defined by a struggle for supreme power between the Stuart rulers and the Parliament. The parliament rejected the monarchs' claim that they had a divine right to reign. The civil war definitively confirmed Parliament's lawful sovereign authority. With the ability to penalise royal officials who broke the regulations governing revenue collection, parliament began the practise of scrutinising the executive or the administration.


Third Phase

It starts in the 1688–1832 period. This was furthered by the Bill of Rights of 1689, which supported a constitutional or limited monarchy with a supreme parliament. The Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Act of Settlement of 1701 enhanced parliamentary authority over new laws and taxes at the expense of royal authority.


The Fourth Phase

It dates from 1832 to the present and is defined by the institutionalisation and specification of the responsibilities, roles, and relationships between the two Houses and between the administration and the legislature. The ultimate result has been to establish the elected British Parliament's legal sovereignty as the elected parliament of the people.


Q3. Critically examine the functioning of federalism in Brazil.

Ans) The demographic makeup and level of economic development of the state of Brazil vary widely. The population has significant inequalities. Due to stronger economic opportunities, the south and southeast are more thickly populated. On the other side, due to the prominence of agricultural industries, the northern and north-eastern states are sparsely inhabited. Due to the severe disparity in population, the lower and upper houses of the legislature were improperly divided. The much-lauded fiscal federalism of Brazil also has problems with balancing resources and responsibility. Although it was believed that distributing political and economic power would promote economic efficiency, many results were exactly the opposite.


First off, as sub-national actors like governors and mayors gained authority, they frequently indulged in extravagant spending. They started taking out loans from both domestic and international markets, which led to a massive governmental debt. This had an effect on the nation's economy as a whole and put further financial strain on the federal government. Second, states fought with one another to entice investors by waiving taxes in order to attract fresh investment. All the states suffered as a result of this "fiscal war," which saw them increase spending while cutting back on sources of income. Thirdly, the issue of the already present economic and budgetary discrepancy among regions and states could not be resolved by the fiscal horizontal balance. The municipalities became reliant on the state and federal devolution of funding rather than promoting local revenue mobilisation and properly developing their local tax base. In front of receiving additional federal funding, many states continued to establish new municipalities. As a result, the federal government was left with increasing responsibility for spending and relatively less available money. This had an even more detrimental effect on the state's expenditures for social programmes and urban infrastructure.



Assignment - III


Write a short note on the following in about 100 words each. Each short note carries 6 marks.


Q1. Case study as a methods for comparison

Ans) A case study offers the information (on specific cases) that can serve as the foundation for general observations. These findings can be compared to other "cases" and utilised to provide broad justifications. However, case studies can overemphasise "distinctiveness" or what are referred to be "deviant" or uncommon cases. For instance, comparativists might have a predisposition to focus on issues like why the United States does not have a socialist party rather than why Sweden and the majority of western democracies do. Despite the fact that more than twenty years separated the two of these pieces, there is a common subject. The other nation endures in both studies as an "absent" case or referent, which according to some is what distinguishes these unique comparative works from one another. His viewpoint on French society so affected his analysis of American society, and vice versa.


Q2. New Institutionalism Mode of Production

Ans) A method to studying institutions known as "new institutionalism" focuses on the enabling and restraining effects of formal and informal norms on the behaviour of people and groups. The term "mode of production" describes how products are made and disseminated in a society. The forces of production and the relations of production make up its two main components. The factors used in production, such as land, fuel, and raw materials, as well as labour, machinery, and other tools, are collectively referred to as the forces of production. The relationships of production include those between individuals as well as those between individuals and the forces of production, through which choices are made regarding what to do with the outcomes.


Q3. Theory of Modernization

Ans) The sociological idea known as "modernization theory" contends that civilizations will unavoidably evolve during the course of their existence. The predominant sociological model of modernisation holds that modernization can be modelled after Western capitalist nations. However, some ideologies do not use Western societies or capitalism as a goal, such as Marxist modernization. Both the various modernization theories and the idea of modernization in general have come under heavy fire. The development of modernization theory involved numerous sociologists, the majority of whom were educated in the United States. In sociology, it is still a well-liked and potent idea.


Q4. Reforms of Deng Xiaoping

Ans) The difficulties communist countries encountered after the Cold War forced them to implement varied degrees of economic and political reforms. The forces of globalisation, with capitalism as the predominant economic system, were chiefly responsible for creating the need. Numerous communist nations have opened their economy to the outside world in order to implement market-oriented economic reforms in order to address these issues. The majority of socialist countries have switched from a centrally planned socialist economy to market socialism, a subset of socialism that incorporates some features of capitalism. To include features of the market economy in China, Deng Xiaoping, for instance, implemented his "reform and opening up" strategy in 1978. In order to achieve what he dubbed "socialist modernisation" in the fields of agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology; Deng also launched the "Four Modernization" programme.


Q5. Ethnic Diversity and Federalism in Nigeria

Ans) Nigeria is a federal nation, although it operates more like a unitary state in reality. There are three main ethnic groupings in the ethnically diverse nation of Nigeria. These communities also frequently identify with various linguistic and religious identities, further complicating the situation. Highlight geographical disparities as well as their historical interactions with other ethnic groups. The governmental structure has started to exhibit tendencies toward centralization. The federal government frequently acts against the interests of the state governments, which is another way it abuses its authority. The federal system in northern Nigeria has not been able to solve the social issues of the minority ethnic groups that are always at odds with the majority over access to rights and basic services. Varying parts of Nigeria have different interpretations of the term "True federalism," which refers to discontent with the current iteration of centralised federalism.

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