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BPSC-133: Comparative Government and Politics

BPSC-133: Comparative Government and Politics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPSC-133 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Comparative Government and Politics, you have come to the right place. BPSC-133 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPSC-133/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-133

Assignment Name: Comparative Government and Politics

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


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

Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1. Examine the characteristic features of democratic regimes. What challenges do they face in developing states? 20

Ans)The characteristic features of democratic regimes are as follows:

  1. The political procedures and structures that these democratic regimes reflect include universal suffrage. Representatives are held directly accountable to the public when they are elected to serve for a specific time. Equal opportunities are offered by these systems for citizens to run for public office. The ability to openly campaign for votes is granted to political parties and leaders.

  2. The foundation for establishing governments is the holding of free and fair elections. The pressure groups and lobbying organisations are an addition to a party system that is competitive. By mobilising the populace, these pressure groups have an impact on how the government behaves.

  3. The democratic regimes exhibit a high level of tolerance for opposition, which is adequate to restrain the government's tendency toward arbitrary behaviour. In this regard, the availability of alternative information sources free from governmental and interpersonal supervision is beneficial. The existence of the new social movements further reinforces the civil and political rights that are already institutionally recognised and safeguarded. The end consequence is a vibrant civil society that is aware of democracy.

  4. Because civil society is diverse, democratic regimes allow the existence of political divisions. Political disputes are therefore viewed as an inherent part of the political process. Conflict is accepted as a normal and not abnormal aspect in the political theory and practise that underpins these democratic systems.

  5. The existence, legality, and validity of numerous autonomous organisations and associations that are comparatively independent from the government and from one another characterise modern democratic regimes.

  6. These democratic systems have their roots in the Western liberal individualistic political theory tradition. Thus, they support a free, competitive market system in addition to ensuring individual rights. These regimes also draw their cultural and ideological orientation from Western liberalism.

  7. Different democratic regimes exist in the developed world; some favour majority rule and centralization, while others favour fragmentation and pluralism. Thus, "majority" democratic regimes and "pluralist" democratic regimes are distinguished by comparative political theorists like Lijphart.


Challenges faced by democratic regimes are as follows:


The wide-spread ethnic differences along linguistic, tribal, and religious lines that have an impact on their civil societies have been a significant barrier to the development of democratic regimes in developing countries. The socioeconomic and political growth of these ethnic groupings continues to vary. Political organisations inherently reflect ethnic diversity, which serves as the foundation for ethnic groups' political mobilisation for the fulfilment of their demands in a resource-constrained economy.


Underdevelopment, as defined by dependency theorists, has been a significant issue for democratic regimes in developing countries. This necessitates the regime taking decisive action. As a result, the democratic governments in East and South East Asian countries prioritise economic objectives over political ones. Instead of increasing individual freedom in the sense of civil liberty as it is understood in the West, their top economic aim has been to accelerate growth and deliver wealth.

Q2. What are pressure groups? Examine their role in modern political systems. 20

Ans).A pressure group is "an association of people united by a shared interest, conviction, activity, or purpose that seeks to achieve its goals, further its interests, and improve its standing in relation to other groups, by obtaining the approval and cooperation of authority in the form of favourable policies, legislation, and conditions," according to the Oxford Dictionary.


Role of Pressure Groups in Modern Political Systems

With the help of pressure organisations, which serve as a vital bridge between the electorate and the government, a variety of viewpoints can be conveyed. They challenge political parties' dominance of the political system. "The opinions that pressure groups transmit are valid interests," said one political scientist. Pressure groups are essential to the existence of modern democracy. They are just as genuine a means of representation as the voting booth. Between the government and the governed, they can act as a mediator.


Pressure organisations frequently offer the government specialised knowledge and aid in the implementation of policies. Some of the professionally run pressure groups frequently take part in government commissions, advisory groups, and consultative committees. The majority of governments rely on these organisations for guidance, information-specialist knowledge, and assistance with policy implementation. Thus, pressure organisations play a role in the conception, development, and application of public policies. Finally, the general public is more educated about public policies thanks to pressure group operations. Through these actions, the political system and the government remain more receptive to the needs and expectations of the populace.


In any democracy, the ability to associate with one another and express one's concerns and frustrations is a fundamental right. The disadvantaged groups or minorities who are underrepresented in government are given voice and representation through their actions. For instance, those who are underrepresented by political parties, such as women, members of ethnic minorities, gays, and transgender people, have the chance to voice their discontent with how they are treated and to propose solutions to the problems that are keeping them from reaching their full potential.


Additionally encouraging broader engagement in the decision-making process is pressure group activities. Ordinary people only get involved in politics around election season. Voters might not be able to voice their preferences on particular subjects in elections that are conducted every four or five years. In between elections, pressure organisations offer people a chance to be politically engaged and contribute to the functioning of democracy.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q1. What are various explanations for the intervention of the military in politics? 10

Ans) The majority of empirical research on military regimes in developing nations found that they had a detrimental or, at best, no particular impact on social and economic modernization. More disastrously than in the area of economic development, military regimes have performed poorly in the area of political development. It was suggested that the military alone can bring about national integration, which is a requirement for political growth, in developing countries that are primarily divided along religious, ethnic, linguistic, and regional lines. This theory is not supported by how military regimes have performed in the past.


Any nation's political leaders are the most important source of political institutions for development. Ideological commitment, the ability to adapt to new problems, administrative prowess, and negotiating and bargaining skills are just a few of the political skills required to create a functional and self-sustaining political system. Only in the "hard school" of "public life" can one learn these. But political process cannot move freely under military governments. Military authorities suppress the organisation and expression of opposition in order to maintain their control. Frequently, their first acts after taking office are to "impose press restrictions" and "prohibit political activities." Political leaders either choose to live in exile or are compelled to do so in distant nations. Civilian democratic traditions do not take hold because aspiring politicians are unable to develop their political abilities.


The military vitality of the armed forces is likewise weakened by their political participation. A number of armies have been compromised by the development of their political roles and have experienced humiliating losses at the hands of other armies that have solely been urged to perform at the highest level of professionalism. Similar to this, the Egyptian military forces' foray into politics stripped them of their professionalism. The Israeli army, which was more skilled, quickly and shamefully defeated the Egyptian army.


Q2. Briefly describe the plurality and majority systems of representation. 10

Ans) The plurality system makes choosing the winner of an election the easiest. A candidate need simply receive more votes than any other opponent to win; contrary to what the majority formula dictates, he does not need to receive more votes than all of his rivals combined. The likelihood that the winning candidate will obtain only a minority of the vote increases with the number of contenders running for a constituency seat. Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States are among the nations that use the plurality method for choosing representatives to national legislatures. In nations with plurality systems, there are typically two major parties.


The party or candidate who receives more than 50% of the vote in a constituency receives the contested seat under the majority system. The absolute-majority requirement presents a challenge in systems since it may not be satisfied in elections with more than two candidates. To solve this issue, the majority formula has undergone several modifications. In lower-house elections in Australia, the alternative vote, sometimes known as the preferential vote, is utilised. Candidates are ranked on an alternative-preference ballot by voters. The vote for the weakest candidate is reallocated to the other candidates in accordance with the second preference on the ballot if a majority is not reached by first-preference votes.


The voting is then redistributed once again until one contender receives a majority of the votes. In France, elections for the National Assembly are conducted using a double-ballot method. A second round of voting is necessary if no candidate wins a majority in the first round of voting. Only those candidates who received at least one-eighth of the votes cast by the registered electorate in the first round are allowed to contest in the second round, and the winner is determined by receiving a majority of those votes. Some candidates who were eligible for the second round resign from the race and support one of the front-runners.


Q3. Briefly describe the three dominant approaches to globalisation. 10

Ans).The three dominant approaches to globalisation are as follows:


Hyperglobalists Approach: Those who advocate for globalisation and see it as a crucial and irreversible trend are known as hyperglobalists. According to this perspective, which prioritises economic power or market power, the borderless economy reduces national governments to little more than simple intermediary institutions positioned between increasingly potent local, regional, and global mechanisms of governance, or transmission belts for global capital. According to this perspective, global markets and multinational corporations have developed into powerful, impersonal forces that govern the world. As a result, the old core-periphery-based international relations, or the north-south divide, are vanishing and making way for a more complex structure of economic, political, and social power. States that do not globalise or adapt to the times will fall behind in this situation, it is believed.


Viewpoint of Scholars: The sceptics' point of view can be characterised as that of academics. The sceptics contend that the hyperglobalists' version of globalisation is a "fiction." They contend that the globalisation of today is neither novel nor revolutionary. The factors driving globalisation rely on the ability of national governments to regulate in order to push states toward globalisation, liberalism, and privatisation. Therefore, in a world that is becoming more interdependent, politics, not just economics, plays a significant role in defining how governments relate to one another.


View from the Transformationalists: Transformationalists, who contend that rapid changes in social, political, and economic factors are remaking contemporary societies and a global order and that globalisation is "transforming" the world. Such a structure makes it difficult to distinguish between home and foreign, internal and external concerns. This explanation views globalisation as a potent transformative force that has caused a "great shake-out" of cultures, economies, institutions of governance, and the global order. However, given that globalisation is a fundamentally contingent historical process rife with paradoxes, the course of this shakeout is still undetermined.


Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q1. What is the role of the state from the perspective of neo-pluralism? 6

Ans) The role of the state from the perspective of neo-pluralism is as follows:

  1. First, because political power is dispersed across society, it is difficult for any one entity—including the state—to seize control of the political system and its major power centres. This implies that all groups have an equal capacity for organisation and access to power.

  2. Second, the state is a neutral institution in that it responds impartially to the demands made of it by opposing but equally powerful organisations. Since the state has no personal interests, it does not grant favours to any one interest or group over another.

  3. Finally, the classical pluralists support a small state whose only responsibility is to fulfil the demands placed on it by various groups by acknowledging the existence of many power centres and celebrating the importance of groups on political process. This indicates that the state does not possess the kind of autonomy that the modern state model would have it possess.


Q2. Differentiate between decentralisation of power and non-centralisation of power. 6

Ans).The difference between Decentralisation and non-centralisation of powers is as follows:


Decentralisation of power: In a unitary government, deliberate decentralisation of power occurs when higher authorities assign or devolve some authority to the lower levels. The delegation of such powers is not permanent and may be changed at any time. This suggests that the smaller government entities are reliant on the larger one. So, a unified system and purposeful decentralisation of power are related.


Non-Centralisation of power. Non-centralization and the federal system are related. When we discuss non-centralization, the power is not only distributed among the numerous constituent parts; rather, it is dispersed. This indicates that there is no single centre of power and that both levels of government operate with a fair amount of independence. Thus, the subunits are self-sufficient power centres.


Q3. Comment on the use of historical method in comparative studies. 6

Ans) The historical method differs from other approaches in that it seeks out historically relevant causal explanations. A study of contacts, exchanges, and links among human groups and civilizations is necessary to create such analytical histories rather than focusing on one culture or nation, one cultural region, or even one continent at a time. In an effort to identify causal explanations for social and political phenomena from a historical viewpoint, historical studies have focused on one or more specific situations. A study in which two or more historical trajectories of nation-states, institutional complexes, or civilisations are juxtaposed is generally referred to as comparative history.


Q4. Describe the functions of political parties in democratic politics. 6

Ans) The functions of political parties in democratic politics are as follows:


They choose candidates to run in elections; they run campaigns to get votes for their candidates; they present their policies and goals to voters in their manifestos;

Election results determine who forms the government and who enacts and executes the laws;

When they are in the minority in the legislature, those who are not in power organise into opposition and continuously exert pressure on the government to practise good governance.

They connect the general public with governmental institutions by educating the populace, assisting in the formation and moulding of public opinion, articulating the needs of the populace and delivering them to the government.

Q5. What are the core assumptions of neo-Marxism? 6

Ans) Cultural and ideological structures, as components of the superstructure in the context of social, economic, and political processes that took place in the 20th century, have a certain amount of autonomy within a broad framework that is ultimately determined by the mode of production. Because of their stance on the base/superstructure link, neo-Marxists contend that, in contrast to the classical Marxist position, the state, which is a component of the superstructure, is a relatively independent entity that has the power to alter the foundation.


Neo-Marxists contend that the capitalist system and state are upheld not just through coercion but also and primarily through consent that is produced through ideological state apparatus, both of which comprise such domains of civil society as the media, educational institutions, religion, art and literature, family, advertising, and so forth. These sectors of civil society produce and propagate such capitalist values and viewpoints that support the underlying inequalities in capitalist countries. Neo-Marxists contend that civil society is not a neutral and apolitical space, in contrast to liberal tradition.

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