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MGPE-013: Civil Society, Political Regimes and Conflict

MGPE-013: Civil Society, Political Regimes and Conflict

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MGPE-013/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MGPE-013

Assignment Name: Civil Society, Political Regimes and Conflict

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) Why did Gandhi reject the concept of an all-powerful state?

Ans) The individual, for Gandhi, is the basis of the society that would be self-regulating and self-governing. He is suspicious of the modern state apparatus and denies the need for an all-powerful state leviathan. This is most evident in his statement written in 1924 to which he remains steadfast in his belief that the ‘individual is the one supreme consideration’.


Individual freedom alone can make a man voluntarily surrender himself completely to the service of society. If it is wrested from him, he becomes an automaton and society is ruined. No society can possibly be built on a denial of individual freedom. It is contrary to the very nature of man. Just as a man will not grow horns or a tail, so will he not exist as a man if he has no mind of his own. In reality even those who do not believe in the liberty of the individual believe in their own.


This individual is no Robinson Crusoe but a social being as he is critical of unbridled individualism as being unsuitable for social progress. Gandhi’s individualism is similar to the individualism of late nineteenth century British Idealist, T.H. Green. Within this framework he analyses freedom as not being left alone or to abdicate moral obligation towards others who are equally entitled to freedom for themselves.


A free person can choose to enter into any association with others but cannot simply cut off from others. This is true of nations also. Gandhi’s equation of freedom with self-rule is to underline the intrinsic link between freedom and obligation to others and to oneself, without abandoning the voluntary basis of freedom. Self-rule means voluntary internalization of one’s obligations towards others and that a free person and a nation cannot be selfish and isolationist.


Unrestricted individualism is the law of the beast of the jungle. We have learnt to strike the mean between individual freedom and social restraint. Willing submission to social restraint for the sake of the well-being of the whole society, enriches both the individual and the society of which he is a member. For Gandhi, society is an aggregate of individuals and is incomplete if it ignores the self-development of individuals.

The individual, for him, is not only a social person but also a moral one. Individual initiative enhances human dignity and also provides for a mechanism for resolving conflicts in a non-violent manner. He underlines the importance of common good without denying the pivotal role for the individual. He considers the individual as the bearer of moral authority vested with the moral law and duty to judge the state and its laws, by the standards of truth and non-violence. His faith in the individual as the basis of a modern society is strengthened by his notion of relative truth based on human needs.


The more mature Gandhi, observes Dalton, establishes the link between non-violence and the preservation of liberty seeing the former as the bedrock of freedom. Yet in his commitment to non-violence, he does not sacrifice the social and political freedom of the individual: “to make mistakes as a freeman is better than being in bondage in order to avoid them the mind of a man who remains good under compulsion cannot improve, in fact it worsens. And when compulsion is removed, all the defects well up to the surface with even greater force.”


Q2) What is UDHR? Why is human rights education important today?

Ans) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed in the third General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Thereafter, December 10th became known as International Human Rights Day. The document consists of a preamble and thirty articles, setting out in detail a broad range of individual freedoms and fundamental rights which all men and women, everywhere in the world, are entitled, without any distinction. It was the first official international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms, and the first time that the rights and freedoms of individuals had ever been set forth in such detail.


Among others, these include civil and political rights such as the right not to be subjected to torture, to equality before the law, to a fair trial, to freedom of movement, to asylum and to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, opinion, and expression. The rights outlined in the UDHR also include economic, social, and cultural rights such as the right to food, clothing, housing, and medical care, to social security, to work, to equal pay for equal work, to form trade unions and to education.


The drafting of the UDHR involved representatives from all regions and notable amongst them is Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. As First Lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she was already an internationally respected and well admired lady. As Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, she was its most influential member and her work on the UDHR will forever remain her greatest legacy to mankind.


The UDHR was followed by two Covenants in 1966, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The three together constitute the International Bill of Rights. The UDHR was originally intended as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,” and considered ‘soft law,’ i.e., a resolution without binding force. Nonetheless it has over the past fifty years become a living document for customary international law, and all governments are now bound to apply its principles. Both the above stated Covenants were signed and ratified by India in 1979 thereby binding India to observe these standards and providing its citizens with these rights.


However, the “International accords and the resulting structure of human rights law are not in themselves sufficient to bring about any tangible improvements in the lives of individuals whose rights are being infringed. The tragic reality of human rights violations and abuses can be found everywhere; the spirit of the UDHR has yet to become a reality for people around the world in equal measure. Hence the urgent need for human rights education.


Q3) Describe the activities of different global organizations working for global peace.

Ans) The activities of different global organizations working for global peace are as follows:


United Nations

51 nations came together to form the United States, an international body dedicated to preserving world peace and security, fostering goodwill among nations, and advancing social progress, higher living standards, and human rights. The Organization's 192 Member States have a forum to express their views through the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees because of its distinctive international nature and the authority granted to it in its founding Charter.


International Committee of the Red Cross

Although it was founded by just one person, the International Committee of the Red Cross is now a global organisation dedicated to promoting peace. The entire campaign began when Henry Dunant authored a book named "A Memory of Solferino" about the horrible experience of the battle's aftermath in Solferino, when he witnessed thousands of wounded soldiers perish for lack of medical care and facilities.


Grameen Bank: “Banker to the Poor”

When Bangladesh had its dreadful famine in 1974, Prof. Muhammad Yunus was the director of the rural economics programme at the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He was so horrified to see the starving residents of Jobra, the town next to his university, that he felt compelled to take action to save even one person. When he came saw a struggling farmer making bamboo stools for a living but lacking the funds to purchase the bamboo, the idea and opportunity struck him.


Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF)

David Krieger established the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982 with the goal of fostering peace in the nuclear era. Its goal is to create a world without nuclear weapons, war, or the fear of war. Its foremost aim in achieving this is the global abolition of nuclear weapons. The NAPF is a recognised UN Peace Messenger Organization and has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.


University for Peace: Costa Rica

Since 1949, there has been no army in Costa Rica, making it the first nation in the world to constitutionally abolish the armed forces. And the campus of the University was founded in this tranquil nation in 1980. It is the only institution of higher learning within the UN system that is permitted to grant academic degrees in the study of peace and conflict.


Peace Pilgrim

Mildred Norman, who became Peace Pilgrim in 1908, led a simple life on a small farm in Egg Harbour City, New Jersey, when she was young. Like many others, she slowly accumulated money and possessions, but she soon came to the realisation that such a self-centred life was pointless and that material possessions were more of a burden than a joy.


Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

Based on the ideology of the Buddhist reformer Nichiren Daishonin, who lived in the thirteenth century, the SGI is an organisation whose primary goal and objective is to promote peace, culture, and education. The Lotus Sutra, which emphasises the worth of every life, served as the foundation for Nichiren's teachings. In accordance with this sutra, everyone possesses the Buddha nature, an unbounded, innate state of freedom that allows them to make the most of every circumstance.





Write a short note on each part of the question in about 250 words:


Q1) (a) Gramsci theory of state and civil society

Ans) The fundamental idea of Antonio Gramsci's political philosophy is civil society. No other Marxist of the twentieth century gave civil society the attention Gramsci did from a Marxist perspective. When he thought of a revolutionary strategy to combat fascism in the Italian context, he realised that the Marxist revolutionary strategy had to be examined on a differentiated basis, taking into account the stages of economic development, political culture, outside influences, and the issue of relative economic and political independence and identity.


On Civil Society

According to Gramsci, the peculiarity of civil society is that it does not belong to the structural domain but rather to the superstructural sphere. What we can do right now is establish two main superstructural 'levels': the one that can be referred to as 'civil society,' which is the group of entities that are typically referred to as 'private,' and the one that can be referred to as 'political society,' or 'the State. These two levels are analogous to the functions of "hegemony, which the dominant group exercises across society, and that of "direct dominance," or rule, which is performed through the state and legal government, respectively."


Theory of the State

Gramsci's view of the appropriate interaction between the state and civil society forms the basis of his theory of the state. Gramsci places a great deal of emphasis on the superstructure, whereas Marx places the greatest focus on the whole of all economic interactions. The dominant class does not exercise its hegemony through coercion but rather through the civil society and cultural norms. But not all societies experience this hegemony of civil society equally.


Q1) (b) Culture of Peace

Ans) The word culture derives from the verb cultivate, which means to expand or advance. A people's way of life, worldview, spirituality, and religious beliefs, history, collective memory, arts, language, and literature, social structures, and interpersonal relationships make up their culture. We become aware of our humanity, our similarities, and our distinctions through culture. The cultures in which they lived have an impact on almost every area of our existence. Cultures are created and developed by people.


Humans created and cultivated the culture of war, and it is up to humans to create and grow the culture of peace. According to the definition given by the United Nations, a culture of peace is a set of beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, and ways of life that forbid violence and work to prevent conflicts by addressing their underlying causes and finding solutions through negotiation and dialogue among individuals, groups, and nations. It's noteworthy to notice that culture is defined in a wide anthropological sense rather than in the way that music, dance, and other visual arts are commonly used.


At the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men, which took place in Ivory Coast, Africa, in 1989, the idea of a "culture of peace" was developed. The Seville Statement on Violence, which was endorsed by scientists from all over the world and stated that war is not a social invention but rather is caused by genes, violent brains, human nature, or instincts, served as inspiration for the term. It also served as inspiration for the educational initiative Cultura de paz, which was created in Peru in 1986.


Q2) (a) Global Peace Movements

Ans) A social movement for peace is one that works for principles like ending a particular war or reducing inter-human violence in a specific location or circumstance. They are frequently associated with the pursuit of world peace. Advocating for pacifism, nonviolent resistance, diplomacy, boycotts, peace camps, ethical consumerism, supporting anti-war candidates, supporting legislation to remove profits from government contracts to the military-industrial complex, banning guns, developing tools for open government and transparency, direct democracy, supporting whistle-blowers who reveal war crimes or plots to start wars, and participating in demonstrations are some of the strategies used to accomplish these goals.


The political cooperative is an illustration of a group that aims to bring together all green and peace organisations; while they may have different objectives, they share the ideal of sustainability and peace. Some peace advocates worry that it will be difficult to achieve peace since those who oppose it frequently use violence as a form of communication and political sway.


The term "the peace movement" or an all-encompassing "anti-war movement" refers to an international alliance of activists and political interests that are seen as having a same goal and making up a single movement. When viewed from this angle, they are frequently indistinguishable and represent a loose, flexible collaboration between groups driven by events and ideologies such as decentralisation, hospitality, ideology, theology, and faith as well as causes such as humanism, environmentalism, veganism, anti-racism, and feminism.


Q2) (b) Concept of welfare state

Ans) A welfare state is one that is dedicated to providing its residents with a minimum level of economic security by shielding them from market risks related to old age, unemployment, accidents, and illness. During World War II, the phrase "welfare state" initially became popular in the UK. Since then, it has been applied much more widely to define social welfare institutions that have emerged since the nineteenth century.


In order to categorise countries based on differences in the roles that the state, market, and family play in guaranteeing well-being, welfare state researchers have tried to develop typologies. A second line of inquiry has looked at economic, political, institutional, and ideological issues in an effort to explain the evolution and variance of welfare states. These studies span a wide range of disciplines. According to current research, welfare states are being restructured as a result of economic globalisation, changes in gender roles, and changes in family structures.


Based on the principles of equal opportunity, equitable wealth distribution, and public responsibility for citizens unable to access the bare necessities for a good life, a welfare state is a type of government in which the state protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens. The structure and development of the welfare state differ significantly between different nations and regions. All welfare states involve some form of public-private collaboration, with at least some social programmes being administered and delivered by private organisations. At several geographical levels of government, welfare state services are also offered.

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