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Earlier this year I began as a lecturer at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore.

In the first term of the academic year (2011-2012) I engaged an introductory course in political theory. Designated as Political Science-II, this course tries to expose students in the second year of the 5 year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) program to some foundational literature on ideas such as authority and obligation. In this document, I have reproduced the course plan, the topic suggestions for term papers as well as the questions included in the respective test-cycles for the course. I am circulating this in anticipation of feedback. Please feel free to respond with comments and suggestions. Sidharth Chauhan Visiting Faculty (2011-12) National Law School of India University, Nagarabhavi, Bangalore, Karnataka, India (PIN 560072) E-mail: sidharth.chauhan1983@gmail.com, sidharth@nls.ac.in CONTENTS IN THIS DOCUMENT Course outline and teaching plan Project topics and instructions Sample question Mid-term questions End-term questions Repeat / First attempt questions pp. 2-8 pp. 9-11 pp. 12-13 pp. 14-17 pp. 18-19 pp. 20-23

POLITICAL SCIENCE - II (Law, State and Political Obligation) Trimester IV - B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) [July-September 2011] National Law School of India University, Bengaluru Instructor: Sidharth Chauhan Course outline The main objective is to engage with the foundational questions of political and legal theory, namely, what is the basis of political authority and why must we obey the authority of the state. As a preliminary matter, we will read some commentaries that generally examine the necessity of state formation and the contemporaneous understanding of what is a democracy. There are numerous scholarly works dealing with the theories of political obligation that invoke the consent of the governed as well as those that rest on the principle of fair play. In recent decades, many authors have emphasized a third strand, namely that the legitimacy of a state can be grounded in the reciprocal obligations that we owe to each other as citizens. Building on our discussion of the theories of consent, fair play and civic obligations, we will consider whether a democratically constituted authority has a stronger claim to obedience in comparison to other forms of government? Even if a liberal democracy is assumed to be the best form of government, do citizens retain a right to challenge the authority of the state? Can we recognise the boundaries between civil disobedience as a form of responsible citizenship and disobedience for its own sake? What are the various avenues available for citizens to recognise, re-affirm or reject the legitimacy of political authority? Theories of consent locate the authority of the state in the expressed willingness of citizens to obey the same. Building on the Lockean idea of a social contract, one can make the claim that in modern democracies the legitimacy of a government or a particular measure can indeed be identified with the outcomes of periodic elections and issue-specific referenda respectively. However, it is difficult to develop a comprehensive theory of political obligation on the pillar of consent alone, since the outcome of an election or a referendum reflects majority opinion at a given point in time whereas the exercise of political authority is a complex and continually changing process. Even if one were to assume the existence of preconditions for democratic rule such as free and fair elections, it may be difficult to identify the collective will of the people with the actions of their elected representatives. These problems are accentuated in parliamentary democracies such as India which follow the first-past-the-post system for general elections while at the same time grappling with structural problems such as dynastic perpetuation in political parties and voting patterns that track group identities based on caste, religion, ethnicity and language among other markers. The argument of fair play broadly implies that as individuals we are obliged to obey the state in return for the provision of benefits such as the protection of life, liberty and property. In short we obey a political authority as a matter of fairness rather than as a consequence of a notional contract. This obligation based on the principle of fairness has several layers and many argue that it includes a duty to be an active citizen rather than a passive one. This normative claim is of course at odds with the experience of many liberal democracies where the traditional indicators of political participation such as

voting percentages seem to be on the decline. If the state apparatus is viewed as a provider of valuable public goods such as the enforcement of laws and the enhancement of collective welfare, the situation of a passive citizen could be likened to that of a free rider. However, if it is made mandatory for all citizens to vote in general elections or to serve in the armed forces, then many would decry that as a decidedly illiberal position. If a liberal democracy must respect individual freedom, then what is the extent of the demands that it can legitimately make on its citizens? There are some scholars (primarily John Rawls) who have argued that there is a natural duty to obey just institutions. In that case, how can we evaluate the justness of the public institutions that govern us? Moving away from the traditional emphasis on the balance between the states power and individual rights, scholarship in recent decades has increasingly drawn attention towards justifying the authority of the state as a necessary means for recognising and protecting private rights. These rights can be broadly classified as those based on property, contract and status, which are in turn derived from the obligations that we owe to each other. Hence, we will spend some lecture-hours on the idea of civic virtues as well as the concept of associative obligations. While we will spend most of the trimester discussing theoretical literature in the field, the latter half will include reading assignments on the understanding of rights (especially the freedom of speech and assembly) as well as the inter-related subjects of political participation and citizenship in multicultural societies. I will also schedule some optional classes to cover ideas such as justice and punishment. We will conclude the course by returning to the normative question of why we must obey the authority of the state and attempt to flesh out an account that may suitably explain the conditions and contradictions of contemporary India. Classroom and Examination instructions for students Since this is an introductory course, the intent is to familiarize ourselves with some leading scholarly works in the field. Admittedly, some of the reading assignments are quite challenging and they will require careful and reflective study. Let me make it very clear that I will be making cold-calls throughout the trimester and I expect all of you to read the extracts marked as essential in advance for each class. The Examination Department will be circulating copies of the extracts from books that are either not easily available or are in short supply at the library. Articles from law reviews and peer reviewed journals will not be circulated by the Examination Department, since students are expected to download them from online databases such as Westlaw, JSTOR and HeinOnline among others. In any case I will be circulating soft copies of the relevant articles on a regular basis. Some of the readings have been listed as supplemental and while you are not required to read these in advance, you do stand to gain from putting in the extra effort. Failure to keep up with the essential readings will not only retard our progress in the course but could also lead to undue embarrassment for you in the classroom and considerable stress during the days leading up to the examinations. The use of laptops or any other electronic devices is prohibited during lecture-hours unless explicitly authorised for a specified

purpose. Attendance norms will be enforced as per the rules framed by the UnderGraduate Council. Both the mid-term and the end-term examinations will be of the open-book variety and will last 3 hours each. You may be asked to write analytical essays or short responses to specified extracts. The emphasis will be on conceptual understanding and clarity in writing rather than mere regurgitation of the course content. If you keep up with the readings throughout the trimester, there should be no cause for last-minute anxieties. You will be allowed to carry the assigned readings (both essential and supplemental) and your own handwritten notes into the examination hall. You cannot carry print-outs or photocopies of notes prepared by yourself or any other student. This also means that you cannot carry printed summaries of the reading assignments which might have been prepared through collaborative efforts. In keeping with the Under-Graduate Council rules, the evaluation scheme is re-stated below: - Mid-Term examination: 30 marks - End-Term examination: 30 marks - Term Paper: 25 marks (See Project topics and instructions) - Paper presentation: 10 marks - Attendance: 5 marks I will be available to answer questions and clarify doubts at the end of each class. As a general matter, I will be available for meetings in my office, usually between 2:30 pm -5:30 pm on all working days. Any deviations from this schedule will be communicated in class. If you want to meet me outside office hours, I would urge you to send me an email in advance, outlining the questions or concerns that you may have. Teaching Plan and reading assignments July 1-9, 2011 Quentin Skinner, The State, in T. Ball, J. Farr & R.I. Hanson, ed., Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 90131 D.A. Lloyd Thomas, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Locke on Government (Routledge, 1995), pp. 11-56 Leslie Green, The Authority of the State (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 220-247 David Held, Democracy: From City-States to a Cosmopolitan order?, 40 Political Studies 10 (1992) Bernard Crick, Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 69-120 Supplemental Richard A. Wasserstrom, The Obligation to Obey the Law, 10 UCLA Law Review 780 (1963) M.B.E. Smith, Is there a Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law, 82 Yale Law Journal 950 (1973)

July 11-16, 2011 Alan Ryan, Liberalism, in Robert E. Goodin, Philip Pettit & Thomas Pogge, eds., A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, 2nd edn. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2007), pp. 360-382 Richard E. Flathman, Legitimacy, in Goodin, Pettit & Pogge (2007), pp. 678684 Joshua Cohen, Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy, in Alan Hamlin & Philip Pettit, ed., The Good Polity (Blackwell Publishers, 1989), pp. 17-34 David Copp, The Idea of a Legitimate State, 28 Philosophy and Public Affairs 3 (1999) Supplemental Scott Hershowitz, Legitimacy, Democracy and Razian Authority, 9 Legal Theory 201 (2003) Charles Taylor, Invoking Civil Society, in Taylor, Philosophical Arguments (Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 204-224, 303 July 18-23, 2011 A. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligations (Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 57-100 Leslie Green, Law, Legitimacy and Consent, 62 Southern California Law Review 795 (1989) Mark C. Murphy, Surrender of Judgment and the Consent Theory of Political Authority, 16 Law and Philosophy 115 (1997) C.L. Ten, The Limits of the State, in Jeremy Waldron, ed., The Dictionary of Philosophy (Routledge, 1989), Ch. 32 Supplemental Nikolas Rose, Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 15-60 Joseph Raz, About Morality and the Nature of Law, 48 The American Journal of Jurisprudence 1 (2003) July 25-30, 2011 Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), pp. 23105 A. John Simmons, The Principle of Fair Play, 8 Philosophy and Public Affairs 307 (1979) George Klosko, The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation, 16 Philosophy and Public Affairs 241 (1987) John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 2nd edn. (Harvard, 1999), pp. 98-101 Jeremy Waldron, Special Ties and Natural Duties, 22 Philosophy and Public Affairs 3 (1993) August 1-6, 2011 John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Right (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 134-160, 231-259 [Ch. 6,9] 5

Leslie Green, The Duty to Govern, 13 Legal Theory 165 (2007) Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), pp. 233-249 Joseph Raz, The Problem of Authority: Revisiting the Service Conception, 90 Minnesota Law Review 1003 (2006) Supplemental Christopher Heath Wellman, Responsibility: Personal, Collective, Corporate in Goodin, Pettit & Pogge (2007), pp. 736-744 August 8-13, 2011 Richard Dagger, Rights, Citizenship and Republican Liberalism: Civic Virtues (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 61-80 Bhikhu Parekh, A Misconceived Discourse on Political Obligation, 41(2) Political Studies 236 (1993) Carole Pateman & Nancy J. Hirschmann, Political Obligation, Freedom and Feminism, 86(1) American Political Science Review 179 (1992) Supplemental Graeme Duncan, Political Obligation: Some Skeptical Views in Jeremy Waldron, ed., The Dictionary of Philosophy (Routledge, 1989), Ch. 29 Carole Pateman, The Fraternal Social Contract, in Pateman, The Disorder of Women (Polity Press, 1980), pp. 33-57 August 16-19, 2011: Mid Term Examinations August 20-27, 2011 Jean Hampton, Contract and Consent in Goodin, Pettit & Pogge (2007), pp. 478492 Arthur Ripstein, Authority and Coercion, 32 Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (2004) Arthur Ripstein, Force and Freedom: Kants Legal and Political Philosophy (Harvard University Press, 2009), pp. 182-231 Ronald Dworkin, Laws Empire (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 164-224 John Simmons, Associative Political Obligations in Simmons, Justification and Legitimacy: Essays on Rights and Obligations (Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 65-92 Supplemental Leslie Green, Associative Obligations and the State, in Justine Burley, ed., Dworkin and his Critics (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2005), pp. 267-284 Stephen Perry, Associative Obligations and the Obligation to Obey the Law in Scott Hershowitz, ed., Exploring Laws Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 183-203 August 29-September 3, 2011 H.L.A. Hart, Are there any natural rights?, 64 Philosophical Review 175 (1955)

Isaiah Berlin, Two concepts of liberty, in Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 118-172 Jeremy Waldron, Rights in Goodin, Pettit & Pogge (2007), pp. 745-754 D.A. Lloyd Thomas, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Locke on Government (Routledge, 1995), pp. 57-88 John Rawls, A Theory of Civil Disobedience, in R.M. Dworkin, ed., The Philosophy of Law (Oxford University Press), pp. 89-111 Supplemental Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (Harvard University Press, 1978), Taking Rights Seriously and Civil Disobedience Peter Singer, Democracy and Disobedience (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 1-61 September 5-10, 2011 David M. Estlund, Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework (Princeton University Press, 2008), pp. 1-39 Jeremy Waldron, Law and Disagreement (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 88118 Thomas Christiano, Freedom, Consensus and Equality in Collective Decision Making, 101 Ethics 151 (1990) Jeremy Waldron, Authority for Officials in L. Meyer, S. Paulson & T. Pogge, eds., Rights, Culture and The Law: Themes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 45-69 Supplemental Amartya Sen, Equality of what? in S.M. McMurrin, ed., The Tanner Lectures on Human Values (Cambridge University Press, 1980), pp. 195-220 Michael Walzer, Complex Equality in Martin Robertson, Spheres of Justice: A Defence of Pluralism and Equality (Basic Books, 1983), pp. 3-30 September 12-17, 2011 Kent Greenawalt, Free Speech Justifications, 89 Columbia Law Review 119 (1989) Nigel Warburton, Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 1-58 Ali A. Mazrui, Satanic Verses or a Satanic Novel? Moral dilemmas of the Rushdie Affair, 12 Third World Quarterly 116-139 (Jan. 1990) Supplemental Rajeev Dhavan, Harassing Hussain: Uses and Abuses of the Law of Hate Speech, 35 Social Scientist 16-60 (Jan.Feb. 2007) Ronald Dworkin, Is there a right to pornography? in Dworkin, A Matter of Principle (Harvard University Press, 1985) September 19-26, 2011 Richard Bellamy, Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 52-123 7

Trevor Purvis and Alan Hunt, Identity versus Citizenship: Transformations in the Discourses and Practices of Citizenship, 8(4) Social and Legal Studies 457 (1999) Will Kymlicka, Community and Multiculturalism in Goodin, Phillip & Pogge (2007), pp. 463-477 Stephen Macedo, Toleration, in Goodin, Phillip & Pogge (2007), pp. 813-820 Supplemental Iris Marion Young, Polity for Group Difference: A critique of the ideal of universal citizenship, 99 Ethics 250-284 (1999) Optional classes Justice John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1879), Ch. 5: On the connection between Justice and Utility John Rawls, Justice as Fairness, 67 Philosophical Review 164-194 (1958) Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (Basic Books, 1974), pp. 149-231 Michael Sandel, The procedural republic and the unencumbered self, 12 Political Theory 81-96 (1984) Martha Minnow, Justice engendered, 101 Harvard Law Review 10-95 (1987) Punishment Plato: The Laws Book Nine (Extract on The Theory of Punishment) Martin Birnbach, The criminal jurisprudence of Platos Laws, 14 Journal of Legal Education 191-211 (1961-1962) Gary Gutting, Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), Ch. 8: Crime and Punishment at pp. 79-90 James D. Faubion, ed., Essential Works of Michel Foucault Power (New Press, 1994), pp. 382-393 September 27-30, 2011: End term examinations

POLITICAL SCIENCE - II (Law, State and Political Obligation) Trimester IV - B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) [July-September 2011] National Law School of India University, Bengaluru Instructor: Sidharth Chauhan Project topics and instructions For the term papers, the length of your submissions should not exceed 4,000 words (including footnotes/endnotes). There is no need to include a methodology section or a bibliography for this particular course. Your introductory segment should clearly outline the substantive issues that will be examined in the paper and your conclusion must clarify your position on the same. The paper must of course be written in your own words with proper attribution of the sources (books, articles, online publications etc.). I am not adamant about following the Harvard Bluebook form of citation but you must use a uniform citation style, irrespective of whether you cite in the form of footnotes or endnotes. While I do not expect you to make novel theoretical arguments at this stage, the paper must demonstrate a coherent understanding of the chosen topic as well as familiarity with the leading scholarly literature on the same. There are of course different forms within academic writing and your paper could do either of the following: - Explain or build upon a complex theoretical concept - Examine a contentious issue by either exploring the various angles to the controversy or adopting and defending a distinctive position with respect to it - Respond to a leading scholarly work or a theme addressed by a prominent author You may choose from among the following list of topics. While topics will ordinarily be allotted in the order of requests, more than one person can work on a single topic, provided that they examine different contours of the same. You may also modify a given topic or devise one on your own, subject to my approval on a case-by-case basis. As per the Under-Graduate Councils Regulations, the allocation of topics has to be finalised by July 8, 2011 (Friday). The regular submission deadlines for this trimester are on August 1, 2011 and September 2, 2011 respectively. Late submissions will attract penalties as per the Regulations. S. No 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Topic Should there be a provision for casting a negative vote in legislative elections? The role of unelected institutions in policy-making and questions of democratic legitimacy The use of social networks for organising political protests the experience of the Arab Spring An inquiry into the justifications for declaring a state of emergency Are hunger strikes a legitimate means of political protest in a liberal democracy? Applying Public Choice theory to understand the role of lobbying groups Examining the porous boundaries between commercial speech and political speech

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

Does an occupying force have a moral duty to govern a territory under its control? The consent of the governed as a justification for political authority John Stuart Mills conception of the Harm Principle and modern liberalism Jeremy Benthams Utilitarian approach to punishment John Locke on the right to rebellion The avenues for public participation in the law-making process Isaiah Berlin on the understanding of Liberty The principle of fairness as a basis for political obligation Henry David Thoreaus writings on Civil Disobedience Do religious or ethnic minorities have a special claim to the protection of their distinctive cultural practices? Is it justifiable for a liberal democracy to retain the offence of sedition? The inclusion of civil society members in the Jan Lokpal Bill drafting committee: Was it a reasonable accommodation of public opinion or an undemocratic move? Should it be made compulsory for all eligible voters to cast their ballot in legislative elections? Democratic decentralisation as an instrument of political integration The limitations of the first past the post system in a parliamentary democracy Should there be a right against defamation of religion? Ronald Dworkins formulation of Associative Obligations and the understanding of political authority The resistance to conscription in the U.S.A. during the Vietnam War Do Gandhian methods of political agitation have any relevance today? Debates about the scope and application of the Right to Information (RTI) Act Dynastic politics and questions of democratic legitimacy Does the concentration of media ownership distort democratic practices? Feminist approaches to political obligation The Anarchists rejection of the authority of the State Should the State be permitted to acquire land and hand it over to private businesses? Should Caste-based panchayats be viewed as grassroots representative institutions or extra-legal authorities? Should appeals to religious or ethnic identity be permitted in electoral campaigns? Should immigrants be forced to learn the language of their adopted countries? The Lockean notion of Tacit consent Is it an adequate explanation for political obligation? Michel Foucaults critique of modern penal institutions The distribution of freebies during election campaigns Is populism problematic? Joseph Raz on the service conception of authority Should there be limits on contributions and expenditure during electoral


campaigns? 41. Robert A. Dahl on Procedural Legitimacy Is it a sound explanation for modern democratic practices? 42. Is there a natural duty to obey just institutions? 43. Should extremist groups be prevented from forming political parties? 44. Theories of citizenship in Ancient Rome 45. Residency requirements for naturalisation Are they an undue burden on immigrants? 46. John Rawls formulation of the Difference Principle 47. Robert Nozicks position on Distributive Justice 48. Interrogating the idea of a meritocracy 49. The Lyngdoh Committees recommendations on campus elections Do they curb or encourage student activism? 50. Theories of personal responsibility in a liberal democracy 51. Examining the external and internal dimensions of the right to selfdetermination 52. Theories of citizenship in Ancient Greece 53. Social censorship and its impact on literary and artistic creativity 54. Affirmative action in representative institutions: Does it promote inclusion or reinforce social divisions? 55. Media coverage of legal proceedings and its impact on public perceptions of the legal system 56. Should electorates have the right to recall their elected representatives during the prescribed terms? 57. Theories of punishment Are there internal contradictions among them? 58. Should hate speech be tolerated in a liberal democracy? 59. The role of civil society representatives in holding public officials accountable to the electorate 60. Re-drawing of electoral constituencies as a means for ensuring political equality 61. John Stuart Mill on the connection between justice and utilitarianism 62. The inherent tensions between populism and decision-making based on claims of expertise 63. Should schools that only deliver religious instruction receive government funding? 64. The importance of legislative oversight over executive functions 65. The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) concerns about accountability and preserving the separation of powers 66. The role of the State in enforcing contractual arrangements 67. The role of the State in ensuring respect for rights to private property 68. Human dignity as a justification for safeguarding the freedom of speech 69. The lawyers movement and the restoration of democracy in Pakistan (2007) 70. The Salwa Judum movement in Chattisgarh and problems of accountability 71. Conceptions of Natural Law and the understanding of political obligation 72. Environmental Activism and questions of political obligation Sample Question Issue-spotting essay


(Political Science-II, circulated to the class on August 12, 2011) Assume that you are a resident of Flatterbhavi, i.e. a town wherein all adults participate in annual elections for constituting a Town Council. The Council is primarily responsible for maintaining civic facilities such as public transportation, street-lighting and nightshelters for the homeless as well as the provision of utilities such as electricity, water and sewage facilities for residents among other functions. The Council has also traditionally played a supervisory role in ensuring cleanliness in the streets and parks. The Council consists of members who are elected from the four main neighbourhoods in the town (i.e. Rawlsian Alley, Nozick Street, Raz Road and Simmons Circle) and there is a convention that the senior-most member (in terms of length of prior service on the Council) will also serve as the Mayor of the town. While the Council is primarily a representative body with rule-making functions, the Mayor is vested with executive powers so as to enforce these rules and act for the general welfare of the Town. In 2011, Z. Sankata Vow is serving as the Mayor since he has previously served on the Council for six years and opted for re-election this year. As a member of the Towns Council in the past, he has been instrumental in organising religious meetings in public places. He received accolades for designing a charitable program wherein homeless individuals who attended these religious meetings were given free food, clothes and books, over and above the access to night-shelters maintained by the Town Council. Z. Sankata Vow enjoys widespread support in his own neighbourhood (i.e. Rawlsian Alley) and even the residents of Raz Road and Simmons Circle have a favourable impression of him. However, the residents of Nozick Street have never really warmed up to him. As it turns out, most of the residents of Nozick Street are atheists and hence they detest the new Mayors enthusiasm for organising religious meetings in public places. Furthermore, they have objected to the charitable program by describing it as a colossal waste of public resources and a counterproductive measure that makes homeless persons dependent on the freebies handed out to them. So much so that Midhart Rowhan, a Council member from Nozick Street has repeatedly assured his constituents that he will try to persuade the Mayor to at least discontinue the religious meetings. However, he has made no promises with respect to the charitable program. Frustrated by the inability of Midhart Rowhan to exert any influence on the Mayor, some residents of Nozick Street begin a public campaign to criticise the charitable program, mainly through the local press and the distribution of leaflets. Since this is his first term as Mayor, Z. Sankata Vow is keen on deepening his popularity among the residents of Flatterbhavi, possibly in the hope of getting re-elected next year. He decides to confront the public campaign mounted by the residents of Nozick Street by scaling up the charitable program and holding religious meetings more often than had been the practice in previous years. Eager to support their Mayor, the residents of Rawlsian Alley, Raz Road and Simmons Circle start attending these meetings in large numbers. The residents of Nozick Street are usually hesitant to attend the religious meetings but some of them decide to show up and raise slogans in protest. This disagreement plays out publicly for several months, thereby leading to the escalation of tensions.


Z. Sankata Vow realises that the scaling up of the charitable program has added to the financial burdens of the Town Council. Towards the end of 2011, he proposes to the Council that a new tax be levied in order to raise finances for the better upkeep of public streets and parks. As soon as the proposal is placed before the Council, Midhart Rowhan raises an objection by arguing that this is nothing but a disguised method for subsidizing the charitable program since the funds meant for the upkeep of streets and parks would most likely be diverted for the former purpose. Taking strong exception to these criticisms, the Mayor responds that if the Council is unwilling to endorse his proposal, he can use his executive powers to impose the new tax. The news of the proposed tax is met with disbelief by the residents of Nozick Street who not only decide to intensify their protests against the charitable program but also announce their intention to disrupt it. How would you examine this scenario if you were in the following positions? (A) As a resident of Rawlsian Alley and a keen supporter of Z. Sankata Vows charitable program (B) As a resident of Raz Road, who appreciates the past efforts made by Z. Sankata Vow but does not want to see the disagreement over the charitable program escalate further (C) As a resident of Simmons Circle, who was initially skeptical of the charitable program but has come to support it with the passage of time, especially since the number of homeless people seen begging on the streets has drastically reduced (D) As a resident of Nozick Street who has actively participated in protests against the charitable program (E) As a homeless person who does not pay taxes but votes in the annual elections to the Council ***

Political Science II (Law, State and Political Obligation) 2 year - B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) programme [July-September 2011]


Mid-Term Examination (August 18, 2011) Instructions 1. This examination carries 30 marks. It consists of four questions (the first three questions carry 6 marks each and the fourth question is in the nature of an issuespotting essay that carries 12 marks). 2. This is an open-book examination, which means that you are allowed to bring in the assigned readings, class notes and any other handwritten/photocopied/printed materials that you may find useful. The duration of the exam is 3 hours. Ideally you should spend some time preparing a rough outline before answering each question. 3. While you are expected to show some familiarity with the content of the assigned readings as well as the examples discussed in the classroom, feel free to substantiate by using your own ideas and examples. Part I: 3 questions carrying 6 marks each Q.1. Most modern democracies face the problem of a low voter-turnout in elections. In the Indian context, this problem is compounded by the fact that voter-turnout tends to be higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas. One explanation for this trend is that the enthusiasm for political participation is more pronounced among people belonging to historically disadvantaged and poorer sections of society when compared to the urban middle-classes who often view involvement in electoral politics as an unnecessary diversion of their time and energy. In many ways this trend runs contrary to a widely accepted premise in the traditional western conception of liberal democracy, wherein the educated and propertied classes are deemed to have a greater stake in public affairs and are hence expected to participate in greater numbers. Keeping in mind the unique realities of developing countries such as India, do you think it is feasible to introduce a system of compulsory voting in elections for legislative bodies? Assume that the proposal for compulsory voting does make exceptions for the elderly, disabled and those who cannot physically cast their votes on account of healthrelated reasons. The system could perhaps be enforced by way of monetary penalties being collected from registered voters who fail to turn up at the voting booth on electionday. Apart from addressing the problem of low voter-turnouts, do you think that the requirement of compulsory voting will reduce the incentive for candidates to engage in malpractices such as vote-buying and voter-intimidation? Q.2 It has been suggested in some quarters that holders of prominent public positions such as MPs, MLAs and senior bureaucrats should be required to undergo a token period of military service, wherein they spend some time in the company of soldiers posted at our land borders. Hopefully, such a measure will sensitise them to the actual needs of those serving in the armed forces, as opposed to the current pattern of insensitive bureaucratic decision-making which often fails to account for the ground realities. Such a measure could also be justified by invoking the principle of fair play, wherein it could be argued that since public officials enjoy certain benefits attached to their office, it is


reasonable for them to assume the burdens associated with a token period of military service. If candidates seeking public office (either through election or selection) willingly receive benefits such as prestige and the power to influence the lives of others, they should also be deemed to have consented to sharing the burdens taken on by those who guard our borders. Do you agree with this proposal? Substantiate your agreement or disagreement with this proposal by examining the formulation of the principle of fair play as a basis for political obligation. Would you extend this principle to argue that it is reasonable to ask all able-bodied citizens to at least undergo a token period of military service since we are all willing recipients of presumptive benefits such as the provision of national security? Q.3 In recent months, there has been a vigorous public debate about the preferred method for delivery of benefits under the Public Distribution System (PDS). The crux of the controversy is whether there should be direct cash transfers to families that are deemed to be Below Poverty Line (BPL) instead of the existing practice of distributing essential items such as foodgrains and kerosene at heavily subsidized rates. The primary justification offered for direct cash transfers is that BPL families will gain the freedom to prioritise amongst the essential items that are important for their sustenance and make spending decisions according to their own preferences rather than being bound by the fixed quantities of essential items distributed to each family under the existing PDS system. It is also argued that by empowering BPL families in such a manner, there will be a reduction in the incidence of corruption by contractors and middle-men in the PDS system since they will find it difficult to divert items in a demand-driven PDS system. However, one of the objections raised against direct cash transfers is that they will lead to inefficiencies since the men in BPL households (assuming most families are controlled by men) are more likely to misuse this cash for engaging in frivolous activities such as gambling and consumption of alcohol among others. In this vein, the retention of the practice of distributing fixed quantities of essential items can be viewed as a governmental measure that seeks to protect the interests of women in BPL households (who will presumably be more responsible than men when it comes to making spending decisions on household items). Given this background, do you think that those who are opposing the shift to direct cash transfers are adopting a paternalistic view wherein the state is deemed to know what is best for BPL families? Conversely, does the opposition to direct cash transfers actually rest on a sound basis since one of the main concerns is to protect the interests of women within the private realm of the family, especially since the burden of running the household usually falls on the lady of the house? Part II: Issue-spotting essay (12 marks) Q.4 Assume you are a resident of Fraternalia, a city with a reputation for an unusually high incidence of sexual harassment of women in public places. However, in recent years the upsurge of services-related establishments (especially in the finance, banking, newsmedia and information technology sectors among others) in the city has created conditions where an unprecedented number of women have stepped outside the bounds of their households and are now part of the formal workforce. In these changing times, the leadership of the Mockpress party felt that it would be beneficial for them to project a


woman as the candidate for the post of Mayor in city-wide elections. The local government of Fraternalia is structured so that the members of the Municipality are chosen through elections held every five years, and the leader of the political formation that commands a majority in the Municipality gets to serve as the Mayor for the entire term. While the Municipality exercises legislative functions, the executive functions are vested in the Mayor who is assisted by the various departments entrusted with the administration of the City of Fraternalia. However, the other elected members of the Municipality do not have any direct control over the executive departments, since the staff for these departments is either nominated by the Mayors office or selected through public examinations. At present, most of the officials who are serving in these departments are loyalists of the Hobbesian party since that party has been in a majority in the Municipality for several decades now. In the elections held in 2008, the Mockpress party projected Mrs. Freela Fixit as their candidate for Mayor, who unexpectedly ended up on the winning side. It is no secret that most of the political mobilisation on behalf of Mrs. Fixit was organised by her son Candid Fixit. It might have also helped that Mrs. Freela Fixits recently deceased husband was a war hero who had served in the national army for several decades before retiring to a countryside farmhouse in his later years. Once Mrs. Freela Fixit assumed responsibilities as Mayor, there was an expectation that she would take proactive steps to curb the widespread instances of sexual offences in the city. In the past, both the Mockpress party and the Hobbesian party have been indifferent to demands made by womens rights activists who have argued that the City of Fraternalia should spend a lot more on organising night-time patrols, safe means of public transportation for women employees and harsher punishments for those convicted of sexual offences such as molestation and rape. Over the last three years, Mrs. Fixit has lent a sympathetic ear to the demands articulated by the womens rights activists, but not much has changed on the ground. Incensed by the city governments inaction in this matter, some activists organised a public campaign to raise awareness about the difficulties faced by women in their routine lives. In particular, some of the activists organised protest-marches wherein they directly criticised the prominent leaders of both the Mockpress party and the Hobbesian party (predictably all men) and carried placards which suggested that these leaders themselves engage in sexual harassment and hence refuse to commit public resources for tackling the problem. Among the leaders named by the protesters was Candid Fixit, who also happens to be the Mayors son. Stung by such public criticism, Candid Fixit approaches his mother and announces his intention to file defamation suits against those who organised the protest-marches. Mrs. Fixit who is very apprehensive about adverse reports in the media, advises her son not to do so and immediately promises to act on the demands made by the womens rights activists. When she proposes a resolution on the floor of the Municipality to commit more resources for better policing and the provision of public transportation for women employees, it is met with skepticism from most members. Most members from the Mockpress party point to the excessive costs that will have to be borne by the city government and warn of an unmanageable budget. Moreover, most of the prominent officials in the various executive departments who are loyalists of the Hobbesian party


refuse to support the Mayors proposal by arguing that there is not enough manpower, perhaps seeing an opportunity to undermine her position. Given the stalemate, some senior members of the Mockpress party propose a compromise wherein the City government will enter into contracts with private parties for organising more nightpatrols and transportation for women working in the various services-related establishments. How would you examine this scenario if you were in the following positions? (A) As a member of the Municipality (whether male of female) who is responsive to the demands of the womens rights groups but is also concerned about the limited resources and manpower at the disposal of the City of Fraternalia (B) As a womens rights activist (whether male or female) who has actively participated in the protest-marches and is perhaps skeptical of the most recent proposal (C) As a woman who has recently migrated to the City of Fraternalia and works latehours in a financial services firm ***

Political Science II (Law, State and Political Obligation) 2 year - B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) programme [July-September 2011]


End-Term Examination (September 27, 2011) Duration: 3 hours Weightage: 30 marks Instructions 1. This examination consists of four questions, with each carrying equivalent weightage, i.e. 7.5 marks each. Please ensure that you devote time and space to each answer in a proportionate manner. 2. This is an open-book examination, which means that you are allowed to bring in the assigned readings, class notes and any other handwritten / photocopied / printed materials that you may find useful. While you are expected to show some familiarity with the content of the assigned readings as well as the examples discussed in the classroom, feel free to substantiate by using your own ideas and examples. Questions Q.1 A few weeks ago some wealthy French nationals publicly stated their willingness to pay taxes at rates higher than those prescribed for their respective income brackets. The reasons offered for this declaration loosely invoke the principle of fairness, i.e. these citizens are willing to make larger contributions to the public exchequer in return for the provision of stable governance, which is presumed to be a precondition for the generation of wealth through entrepreneurial activities among other means. This has provoked a debate about the role of the super-rich in many Western countries, especially those facing problems with their fiscal policies. Even in the Indian setting, there have been repeated calls for prominent businessmen to make more contributions to societal welfare, either through cooperation with the government or philanthropic activities. Given the marked preference for private charitable acts, how would you examine the proposition that the super-rich in India also have a moral obligation to pay taxes at rates higher than those prescribed for them? Assuming that you were one of these super-rich citizens, would you support or oppose such a proposition? Please substantiate your position. Q.2 Some provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2010 [Hereinafter RTE] have been the subject of a constitutional challenge and at the moment the verdict in the matter is awaited since it has been heard on merits by a three-judge bench in the Supreme Court of India. Apart from creating a statutory framework for improving access to education for children in the age group of 6-14 years, there has been considerable debate about provisions in the RTE that require both publicly and privately funded schools to earmark 25% of their seats at the entry level (Class 1) for students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). While supporters of this provision have likened it to affirmative action in other domains such as higher education, public employment and political participation, opponents have vehemently criticised the inclusion of private schools in this regard, pointing to the imposition of additional costs on the latter (Even though the RTE also mandates that the government will compensate private schools for the additional costs incurred on account of the admission of EWS students, but only as per the corresponding fee-structures in government schools). Assuming that we are not


touching on the other contentions raised with respect to the RTE, do you think that this provision is a reasonable extension of the positive command for anti-discrimination in our Constitution? Given that the Indian Constitution now has an explicit textual basis for the right to education (Article 21-A was inserted by the 86th Amendment) as well as a provision contemplating a broad principle of non-discrimination (Article 15), what is your prediction on how the Court might rule on this point? Q.3 In recent months, the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare (a prominent social worker) has once again drawn attention to the use of hunger-strikes as a tool of protest. In this case, Mr. Hazare had commenced on a fast-unto-death in order to mobilize support for his groups demands for a strong Jan Lokpal (Peoples Ombudsman) Bill, in contrast to the Bill proposed by the Union Government. This is of course not an isolated instance. In post-independence India, there have been numerous instances where individuals and groups have adopted this method of protest, frequently invoking M.K. Gandhis conception of Satyagraha (Struggle for Truth) which had been the underpinning of the civil disobedience movements organised during the British-Raj. Many commentators have pointed to the tremendous news-coverage received by the Anna Hazare movement, which stands in sharp contrast to the low visibility of many other protesters. Steering away from the substantive controversies about the contents of the proposed Lokpal Bill, do you think that the use of hunger-strikes is an acceptable form of protest in a representative democracy? Conversely, is the incumbent government justified in placing restraints on protest-marches and gatherings, resorting to preventive arrests or treating a hunger-strike as the equivalent of an attempt to commit suicide? In this light, would it be fair to say that our understanding of civil disobedience in the political sense is intrinsically connected with the symbolic value of such acts? Q.4 Assume that you are the Principal of a government-funded college. One of the student groups involved in the promotion of literary activities had come to you with a proposal for organising a seminar on fiction-writing. As a general matter, you are quite supportive of student-led initiatives and you had promised financial support for this programme, even though the speakers for the seminar had not been finalised at that stage. In due course, the literary society invites a writer who is known for his strong views against homosexuality. In fact, this particular writer has recently published a novel that portrays homosexuals in poor light and the respective character is also the villain in the fictional narrative. When the decision to invite this writer becomes known, some other students approach you and demand that the college should not support the proposed seminar, either by way of hosting it in the college campus or extending the financial support that had been promised earlier. They further state that if the college administration does choose to host and support the seminar, they will go ahead and organise a sit-in around the proposed venue and prevent the organisers and participants from entering and leaving the same. On learning of these demands, the literary society urges you to keep your word and ensure the smooth organisation of the seminar. Given this set of facts, how would you respond to the situation? *** Political Science II (Law, State and Political Obligation) 2nd year - B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) programme [July-September 2011]


Repeat / First Attempt Examination (October 31, 2011) Duration: 3 hours Weightage: 60 marks Instructions 4. This examination consists of five questions carrying equivalent weightage, i.e. 12 marks each. Please ensure that you devote time and space to each answer in a proportionate manner. 5. This is an open-book examination, which means that you are allowed to bring in the assigned readings, class notes and any other handwritten / photocopied / printed materials that you may find useful. While you are expected to show some familiarity with the content of the assigned readings as well as the examples discussed in the classroom, feel free to substantiate by using your own ideas and examples. However, you are not supposed to blindly replicate your class notes. Weightage will be given to qualitative aspects such as structure and clarity rather than the mere length of the answer. Questions Q.1. Over the last few years, there has been considerable debate about the increasingly visible phenomenon of paid news in the Indian media. The core of the controversy pertains to the practice of media houses carrying stories at the behest of political parties and business interests among other organised interests. Publishing opinionated stories in return for financial contributions is seen as detrimental to the pursuit of accuracy and objectivity in news-reporting. These concerns have been heightened on account of increasing concentration in media ownership, especially since some powerful family-run firms have built a substantial presence in different forms of news-media (i.e. print, broadcast and digital media). Another complication arises from the fact that some of the larger media houses have close ties with political dynasties and business leaders in other sectors. In such a climate, the apprehension is that the content of the news made available to readers and viewers is not only being filtered at the behest of such interests but is also being presented in a distorted manner. Even if one were to disregard the claims about concentration of media ownership, these fears are more pronounced in the case of smaller newspapers and television channels which are perhaps more willing to accommodate such extraneous influences in order to ensure their own economic viability. Naturally, this issue has attracted demands for stronger regulation of the news media. Some have suggested that bodies like the Press Council of India (PCI) as well as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry should be empowered to impose high monetary penalties in order to deter such distortions in news coverage. Others have proposed systemic responses to curb the concentration of media ownership such as prohibiting the same firms from holding a substantial stake in different forms of news-media. While this is an ongoing debate, do you support the demands for such stronger forms of regulation? If an individual reader or viewer is aggrieved by the perceived distortions in a news-story cant he or she use existing remedies by way of civil or criminal litigation against the newsprovider? At a deeper level, what is the principled problem with the phenomenon of paid news and increasing concentration in media ownership? After all, the concerned firms


routinely earn revenues from advertising and carrying paid news can be seen as an extension of such revenue-generation methods. Likewise, why must we fear concentration and increased selectivity in the news-media? The epistemological problem of only a few voices being heard in the course of the production of knowledge and its transmission seems to be an inescapable fact of human existence. Q.2. Earlier this year, a division bench of the Supreme Court (Sudarshan Reddy, J. and S.S. Nijjer, J.) issued an order reported as Nandini Sundar & Ors. v. State of Chattisgarh, which disapproved of the Chattisgarh governments policy of arming tribal youth in order to create a counterweight to the Naxal mobilisation in that State. The State of Chattisgarh (whose arguments were supported by the Union of India) had enacted a state legislation analogous to the Indian Police Act which enables the appointment of Special Police Officers (SPOs) for specified purposes. The central legislation contemplates the use of SPOs on a temporary basis and largely for purposes such as civil defence at the local level. However, the Salwa Judum militia has far exceeded these routine policing functions since there have been numerous allegations about its culpability in summary executions, widespread sexual assault, the burning of entire villages and the consequent dislocation of tribal communities. One of the main arguments offered in support of maintaining this militia was that it served as an auxiliary force that is better aware of the local conditions, especially since the number of personnel deployed from the State police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was inadequate for effectively tackling the left-wing guerrillas. The Court however disagreed with most of the governments arguments and issued directions for the downsizing of the militia and drastic limitations on its functions. Apart from citing the instances of disproportionate use of force, the order also draws attention to the impropriety of arming the poorly trained tribal youth who come from the same communities that have been severely affected by the Naxal problem. Not only did this practice increase the likelihood of excessive force being used against those perceived to be Naxal sympathizers, it also exposed the demobilized SPOs to retaliatory attacks at a subsequent stage. While the reasons cited by the Court in this case do come across as very compelling, is it possible to make a general argument against practices such as the appointment of SPOs? If we were to move away from the conflict in Chattisgarh, does this policy amount to a delegation of core governance functions? If yes, does it take away from the legitimacy of the State in the eyes of the public? Conversely, can you enumerate the arguments that one can make in support of such a policy? Q.3. The events that have unfolded in the Arab region this year will perhaps keep political scientists and philosophers in business for decades to come. While it may be too early to develop a typology of the regime-change that is already underway in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya (with similar demands in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria), most analysts seem to agree that moderns means of communication such as mobile telephones and internet connectivity have been instrumental in the organisation of protests and the articulation of demands for change. In particular, the gatherings at Tahrir Square were organised by activists who made good use of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter in order to mobilize support. The use of these technologies has also enabled the documentation of abuses and the transmission of graphic images across the world, thereby consolidating international opinion against repressive regimes. On the


positive side, it is far more difficult for authoritarian regimes to keep a close watch on the circulation of information through mobile and internet connectivity as opposed to the traditional forms of media such as newspapers, radio and television. Scholars like Clay Shirky have been nothing short of celebratory in their assessment of the use of these technologies and their use as instruments of political transformation. Others such as Malcolm Gladwell have been skeptical about the centrality of these methods of communication for political mobilisation. The idea is that the democratisation of the circulation of information does not by itself create the preconditions for meaningful change. Ultimately, it is the widely felt sense of repression which drives people to act decisively and go beyond the established channels of political participation. Irrespective of this academic disagreement, there is not much debate about the enabling role played by digital media in the tumultuous developments of the Arab spring. On the other hand, the dangers arising out of the misuse of communication technologies have also come into prominence in the wake of the London riots where many of the rioters used the Blackberry Messaging Service to co-ordinate attacks. Given the potential for such largescale co-ordination, (both for seemingly benign purposes as well as invidious ones) when can the State justify restraints on the use of such technologies? Furthermore, since the use of communication technologies is not universal, can one make a normative claim that a right of access to telephone networks and the internet should now be seen as a core component of the guarantee of free speech and expression? Q.4. As students of Indian constitutional law, all of you are broadly familiar with the numerous judicial decisions from the 1950s and 1960s that involved challenges against laws that enabled land acquisition. Since the right to property was part of Part III (until its removal in 1976) and was hence a justiciable right, landowners had frequently approached the courts to raise grievances against inadequate compensation and irregularities in the determination of surplus land for the purpose of agrarian land reforms. In retrospect, this line of cases escalated into a larger controversy about the extent of the Parliaments power to amend the constitutional text. If we were to stay away from the controversy about which organ of government should be the ultimate interpreter of the constitution, the States power to acquire land has largely been defended as a redistributive measure. A crude formulation of this argument is that the postIndependence State has a moral responsibility to respond to the existing patterns of socioeconomic inequalities, the latter being easily manifest in the iniquitous ownership of land. The historical baggage of the caste-system was compounded by the Zamindari system and hence land acquisition is seen as an important tool of distributive justice. While litigation involving acquisition continues to be a staple in most parts of the country, the larger discourse on the justifications for land acquisition seems to have taken on new contours. Rather than simply being a debate about the need for agrarian land reforms, it now touches on questions such as the prioritization of economic development over the immediate needs of the existing land owners. In the last few years, the news media has alerted us to numerous farmer-led protests against proposals for land acquisition, mostly for the purpose of industrial development and commercial mining. If we were to take the protests in Singur and Nandigram as the template for the newer discourse on land acquisition, the justifications offered for the same appear to be considerably different from those offered in the early years of the republic. Given this visible shift, do you think


it is defensible for the state to retain its power to acquire land? Even though attempts are being made to respond to the needs of all stakeholders in the new bill, do you think there is a principled problem if the state interferes with the property rights of its citizens? Is this compatible with the Lockean conception of a social contract as the basis for political authority? Q.5 Write short notes on the following: (All three sub-parts carry four marks each) (A) Robert Nozicks objections to the principle of fair play (B) A. John Simmons discussion of consent in an attitudinal sense (C) The difference between civil disobedience and a justifiable rebellion ***