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Introduction to Western Political Thought

By Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Jha   |   IIT Guwahati
One of the major objectives of this course is to introduce the students to the key debates and ideas in Western political thought. It is hoped that familiarity with the ideas or concepts of some major western political thinkers will help the students to understand different perspectives and approaches to state, politics, government, sovereignty, citizenship and so on. It is also hoped that this course will enable the student to make sense of and interpret the major developments and key debates in the political debates and discussions in any contemporary society and polity.

INTENDED AUDIENCE
UG and PG students of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences, and Engineering
PREREQUISITES : None
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT    : Not Applicable

Learners enrolled: 2142

SUMMARY

Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 14 Sep 2020
End Date : 04 Dec 2020
Exam Date : 19 Dec 2020
Enrollment Ends : 25 Sep 2020
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
    This is an AICTE approved FDP course

    COURSE LAYOUT

    Week 1:Introduction: General Outline and Method; Text and Context
    Week 2:Plato: Justice; Philosopher king; Communism; State
    Week 3: Aristotle: Politics, Virtue
    Week 4:Aristotle: State; Citizenship & Machiavelli: Virtu
    Week 5:Machiavelli: Religion and Republicanism
    Week 6:Hobbes: Human Nature; Political Obligation; Sovereignty
    Week 7: Locke: Natural Rights; Limited government, Dissent
    Week 8:Rousseau: Social Contract; General Will
    Week 9:Kant: Enlightenment; Morality, autonomy and freedom
    Week 10:Hegel: Freedom; Rights; State
    Week 11: Marx: Historical Materialism; State; Class
    Week 12:Mill: Utilitarianism and on Liberty

    BOOKS AND REFERENCES

    1. T. Ball, (2004) ‘History and Interpretation’ in C. Kukathas and G. Gaus, (eds.) Handbook of Political Theory, London: Sage Publications Ltd. pp. 18-30.
    2. B. Nelson, (2008) Western Political Thought. New York: Pearson Longman
    3. Shefali Jha, (2010) Western Political Thought: From Plato to Marx, Delhi: Pearson
    4. L. Strauss and J. Cropsey, (eds) History of Political Philosophy, 2ndEdition. Chicago: Chicago University Press
    5. J. Coleman, (2000) A History of Political Thought: From Ancient Greece to Early Christianity, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
    6. A. Skoble and T. Machan, (2007) Political Philosophy: Essential Selections. New Delhi: Pearson Education
    7. C. Macpherson (1962) The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke. Oxford University Press, Ontario
    8. D. Boucher and P. Kelly, P. (eds) Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press
    9. I. Kant. (1784) ‘What is Enlightenment?,’ available at http://theliterarylink.com/kant.html,

    INSTRUCTOR BIO

    Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Jha

    IIT Guwahati
    Dr. Mithilesh Kumar Jha teaches Political Science in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. His research interests are - political thought in comparative perspective particularly Indian and Western political thought, political theory, Indian politics especially language and related issues of state formations in modern India. His important publications are Language Politics and Public Sphere in North India: Making of the Maithili Movement, Oxford University Press, New Delhi (2018); Glimpses of Mithila and Maithili: The Correspondence of George Abraham Grierson, Kalyani Foundation: Darbhanga (2013).

    COURSE CERTIFICATE

    •The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
    •The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
    Date and Time of Exams: 19 December 2020, Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
    •Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
    • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
    •Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.

    CRITERIA TO GET A CERTIFICATE:
    • Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
    • Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
    •Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

    YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75.
    •If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.
    • Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc
    •Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.


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