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PSIR 2A-2 State in Comparative Perspective – Previous Year Questions – Solved

Model Answers to PYQs (2018-2023)

1] What are the difficulties faced by a political theorist in comparing the States? [2023/10m/150w/1b]

States have unique cultural, historical, and contextual factors that influence their political systems and behaviors. These variations make it a challenging task to develop universal theories that apply to all states.

Collecting accurate and comprehensive data on various states can be difficult. Data may be incomplete, outdated, or subject to bias, which can affect the reliability of comparative analyses.

Political systems can be highly complex, and comparing states often involves analyzing a wide range of political institutions, behaviors, and processes. The complexity of these factors can make meaningful comparisons challenging.

Further, different states have diverse political traditions and ideologies. Political theorists must account for these variations when making comparisons. At times, language barriers can also hinder the comparative analysis of states. Accessing primary sources and conducting interviews or surveys in multiple languages can be logistically and financially challenging.

Historical events and developments have a profound impact on a state’s political landscape. Understanding a state’s history is crucial for making accurate comparisons, but it can be time-consuming and complex.

Bias and subjectivity can influence the interpretation of data and the formulation of conclusions. Researchers must be vigilant in minimizing bias and ensuring objectivity in their comparative analyses.

Political environments within states can change rapidly. Comparisons conducted over time may yield different results due to shifts in political dynamics, leadership, or public sentiment.

Despite these challenges, political theorists continue to engage in comparative politics to gain insights into political systems, institutions, and behaviors. Careful consideration of these difficulties and a commitment to rigorous research methods can help mitigate the challenges of comparing states and yield valuable comparative insights. [266 words]

2] “The post-colonial state was thought of an entity that stood outside and above society as an autonomous agency.” Explain. [2021/20m/250w/2a]

The concept of the post-colonial state as an autonomous agency was first proposed by Hamza Alavi in his 1972 article, “The State in Post-Colonial Societies.”. This perspective stems from the historical legacy of colonialism, where the colonial state had significant authority and control over the colonized society.

Alavi argues that the post-colonial state was left by the colonialists and that its social basis was in the metropole, in which its function had been that of subordinating all indigenous. The third-world state appropriates a large part of the surplus, which is used to expand a bureaucracy that is largely, a independent of social class.

Alavi also argued that the post-colonial state was created in the context of political instability and economic underdevelopment. Thus, the state had to play a more active role in society to maintain order and promote development.

However, it’s essential to note that this perception of the post-colonial state as an autonomous agency does not necessarily reflect the reality or diversity of post-colonial experiences worldwide. Post-colonial states have varied in their degree of autonomy, engagement with society, and responsiveness to popular demands.

It is also argued that the post-colonial state is not as autonomous as Alavi suggests. It is still largely controlled by the dominant classes, and it cannot act independently of these classes.

The relationship between the state and society in post-colonial contexts is complex and multifaceted, influenced by historical, cultural, and political factors specific to each country or region. However, it remains an important concept for understanding the role of the state in post-colonial societies. [259 words]

3] Describe the changing nature of state in the developing societies in the context of inclusive growth in the 21st century. [2018/10m/150w/1b]

The developing societies are post-colonial countries characterized by extensive poverty, inequality and scarce economic capital.

Although tagged by scholars as the ‘soft state’ (Gunnar Myrdal) or an ‘over-developed state’ (Hamza Alavi), the nature of these states is changing in response to several domestic and international forces, with inclusive growth, prominent among such factors.

In developing societies, there is a growing recognition of policies and programs that aim to achieve economic growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. The commitments of third-world countries to UN SDG goals are reflective of this.

We are witnessing a stronger civil society in these countries and a stable democracy resulting in stability and economic progress. The stellar progress of India, Brazil, South Africa, and ASEAN is indicative of this.

It is also encouraging to see that these nations are contributing not only to domestic growth but also on a global level. The environmental commitments by these nations, including International Solar Alliance, and initiatives like Vaccine Maitri, indicate the changing nature of these states.

Perhaps it is the right time that the old labels used for these nations are shed away, and these countries are studied from a newer perspective. [194 words]

The post contains answers to the last 6-year papers i.e. (2023-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)

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