POL202 | Political Science II

Course Information

  • 2019-20
  • POL202
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • I
  • Jul 2019
  • Core Course

Political obligation is one the fundamental of all political questions relating to political philosophy, since there is a justification as to why one should willingly obey the state and law. The primary objective of this paper is to find out those justification provided by political thinkers from past to present in relation to the concept of understanding of state and the role of law in terms of getting obedience from the people.
Political obligation involves three important aspects:
1. The identifiable authority to whom political obligation is to be rendered
2. The extent of political obligation
3. The basis of political obligation

The first question concerns the origins and nature of political authority with which the political obligation corresponds. The authority should properly acknowledge the obedience rendered by the subject/citizen over the person with respect to his action. The second question views that the state has the sole right to make and enforce laws and demand minimum political obligation implying to obey all the laws, as there is no choice to obey particular laws. With regard to the third question, what is the basis and circumstances on which a person is obliged to a law in a state? In order to address and understand these three basic questions scholars have come out with different notions to explain from consent, fair play, gratitude, membership, Samaritan, utilitarian, duty based approach and so on since Greeks. They have analyzed from philosophical, moral, legal and civil perspectives and tried to answer the above questions of political obligation. The intention of course will be to analyze and reflect on those ideas on modern issues and problems confronting the governmental structure, nation-state and irritants that exist in relations between the citizens and the state with taking some specific issues of contemporary relevance like issues of gender inequality, civil disobedience, dissent, revolution, passive resistance and so on. In addition, the issues of authority and legitimacy will be discussed from Indian perspective taking back and analyzing from ancient scriptures to the present Indian constitution. The citizen’s obligations towards the constitution, the annoying factors between the obedience and crisis of legitimacy will be evaluated. The role of government, legal system vis-a-vis the citizens in escalating the problems of obligation will be addressed. Further, the course will analyze the impact of contemporary issues in relation to the problems of good governance, international organization and global citizenship. The special attention will be given to analyze the triangular issues confronting with citizenship, state law and supra-national organizations, like the questions of nature of allegiance and obedience from the citizens perspective, the role of state in balancing between citizens and international organizations and finally the impact and implications of international organizations on the concept of political obligation of citizens towards their states.


Makkalanban DS
Dr. Makkalanban D.S

Assistant Professor of Political Science (Ad-Hoc)