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Introduction to Political Theory

NPTEL and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati via YouTube


COURSE OUTLINE: The major objective of this course is to introduce the students to some of the key concepts and ideas of politics which shape our political discourse. These concepts are essentially contested concepts and yet inevitable for understanding and explaining the politics of any country or society. A clear understanding of these debates or contestations over some of the key concepts and ideas of politics, it is hoped, will help the students develop their own independent views and judgments about politics and democracy in their own societies as well as in the world at large.


Introduction to Political Theory [Intro Video].
Lec 1: General Outline and methods.
Lec 2: Political theories and ideologies.
Lec 3: Liberty: Republican conception of freedom.
Lec 4: Freedom as autonomy;Positive and negative liberty.
Lec 5: Freedom as Swaraj,Free speech & hate speech.
Lec 6: Introduction :Equity and egalitarianism.
Lec 7: Equality of opportunity; preferential treatment.
Lec 8: Luck Egalitarianism and its critiques; Equality and Liberty.
Lec 9: Introduction and forms of rights.
Lec 10: Conflicts between rights.
Lec 11: Rights and Duties.
Lec 12: Justice :A distributive concept.
Lec 13: Justice :Procedural & Substantive; Justice as fairness.
Lec 14: Justice :Capability approach; libertarian, communitarian conception of Justice.
Lec 15: Justice :Feminist conceptions of justice; Global justice.
Lec 16: Introduction to Power and authority.
Lec 17: Power, legitimacy & hegemony.
Lec 18: Power & knowledge; different conceptions of power.
Lec 19: Introduction and different conceptions of state & sovereignty.
Lec 20: Modern nation state; liberal, Marxist and feminist conceptions of state.
Lec 21: State and governmentality.
Lec 22: Procedural and Substantive Democracy.
Lec 23: Various models of democracy.
Lec 24: Challenges and Limits of Democracy; Free press and Democracy.
Lec 25: Citizenship: Subject and Citizen.
Lec 26: T H Marshal & liberal conceptions of citizenship as legal and equal member.
Lec 27: Muliticulturalism and Cosmopolitan Citizenship.
Lec 28: Introduction; Doom & Gloom; Democracy and environmental crisis.
Lec 29: Climate change and environmental justice.
Lec 30: Revisiting some key themes and concepts.

Taught by

NPTEL IIT Guwahati



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  • Yogesh Adesh Singh

    Political theory involves the study of the history of political thought as well as problems in contemporary political life that have a philosophical dimension

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