Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 2 - Question 6

90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 23-Nov-2018

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3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

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23-Nov-2018 - Question 2

Is the rise of social movemnts a sign of opening up of popular space in political process or decline of representation politics?Examine(2013) - 250 word

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Model Answer

Society and politics are inseparable. The rise in social movements ( or collective behaviour) is considered a sign of changing political processes.

Social movements are a type of group action. Having distinction organisation and strategies , they carry out , resist, or undo a social change . Traditionally social changes were focussed on social advancement such as nationalist movements and labour movements. Rise of social movements (or new social movements ) is changing trends in collective behaviours which concern aspects regarding quality of life such as gender rights , environmental and anti – globalisation movements . It is linked to leftist politics . Liberals prefer to call it resource mobilisation . New social movements ignited in the West since the 1960s. In the East , they started in 1970s. These occurred due to growth of globalisation , rise of trans – national networks , communication revolution etc.

Political process can be defined as the process of the formulation and administration of public policy usually by the interaction between social groups and political institutions or between political leadership and public opinion. Representation politics may be defined as the art or science of directing or administering a political unit (eg a state) , by political representatives (elected individuals , standing in for a person or a group , for a certain time period ) . Commonly , it is the activity of making citizens’ voices , opinions and perspectives present in public policy making processes.

The rise of social movements can be interpreted both as opening up of popular space in politics as well as the decline of representational politics . The disconnect between the parliamentarians and people is being exposed . Social movements show the assertion of civil society , as it becomes increasing aware  of its rights. Such movements target political dysfunctions , opening up political space. Also , a global civil society is emerging . The information age accelerates knowledge distribution and steers public opinion. Mass media helps these movements to gather momentum and have responsive co-ordination. 

In India , one can consider 

  1. Judicial activism depicts the proactivity of a constitutional institution to preserve democratic society
  2. Right to information movement contrasts to the previous red – tapism and secrecy that hallmarked Indian politics , bringing in much transparency and accountability . It also shows the political will to evolve with the times. 
  3. Corruption movement highlighted assertion of public dissatisfaction with governmental  dysfunctions. For instance , the Lokpal Bill had been brought and failed many times.
  4. Various environmental movements in India have displayed sentiments of political negligence but also , empowerment of masses.
  5. Delhi rape case protests vented the gender rights concerns of Indian women.

Rise of social movements can be linked to political processes, although not necessarily in an exclusive manner. These movements are a hallmark of modern political societies. It exhibits how the flow of democracy is from vertical to horizontal. 

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