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1Welcome to the Presentation Fundamental ConceptsMohammad AlauddinMSS in Government and PoliticsMPA in Governance and Public PolicyDeputy SecretaryCSC, Dhaka January 08,2010
2Topics to be Covered Society State Government Law Liberty Equality Rights and Obligations
3The Concept of SocietyStated most simply, society is the association of men. It is the product of man’s instinctive desire to live together. Society refers to the complex network of relationship within which most of humanity lives. R.M. McIver says , “whenever living beings enter into or maintain, willed relations with one another, there society exists". All societies have this pattern of relationships, but modern society’s networks are far more elaborate and yet, at the same time, often more impersonal than those in agricultural societies.
4SocietyThe people who live together think alike, associate with one another, and make common efforts for a common purpose. They establish, what Sociologists call, “functional” institutions for the realization of that common purpose which associated men together. It may be a club, a debating society, a religious economic or political association. All combined together make the social structure and aim to serve the various purposes for which the society came into existence.
5Society“Social relations are threads of life” and social institutions “form the loom on which the threads are woven into a cloth or garment. Society stands for the whole scheme of life and it is interwoven by different associations which serve different purposes to complete the whole purpose of life. Political purpose is one of those purposes and it is performed by the State.
6The Concept of StateSince political science is the science of state, a clear understanding of what is meant by the term state is important. The term “State” has been defined by a number of political thinkers who tried their best to let us know what they meant by the term “State". The definition given by Dr. Garner is widely quoted. He defines State as “a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent, or nearly so, of external control, and possessing an organized government to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience”.
7Distinction Between State & Society Sl #StateSociety1.State indicates political system.Society indicates social system.2.State possesses sovereignty.Society does not possess sovereignty.3.State controls our external relations.Society influences our inner motives.4.State came into existence after society is formed.Society is prior to state.
8Distinction Between State & Society Sl #StateSociety5.Territory is essential basis of the State.Society does not require territory as its essential constituent because it may be national or international.6.State is narrower than society.Society is wider than the state7.Organization is essential for the StateSociety can be organized or unorganized.8.State is only a part of society.Society is the whole system of social relationship.
9The Concept of Government Government is the political organization through which the collective will of the people is formulated , expressed and executed. As a matter of fact, the state operates through the government machinery. Government is also defined as an organization that possesses the legitimate means of coercion in a society.
10The Concept of Government Government is a body of a few people who administer the population and are meant to express the will of the state. The government has limited power, as opposed to the state's unlimited authority. The government is subject to change and is bound to obey will of the people as well as state. To equate the Government with State is a dangerous, yet common mistake.
11Distinction Between State & Government Sl #StateGovernment1.A State has a constitution, a code of law, a way of setting up its government, body of citizens. When we think of this whole structure, we think of the State.Government is the agent of the State2.State possesses sovereignty.Government does not possess sovereignty.3.State remains more or less permanent.Government changes frequently.4.Membership of the State is not compulsory.Membership of the government is not compulsory.5.Territory is the essential characteristic of the state.Territory is not essential characteristic of the government.
12Distinction Between State & Government Sl #StateGovernment6.State is abstract.Government is concrete.7.People cannot afford to oppose the State.People can oppose the government8.The State is uniform throughout.Governments are of many kinds.9.The State includes the whole population.The government includes only a few people.
13In short, the State is greater than its government, and the society is greater than the state. But each is best understood in terms of its relationship to other.
14EqualityThe meaning of equality is disputed. The popular meaning of the term equality is that all persons are equal and all should be entitled to identity of treatment and income. The idea that all human beings are equal is a puzzling one. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato ( B.C) treated the issue of justice and equality in a spirit far removed from egalitarianism. He argued that justice involved treating people differently as justice consisted in giving each man his due and he believed that there were significant differences between people which must be respected.
15EqualityA core meaning of the term equality in a social and political context is that equality should be seen as basic presupposition of moral concern. On this basis a fundamental presupposition of equality as a moral procedural principle informs the plea that all persons are entitled to equal consideration save where a special case can be made for differential treatment.
16EqualityEquality, thus involves first of all absence of legal discrimination against any one individual, group, class or race. Next, equal claims to adequate opportunities for all, recognition of the fact that there can be no difference inherent in nature between claims of men to happiness, and especially that no one person or group may be sacrificed to another. Finally claims to a minimum education, housing, food and guarantees against economic insecurities.
17LibertyLiberty is a central concept of political life. The term liberty is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means free. The Latin word Liber denotes the absence of all restrictions. It means one can do whatever one likes, regardless of all conditions. But as a matter of fact liberty does not permit a person to do whatever one likes. Liberty, in the sense of complete absence of all restrictions is not possible.
18LibertyThe fundamental maxim of liberty is that law is a condition of liberty. Professor Barker has nicely pointed out that just as the absence of ugliness does not mean the presence of beauty so that absence of all restrictions does not mean the presence of liberty. By liberty, therefore, we mean freedom to do everything provided it does not injure the freedom of others. It implies necessary restrictions on all in order to ensure the greatest possible amount of liberty for each. Liberty, in this sense, can be maximized only when there is mutual respect and goodwill and all follow a simple rule of social behavior.
19LibertyLiberty has been used in a variety of senses and with a great latitude of meaning. For a clear understanding of what liberty stands for we distinguish between the various meaning given to the term. These areNatural libertyCivil libertyPolitical libertyPersonal libertyEconomic libertyNational liberty.
20LibertyPerhaps the most notable analysis of liberty has been produced by Isaiah Berlin( ) since the Second World War. He examined past accounts of liberty, analyzed its development in political contexts and distinguished two distinct concepts of liberty or freedom. He distinguished between the concepts of positive freedom and negative freedom.
21LibertyNegative freedom, for Berlin, fits nearly to common sense notions of freedom. He takes negative freedom to mean that a person is free if he is not subject to constraint or coercion. An individual on this model of freedom is free if he or she can make and act upon their own choice. The state is promoting freedom insofar as it leaves an area of life open to the decision making of individuals. Within this account freedom a State which concerned itself within the goal of promoting a more equal society might be undertaking a worthwhile goal, but it would not be promoting freedom. Indeed, insofar as its promotion of equality involved disturbing the purposes and assets of individuals it would undermine individual freedom.
22LibertyPositive view of freedom assumes that freedom is not to be achieved by leaving individuals alone to get on with their lives. Rather, its point is to enable individuals to achieve self-mastery by the exercise of rational self-control over irrational desires of the self. Freedom, in a positive sense, entails overcoming obstacles to freedom which reside within individuals themselves. Hence, a positive freedom can generate the paradox that in order to achieve freedom , coercion may need to be applied to individuals by the State. The positive model of freedom assumes that all individuals need to follow the same path of rational enlightenment and the political coercion can facilitate this process of enlightenment.
23LawState operates through the government and the government interprets the will of the state through law. Indeed, the law is regarded by many political and legal philosophers as the hallmark-the very essence- of the state. The concept of ‘the law’ connotes, to the political scientist, the processes, principles standards and rules which govern the relationships and which help resolve the conflicting interests of men and institutions in a cohesive society.
24Definitions“A law is a general rule of external enforced by a sovereign political authority”.-Holland“Law is that portion of established thought and habit which has gained distinct and formal recognition in the shape of uniform rules backed by the authority and power of the government”. –Woodrow WilsonLaw is a collection of rules which the state recognizes and applies in the administration of justice.-Salmond
25Schools of LawThere are many approaches to an understanding of law, each somewhat different from the others , although including some elements common to all. These various approaches can be grouped into what may be called ‘schools of jurisprudence’.The Positivist or Imperative SchoolThe Historical SchoolThe Sociological SchoolThe Functional SchoolThe Philosophical SchoolThe comparative School
26Imperative SchoolThis approach conceives of law as the command of a sovereign to those under his jurisdiction, with a sanction or penalty available for non-compliance. The leading exponent of imperative school is John Austin ( ). Austin viewed law as the relationship existing between a superior and inferiors who are in a condition of habitual obedience. The rightness of such commands is irrelevant; what is important is the element of authority behind them.
27The Historical SchoolHistorical school has its origin in Germany. Frederick Von Savigny ( ) was its most famous apostle This school regards the people themselves as law-makers through the formation of habit and custom. Its sanction is not the coercive authority of the state but a general sense of right of the society. People obey law as a matter of habit because, in their opinion, it conforms to their standard of right.
28The Sociological School Exponents of sociological school believe that law is the product of social forces and should serve social needs. The living law is the law that is popularly accepted. To the extent that custom meets this test, it receives the approval of sociological jurists. A leading exponent of this school was Eugen Ehrilch ( ) who wrote Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law. He regarded law merely one manifestation of society.
29The Philosophical School This school is concerned primarily with the rightness of law and the extent to which it aids society in attaining goals conceived by human reason. Thus the standard for the appraisal of law must be found in a philosophy of social life – in a set of social ideals. The exponents of this school have always considered law as an abstraction and based it upon abstract ethical principle of justice.
30The Functional SchoolRoscoe Pound’s ( ), approach has sometimes been called the “functional approach.” Law, for Pound, is concerned with balancing conflicting and competing social interests. Law is not really a matter of form or authoritative source, as it was for the imperative theorists, or of intuitive preferences as it was for the historical jurists. Rather, it is the result of judicial or administrative balancing or competing interests in society. This has sometimes been referred to as “social engineering”
31The Comparative School The exponents of this school adopt the method of examining and comparing the legal system of past, and the present, and arrive at generalizations. They draw upon other School of Sciences for their material for proper authentication and reliability. One of the leading exponents of this method was Sir Paul Vinogradoff of England.
32ClassificationThe relation with the state is concerned include those of person to person, person to state and state to state. On this basis law may be divided into following classes:Private LawPrivate is that branch of law which regulates the relation of person to person. In private law both parties concerned are private persons, while the state occupies the position of arbiter. Laws of property, of contracts, of torts are examples of private law.
33Classification Public Law Public law is that branch of law which regulates the organization and functions of the state and determines the relationship with its subjects. It includes the whole field of political rights and that part of civil rights which the individual enjoys against governmental interference. Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Criminal Law are important subdivisions of public law.
34ClassificationPublic law and private law, taken together, are called municipal law and are characterized by the presence of an enforcing authority. They result from the internal sovereignty of the state and form law in the positive sense. In public law state is both an interested party and the enforcing authority; in private law the state is the enforcing authority only.
35Classification International Law International law is that branch of law is that branch of law which regulates the relationship of state to state. It is a body of generally accepted principles, standards, and rules regulating or controlling the conduct of states, individuals, and international organization. Today the International Court of Justice established by Charter of UN, is charged with the adjudication of controversies arising under the Charter and international law.
36Rights and Obligations Rights are important concepts in the world of politics. Rights are those conditions of social life without which man cannot be at his best or give his best, what is needful to the adequate development and expression of his personality. Rights arise in society and without society there can be no rights. The state does not create rights. It simply maintains and coordinates those rights which are socially recognized.
37Rights and Obligations Rights are special kinds of freedom, because they must be accorded to all men equally. If some people are allowed to own property and others are not, then property ownership is a privilege, not a right. Since the chief characteristics of rights is their equalitarian basis. Right is not a claim. A claim is selfish in nature, as it affects the interests of a person or number of persons. A right, on the other hand is socially recognized aiming at the good of all and it has a social and moral end to serve.
38Rights Rights are broadly divided into moral and legal rights. Moral RightsThese rights depend on the ethical feelings of man and they are not guaranteed by any legal authority. For example, parents have the right that they should be assisted by their children in their old age. And if their children do not serve them or assist them in their old age, they cannot seek the help of any command of law.
39RightsLegal RightsThe rights which are recognized and maintained by the laws of the State and are enforceable by a citizen in the court of law are known as legal rights. In simple words, legal rights are, what, in fact, are our rights. Legal rights are divided into (i) Civil Rights and (ii) Political Rights.
40RightsCivil RightsCivil rights provide for the fulfillment of the elementary conditions of social life, that is , rights which relate to the protection and enjoyment of life and property by individuals.Right to life and securityRight to familyRight to own propertyRight to workRight to contractRight to speechRight to religionRight to liberty.Right to associationRight to education
41Rights Political Rights Political rights are those rights which enable the individual in the capacity of a citizen in the political life and affairs of the country. Theses are:Right to voteRight to contest electionRight to hold public officeRight to petitionRight to criticize government.
42ObligationsLinked to rights are obligations. Every right has a corresponding obligation or duty. A man is said to have duty in any matter when he is under obligation to do or not to something. When we live together we must let others live with us. This implies certain do’s and don’ts. My right of living involves my duty to my fellow-men to allow them the same conditions of life. What is a right in regard to one’s self is a duty in regard to others. They are two aspects of the same thing or two sides of a coin. If one looks at them from one’s own point , they are rights. If one looks at them from the standpoint of others, they are obligations.
43Required ReadingsAgrawal, R. C.(2005), Political Theory, New Delhi: Chand & Company Ltd.Kapur, A.C.(2000), Principles of Political Science, New Delhi: Chand & Company Ltd.Axford, B. et al eds. (2002) Politics: An Introduction London and New York :Rouletedge.