Concept & Debates in Political Theory Unit 2 Concept in Political Theory – I

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Concept & Debates in Political Theory Unit 2 Concept in Political Theory – I

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Concept in Political Theory – I

PART – I: Democracy


1. From which word the term “Democracy” is derived?

Ans : The term “Democracy” is derived from two Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘Kratos’. 

2. What is the meaning of ‘Demos’ and ‘Cratio’? 

Ans : The meaning of the word ‘Demos’ is people and the ‘Cratio’ mean power. 

3. What is the definition of Democracy? 

Ans : Democracy means the system of government which the power with the people. 

4. Who described democracy as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. 

Ans : Abraham Lincoln. 

5. Mention any one feature of Democracy?

Ans : In democracy the sovereignty formally rests with the people although the same is exercised by their elected representatives. 

6. Mention two types of democracy. 

Ans : The two types of democracy are:

(a) Direct democracy.

(b) Indirect democracy. 

7. Democracy as a ‘government in which everyone has a share’– Who said this. 

Ans : Seeley said this. 

8. Who considers democracy as the worst type of government.

Ans : Aristotle. 

9. What do you mean by Direct democracy?

Ans : Direct democracy is a form of self government in which all collective decisions are taken through participation of all adult citizens of the state in the spirit of equality and open deliberations. 

10. Mention any two principles that apply in direct democracy. 

Ans : The principal are:

(a) People are sovereign.

(b) Decisions are to be based on majority rule. 

11. Write any one merit of direct democracy. 

Ans : Direct democracy mini mizes evils of party system. 

12. What is indirect democracy?

Ans : Representative democracy is limited and indirect form of democracy. In indirect democracy it is limited in the sense that participation in government is infrequent and brief, being restricted to the act of voting every few years. 

13. Mention any two fundamental principles of indirect democracy. 

Ans : (a) Popular sovereignty &

(b) Political equality. 

14. What do you mean by liberal democracy?

Ans : A Democratic system of government in which individual rights and freedom are officially recognized and protected and the exercise of official power is limited by the rule of law. 

15. What is the meaning of procedural democracy. 

Ans : Procedural democracy is a democracy in which the people of citizens of the state have less influence than in traditional liberal democracies. 

16. What are the main principles of procedural democracy. 

Ans : The main principles of procedural democracy are:

(a) Universal participation.

(b) political equality.

(c ) Majority rule.

(d) responsiveness of representatives to the electorate. 

17. What do you mean by Elitist theory of democracy?

Ans : Elite theory is a theory of the state that seek to describe and explain power relationship in contemporary society. 

18. What pluralist democracy stand for?

Ans : A pluralist democracy describes a political system where there is more than one centre of power. 

19. Who holds power in the pluralist theory?

Ans : Pluralism is a theory that centres on the idea of how power is distribution. The pluralist model indicates that power is distributed among many groups. These groups may include coalition of like minded people, unions, professional associations and business lobbyists. 

20. What does pluralist nation mean?

Ans : A conviction that various religious ethnic, racial and political groups should be allowed to thrive in a single society. In metaphysics pluralism can also mean an alternative to dualism and monism. 

21. What do you mean egalitarian society. 

Ans : An egalitarian is a person who believes in the equality of all people and an egalitarian society gives everyone equal rights. This is a word that means something close to equality and has to do with fairness.  

22. What are egalitarian principles? 

Ans : It is a founding principle of various forms of socialism. Moral egalitarianism is the position that equally in central to justice, that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. 

23. Why is equalitarianism important? 

Ans : Equalitarianism is the position that equality is central to justice. In the late 20th century is whether equality is the most or one of the most important part of justice or whether it has no or nearly no importance for the nature of justice at all. 

24. What are egalitarian values?

Ans : Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. An egalitarian favours equality of some sort people should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals in so respect. 

25. What do you mean by communism?

Ans : In political sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate gaol is the establishment of the communist. 

26. What do you mean by participatory democracy?

Ans : Participatory democracy emphasises the board participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political system.

27. What does participatory governance mean?

Ans : Participatory governance is a method of college management in which decision makers, whether with primary or delegated authority are committed to involving affected constituencies in decisions as much as possible.

28. What is citizen participation?

Ans : Citizen participation is a process which provides private individuals an opportunity to influence public decisions and has long been a component of the democratic decision making process. 

29. What is the main aim of public participation. 

Ans : The main aim of public participation is to encourage the public to have meaningful input into the decision making process. 

30. What is public participation in planning?

Ans : Public participation in regional planning. Public participation is an important part of government decisions affecting many aspects of our lives. 

31. What do you mean by deliberative democracy?

Ans : Deliberation is a process thoughtfully weighing options, usually prior to voting. 


1. What is deliberative communication? Why is deliberation important in a democracy?

Ans : Mutual and carefully balanced consideration of different alternatives is in the current literature of political and social science closely coupled to democracy as communication. 

Deliberative theorists tend to argue that publicity is a necessary feature of legitimate democratic processes. Because the deliberative process requires that citizens understand, formulate and exchange argument of their views, norms of clear communication and rules of argumentation are important to formulate. 

2. What are the distinction between direct and indirect democracy? Explain briefly. 

Ans : Features of Democracy: Democracy has some features.

These can be discuss as follows:

(a) Democracy is a popular government that is formed by the elected representative of the government. 

(b) Ultimate power is vested with the people. 

(c ) It is based on the principles of equality. 

(d) Depends on public opinion. 

(e) Majority rule of followed. 

(f) People have right to criticised the government. 

(g) Democracy is based on Party system. 

(h) Political parties play an important role. 

3. What are the Distinction between direct and indirect democracy- Explain. 

Ans : Democracy has two forms– direct and indirect. Ancient democracy is direct one and present democracy is an indirect one. 

Indirect democracy people take part in law making procedure directly, but those people do not take part directly in the indirect democracy. People take part in this process through their elected representatives. 

There is less chance of revolution in indirect democracy, but possibility is more in indirect democracy. 

Direct democracy is suitable for small state but indirect democracy is suitable for large/big state. 

4. Discuss briefly about the Devices of Direct Democracy. 

Ans : There are a numbers of devices of direct democracy. 

There are:

(a) Initiative: In this system the people can also take part in the law making process. It is now used in Switzerland only. 

(b) Referendum: A bill that passed by the legislature, it must be sent for popular vote. As the majority people vote in favour of the bill, it becomes a law. 

(c) Recall: By voting against their representatives, people can recall their delegates for their not satisfactory services. 

(d) Plebiscite: Sometimes government should take the opinion of the people on the important issues. But those mandate is not an obligatory on the part of the government. 

5. Distinguish between Democracy and Dictatorship. 

Ans : Democracy and dictatorship are two opposite form of government. 

They have the following differences: 

(i) Democracy is based on the principle of individual liberty but dictatorship is opposed to the individual freedom. 

(ii) Democracy allows and encourages different political parties but dictatorship does not tolerate any other political parties in the form of opposition. 

(iii) Dictatorial regime can be changed only through revolution but democracy can be changed by peaceful means. 

(iv) In dictatorship power is highly centralised but in democracy there is scope for decentralization of power. Democracy stands for self-government.  

6. Explain four methods of direct democratic devices. 

Ans : Direct democracy is now existing in some small cantons of Switzerland. The following four methods of democratic devices are very much popular in Switzerland. 

(i) Referendum: A government can refer important issues for public opinion. If a majority of people supports a policy or bill then it becomes law. 

(ii) Initiative: The people can initiate a bill and present it to the legislature for their approval. If legislature approves the bill it becomes law. 

(iii) Recall: If the voters get dissatisfied with their representatives they can recall him and elect a new representative. 

(iv) Plebiscite: When government faces any problem then it gives people to present solution to the problem. The problem is solved according to the wishes of the majority of people. 

7. What is democracy? Discuss three merits and three demerits of democracy. 

Ans : The word ‘Democracy’ is derived from the Greek word ‘demos’ and ‘Kratis’ which means power to the people. It is known as a form of government where power to the people. It is known as a form of government where power is exercised by the people in their own interest. Abraham Lincoln forwarded the famous definition on Democracy by calling it a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Democracy is regarded as the most popular form of government in modern times. Democracy as a form of government has both merits and demerits. 

The merits of democracy are:

(i) Democracy upholds the doctrine of Natural Rights and widens the scope of equal rights and opportunities. Democracy recognizes the principle that all men are born free and equal. 

(ii) Democracy makes people patriotic. People identify their individual interests with the whole state. It promotes healthy nationalism because people have a share in the administration. 

(iii) In democracy government is run by the majority. But the opinion of minorities are not also ignored. They are given adequate representation. 


(i) Democracy places more emphasis on quantity than on quality. The opinion of two inexperienced men is more acceptable than opinion of an experienced man. Thus, it becomes the rule of the average, not rule of the best. 

(ii) Democracy is criticised for fostering corruption. The political parties try to capture power by any means and while doing so they indulge in various corrupt practices and neglect the interests of the people. 

(iii) Power in democracy is decentralised. Therefore, it becomes difficult to take quick decisions in times of emergency. Decisions are often delayed because of observance of formalities. Again, there are many pressure groups in democracy which make it difficult to take right measure at the right time. 

8. Why are the political parties necessary for a democracy? 

Ans : Political parties are necessary for a democracy. Without political parties democracy cannot function. The following are the reasons for which political parties are almost indispensable in democracy. 

(i) Political parties unite and aggre gate like minded people from different background and religion etc. to form a wide coalition of people and give unity in diversity.  

(ii) Political parties provide an important link between the government and the people. In this way they keep the government in close touch with the people. 

9. What are the distinctions between the concepts of ‘Liberal Democracy’ and ‘Communist Democracy’?

Ans : Differences between liberal Democracy and Communist Democracy are as follows:

(i) Communist democracy is the product of revolution, but liberal democracy is the product of revolution. 

(ii) The mode of production in the communist democracy lays emphasis on the state ownership of production On the other hand, the mode of production in the liberal democracy is the private ownership of property. 

(iii) The role of bureaucracy is restricted in communist democracy. But there is no such restriction of bureaucracy in liberal democracy

(iv) Communist democracy has not recognized private property. But liberal democracy has recognized private property. 

(v) Communist democracy lays emphasis on classless society. But in liberal democrats there may be different classes in a society. 

(vi) The working class is given due importance on working class in the communist democracy. People can take part in administration through voting power. 

10. What is democracy?

Ans : A democracy is simple system of government where the citizens directly exercise their power, and have the right to elect government representatives who collectively create a government body for the entire nation (like, a parliament). Another way to say the same thing is that it’s a type of government that’s ruled by citizens, or in other words, people who are members of a society. In a democratic government, people have certain basic rights that the government can’t take away from them, these rights are internationally recognised and guaranteed. 

Types of democracy: The main types/forms of democracy are:

(a) Direct democracy.

(b) Representative democracy.

(c ) Presidential democracy.

(d) Parliamentary democracy.

(e) Authoritarian democracy.

(f) Parliamentary democracy.

(g) Islamic democracy.

(h) Social democracy.

Every country interprets the meaning of democracy is their own particular way. With a wide range of different geopolitical atmospheres, we see a large spectrum of democratic governments in existence around the globe. 

11. The Role of the Citizen in a Democracy. 

Ans : The key role of citizens in a democracy is to participate in public life. Citizens have an obligation to become informed about public issues to watch carefully how their political leaders and representatives use their powers and to express their own opinions and interests. 

Voting in elections is another important civic duty of all citizens. But to vote wisely, each citizen should listen to the views of the different parties and candidates, and then make his or her own decision on whom to support. 

Participation can also involve campaigning for a political party or candidate, standing as a candidate for political office, debating public issues, attending community meetings and membership civic meetings. 

A vital form of participation comes through active membership in independent, non-governmental organizations, what we call “civil society.” 

These organizations represent a variety of interests and beliefs like: Farmers, workers, doctors, teachers, business owners, religious believers, women, students, human rights activists. 

It is important that women participate fully both in politics and in civil society. This requires efforts by civil society organizations to educate women about their democratic rights and responsibilities, improve their political skills, represent their common interests, and involve them in political life. 

In a democracy, participation in civic groups should be voluntary. No one should be forced to join an organization against their will. 

Political parties are vital organization in a democracy, and democracy is stronger when citizens become active members of political parties. 

However, no one should support a political party because he is pressured or threatened by others. In a democracy, citizens are free to choose which party to support. 

Democracy depends on citizen participation in all these ways. But participation must be peaceful, respectful of the law, and tolerant of the different views of other groups and individuals. 


1  Discuss four conditions for the success of Democracy. 

Ans : Democracy, the modern popular government is followed most of the states at present days world. 

The term democracy is derived from two Greek words– ‘Demos’ and ‘Kratos’. ‘Demos’ means people and ‘Kratos’ means power or government. Therefore, democracy means a government of the people. This kind of government ultimate power is vested in the hands of the people, those can directly or indirectly exercise their power. 

According to Herodotus, ‘Democracy denotes that form of government in which the ruling power of the state is largely vested in the members of the community as a whole.’

Dicey defines, ‘Democracy is a form of government in which the governing body is a comparatively large fraction of the entire nation.’ 

Ex-president of USA, Abraham Lincoln defines democracy ‘As the government of the people, by the people and for the people.’

Pre-conditions for successful working of democracy: There are some pre-conditions for successful working of democracy. There can be discussed working of democracy. 

There can be discussed as follows:

(a) For successful working of democracy, It must have a written constitution. 

(b) It must have a fearless and natural natured judiciary. 

(c) The electorate should be educated and consciousness in the proper handing of the situation by the government. 

(d) Another condition for success of democracy is the freedom of press through which people can express its views for or against the government. 

(e) To follow democratic system people of the state should have eagerness and faith on it. 

(f) The sureness of democracy also depends on good leadership in principle. 

(g) Well organized political parties with an effective opposition is also the conditions of the democracy. 

2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Democracy. 

Ans : There are many forms of democracies, and one of them is direct democracy. In this form of government, the people can directly determine the laws and policies of their land through a show of hands, instead of leaving this last to elected officials. Direct democracy has been around since ancient times. It was notably practiced in Ancient Athens, during which people actively participated on voting for legislative and executive bills. It can also be observed in the Swiss cantons of Glarus and Appenzell Innerrhoden as well as in certain municipalities in New England in the U.S., which hold town meetings to encourage people to participate in local affairs. 

With these in mind, it’s easy to conclude that direct democracy must have positive qualities since it has been used by several societies. However, many people think that it can bring about several disadvantages and may not be the best form of government. To learn more about this, let’s take a closer look into the pros and cons of direct democracy. 

Advantages of Direct Democracy:

(a) It makes sure that people’s voices are heard: In representative democracies, the people are only directly involved in choosing the leaders that would represent them in government; they don’t have a say when it comes to creating the rules and regulations that would govern them. This isn’t the case in a direct democracy, which gives each and every person a chance to voice out his opinion and make sure he’s heard. 

(b) It encourages people to participate in the government: Since they know that their vote would count, people become more eager to educate themselves about how the government works and participate in governing their country. They also become trouder of their nation and develop feelings of patriotism as well as self-confidence and self-worth

(c) It reduces the changes of corruption: Direct democracy removes power from politicians and puts it in the people’s hands, making elected officials less influential and preventing them from using their authority to get what they want. 

Disadvantages of Direct Democracy:

(a) It takes a huge amount of time and effort: Counting people’s votes requires days or even weeks, which means it’s difficult and time-consuming to pass a simple bill or making policy changes. It also requires lots of funds and hard work, since voting stations would have to be set up when the people need to decide on something. 

(b) It prevents great ideas from being implemented:

Many excellent political ideas have come from a single person or two. Unfortunately, in a direct democracy, these concepts won’t get to see the light of day since they’d be overpowered by what the majority says. 

(c) It prevents minorities from speaking out: In a representative democracy, minority groups have the chance to elect someone who’ll stand up for them in the government, ensure their plight is heard, and create laws that protect their rights. This won’t likely happen in a direct democracy, which prioritises the decisions made by the majority. 

3. Is Democracy an Ideal Form of Government? Give an argument. 

Ans : ‘Democracy’ is perceived as an ideal form of government and Political system. There are several nations that have adopted democratic forms of government. It indicates supreme power that is vested in the hands of the citizens. It is people who elect the leaders that will represent them. Democracy can de termed as orientation and political system by the people or for the people. The most famous form of government entails several advantages but is also tied to some drawbacks. Let us debate on the topic, Is Democracy an ideal form of government?


(a) Real power remains with people as they have the right to elect their representatives. The economic, social and political interests of individuals are best met under the democratic system. 

(b) Democracy is based on the concept of equality. It classifies all the citizens of a nation or a state as equal and no discrimination is made in the basis of caste, sex, religion or property. 

(c) Democracy is recognized for its firmness, stability and efficiency. The representatives are elected by people and therefore relatively a stable government is formed. 

(d) Democracy can be called as the very first institution for becoming good citizens. Individuals learn about their rights and duties starting from birth. 

(e) It is democracy that can pave the way for revolutionary changes without use of violence. People feel as an integral part of system. 

(f) Democracy is less arbitrary than other forms of government. It restrains several instances like powerful small minority exploits a disenfranchised, large majority. 

(g) Power decentralization is strength of democracy. 


(a) It won’t be wrong to connect democracy with the misuse of public funds and time. It takes time in law formulation and lots of money is spent during elections. 

(b) Not all people in a democratic nation are aware of social and political circumstances in their nation. Some of the people are not even aware with political issues and therefore can elect wrong leaders. 

(c ) It lays more emphasis on quantity instead of quality when it comes to terms of services. Also, any wrong selection can lead to incompetent government. 

(d) The form of government is manipulated by its selection process as it may become victim of voter fraud. Also, decisions may suffer due to voter retaliation or intimidation. 

(e) In unadulterated form of democracy, it is almost impossible to control the majority from using the small minority. 

(f) An inadequately formed government will cause a specific problem every there they come together for formulating policies for enactment. 

(g) Autocracy form of government provides better economic growth compared to democratic political system. There are no reasons for dissent in an autocratic government and therefore no one can obstruct large infrastructure projects. 

(h) There are many nations where democracy is only about money. The United States is the apparent example where millions of dollars are spent on elections and glitzy advertising campaigns. Autocracy doesn’t spend money on such events. 

(i) Democracy is the main cause behind corruption which ultimately leads to poverty. 

(j) Democracy leads to illiberal outcomes particularly in nations where there is deep ethnic division. For instance, Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic left a legacy of over 200,000 people dead in Bosnia and ethically wiped out over 800,000 Albanians from their houses in Kosovo. 

(k) Power Decentralization benefit of democracy is largely restricted through information control. 

3. What do you mean by Liberal Democracy? Mention it’s structure. 

Ans : Liberal democracy is a form of government. It is a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representative to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasises the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities. 

The rights and freedoms protected by the constitutions of liberal democracies are varied, but they usually include most of the following: rights to due process, privacy, property and equality before the law, and freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. In liberal democracies these rights (also known as “liberal rights”) may sometimes be constitutionally guaranteed, or are otherwise created by statutory law or case law, which may in turn empower various civil institutions to administer or enforce these rights. 

Liberal democracies also tend to be characterises by tolerance and pluralism; widely differing social and political views, even those viewed as extreme or fringe, are permitted to co-exist and compete for political power on a democratic basis. Liberal democracies periodically hold elections where groups with differing political views have the opportunity to achieve political power. In practice, these elections are nearly always won by groups who support liberal democracy; thus the system perpetuates itself. 

The term “liberal” democracy” does not imply that the government of such a democracy must follow the political ideology of liberalism. It is merely a reference to the fact that the initial framework for modern liberal democracy was created during the Age of Enlightenment by philosophers advocating liberty. They emphasised the right of the individual to have immunity from the arbitrary exercise authority. At present, there are numerous different political ideologies that support liberal democracy. Examples include conservatism, Christian Democracy, social democracy and some forms of socialism. 

A liberal democracy may take the form of a constitutional republic or a constitutional monarchy. 

Structure: Liberal democracies today usually have universal suffrage, granting all adult citizens the right to vote regardless of race, gender or property ownership. However, especially historically, some countries regarded as liberal democracies had more limited franchise. There may also be qualifications like a registration procedure to be allowed to vote. The decisions taken through elections are taken not by all of the citizens, but rather by those who choose to participate by voting. 

The elections should be free and fair. The political process should be competitive. Political pluralism is usually defined as the presence of multiple and distinct political parties. 

The liberal democratic constitution defines the democratic character of the state. The purpose of a constitution is often seen as a limit on the authority of the government. The American political tradition emphasise the separation of powers, an independent judiciary, and a system of checks and balances between branches of government. Many European democracies are more likely to emphasise the importance of the state being a Rechtsstaat that follows the principle of rule of law. Governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure. Many democracies use federalism-(also known as vertical separation of powers)- in order to prevent abuse and increase public input by dividing governing powers between municipal, provincial and national governments. 

4. What are the elements of Liberal democracy? Discuss. 

Ans : Liberalism has been branded by many as methodology which means that is encompasses many principles, values and elements within its fold. Whereas other ideologies do not possess this capacity. The following are the main elements/principles/values of liberalism-Individualism, freedom, reason, toleration, consent, constitutionalism, equality and justice. 

(a) Individualism: Individualism is the central idea or theme of liberalism. It believes that the interests or welfare of the individual should be given primacy over all other values and Principles. Individual is the basic concept of political theory and arrangements shall be made to safeguard his interest. Liberalism says that since a political system consists of individuals it should be the chief objective of this system to see that their interests are fully protected and the individuals are quite capable of doing their own job. The role of the state is to some extent like a night watchman. 

This conclusion is based on certain presumptions such as they are reasonable and do not harm others. They are capable of pursuing their own interests and outside interference will not produce any benefit. To reach the goals (the development of individual’s personality, protection of interests, allowance of freedom etc.) It is essential that the society is to be restructured suitable for people. 

It has been suggested by liberal thinkers that establishment of market economy, curtailment of state authority to the minimum level, non-governmental organisations must have maximum freedom to operate etc. The liberalism believes that all these are indispensable for the development of the latent qualities of the individuals. That is why it is frequently said that the primacy of the individuals is the core of liberalism or liberal political philosophy. 

(b) Freedom: Another important core value, principle or element of liberalism is freedom. To the liberals it is the value of supreme importance because without it the individual will simply be a unit without any dignity. Moreover, liberty or freedom is the best vehicle for developing the best qualities. But the liberals do not advocate for absolute or unrestricted freedom because freedom/liberty will do more harm. 

They are in favour of chained or restricted liberty. J.S. Mill (1806-1873) was the pioneer of individual liberty but he favoured the association of law with freedom because he believed that restriction is for the general welfare of the community. The famous British historian Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) developed a famous concept of liberty which states that liberty/freedom has two concepts-negative and positive. 

The negative liberty implies that man should be allowed to enjoy an atmosphere free from all sorts of restrictions. This was the contention of classical thinkers. But modern liberals do not think of liberty where there shall be no restrictions. It is positive liberty because real liberty is one which implies laws and regulations. 

(c) Liberalism: Liberalism harbours upon reason. To put it in other words, liberalism and reason are inseparable from each other. 

This relationship can be viewed from angles more than one:

(i) Mention has been made earlier that Liberalism partially the product of Enlightenment which strongly emphasises that man is rational being and guided by reason and rationality. The advent of Enlightenment emancipated man from age like old superstition, ignorance and bondage. Enlightenment also established the age of reason. 

(ii) Since individuals are rational and reasonable they are quite capable of taking any decision and to judge what is good and what is bad for them. In that case there is no necessity of imposing any decision by any outside power/authority. 

(iii) The liberals believe that real progress of society could be achieved only through the individual initiative and outside interference will dampen the spirit of initiative. 

(iv) The primary of reason ultimately led Adam Smith (1723-1790) to enunciate a doctrine of laissez-faire. A large number of philosophers and thinkers enriched the various aspects of enlightenment through their philosophy and ideas. Enlightenment in all possible ways gave priority to reason and rationality. “Rationalism is the belief that the world has a rational structure and that this can be disclosed through the exercise of human reason and critical enquiry”. 

(d) Toleration: Toleration is another value/element of liberalism. In any society there is found different opinions, religious sects or communities of belief and faith. All of them must live side by side peacefully and for this is required toleration. Also various ideologies and opinions make a society diverse. It is the basic feature of any society. Liberalism believes that all these diversities must exist side by side. 

One community/section has no right to impose it’s decision or belief of another. Only in authoritarian community imposition of ideas and belief happens. On the other hand, liberalism attempts to accommodate all the beliefs. faiths, ideologies and opinions. Lord Ramkrishna very frequently said many are the opinions and many are the ways.

The noted French philosopher Voltaire(1694-1778) once said “I detest what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. This opinion of Voltaire clearly shows that he forcefully advocated for the practice of toleration. Massacre of St. Bartholomew (1572) is the manifestation of the most hated type of in toleration. 

Not only this massacre, numerous other events took place in various parts of European society and they were definitely black spots of society. What liberalism wants to impress upon us is that toleration ought to be practised by all sections of body politic and if it is not done the progress will be adversely affected which will be a loss for whole humanity. 

(e) Consent: Consent is another value/element of liberalism. The idea of consent though very old, it’s modern appearance took place in the hands of the contractualists, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Both of them assertively argued that the members of the state of nature assembled together to take a decision about the setting up of a body politic and behind this decision there was the consent of all. Locke dealt elaborately with consent and this was one of the pillars of his liberalism.  

The freedom fighters of America raised their arms against the British rulers and said that they had no consent behind British rule in America. We hold the view that consent is a very important element of any democratic government and this has been variously explained by many in numerous forms. It is generally held that representative form of government is the most popular embodiment of consent. J.S. Mill was a great defender of government based on consent. 

The liberal thinkers even go a step ahead and declare that every law and policy must be based on the consent of those for whom these are made. In this way consent has become an integral part of democracy and liberal political philosopher are of the opinion that all forms of pluralist societies (also liberal societies) must start from below. That is, consent of all or majority must constitute the basic structure of society.  

(f) Constitutionalism: Constitutionalism is an important principle/value/ element of liberalism. It has two meanings-narrow and broad. In its narrow meaning Constitutionalism means certain limitations upon the government specified by constitution. The narrow meaning further states that whenever a government intends to discharge any function or adopt a policy it must follow the restrictions. 

In broader sense it implies values, principles and ideas which act as guide to the government. Whenever the government proceeds to some work it must implement these values, principles, ideas etc. The objective is to give proper credence to the aspirations of the people and to translate them into reality. 

Constitutionalism is a basic principle of liberalism. It, in simple language, states that government’s business never specifies that it has the unlimited freedom to do anything without considering the advantages or disadvantages of the common people. It must follow certain basic rules and procedures laid down in the basic or ordinary laws. 

Needless to say that this idea was first formulated by Locke and in the later periods it was adhered to by many. This is called Constitutionalism or liberation. We can further state that constitutional principles must be observed by both the rulers and the ruled and none has the authority to act arbitrarily. The arbitrariness and Constitutionalism are the issues situated at two opposite poles. Constitutionalism is another name of limited government or the theory of limited state. 

(g) Equality: Liberalism is based on another principle and it is equality. Though we treat it as a political principle/value it is also a religious and moral principle because the religious minded people generally say that every person is born equal as Rousseau said man is born free. So it is unreligious to deprive him of his equal status with others. 

The religious people also believe that it is never the intention of God to create inequalities among men and if an artificial distinction is created among men that will go against the will of God and in that sense it is immoral. We can further observe that as a political ideology liberalism has also built up a nexus with religion. 

But liberalism is also an ideology of practical world. In any society all the individuals cannot claim same levels of merit, intelligence and capacity of hard work and in that case there must arise clear differences in remuneration. This must be admitted. Idleness and hard work cannot be equally remunerated and if done so that will make way for the appearance. Of gross injustice. None will be ready to demonstrate his ability.

This type of social inequality does not infringe upon the concept of equality. Equality as a principle in political science asserts that none will be allowed to enjoy special privileges ignoring the common minimum privileges to which everyone has legitimate claims. 

(h) Justice: Though justice is a principle of both socialism and liberalism, the latter gives it more importance and politically declares that the very basis of liberalism is justice. The liberal justice has several forms or meanings. We note few of them. It is the declared policy of liberalism that each individual will have his due share and since all men are born equal none can deprive other of the share. 

All the persons have same status in society and there shall be an atmosphere so that people can enjoy the status. “Liberals, fiercely disapprove of any social privileges or advantages that are enjoyed by some but denied to others on the basis of factors such as gender, race, colour, creed, religion or social background. Rights should not be reserved for any particular class of persons. The most important forms of equality are legal equality and political equality”. Liberal conception of justice further draws our attention to the point that the door of opportunity shall be open to all.  

Everyone will get the chance to have a share of opportunity. Liberalism also speaks of social equality. All these interpretations lead to the liberal conception of justice. It also says that talented and non-talented persons are not to be grouped together. In this political ideology there is a special place of talents which means that merit should be recognised and should be given its due share. It is called meritocracy. 

5. Liberal democracy in more depth. Explain. 

Ans : It must be acknowledged that democracy is by no means accepted in an uncritical manner amongst liberals. Originally, liberals have viewed democracy as a form of mob rule that could threaten our liberty. This is referred to as the paradox of democracy in which the views of the majority are considered more important than that concerns of the minority. Naturally, this could result in a form of tyranny that undermines the rights of minority groups. 

To counter the dangers of majoritarianism, liberals support a system of checks and balances. During the formation of the United States, liberal figures like James Madison argued in favour of a separation of powers in order to avoid the problems that had beset the ‘old’ world. 

The American system of governance is based upon a system of checks and balances and echoes the view expressed by Montesquieu that “power should be a check to power.” In contrast, the UK system is essentially a fusion of powers which awards an excessive level of power to the executive branch of government. Democracy may also enable the populism of the uneducated to override the more enlightened views of the educated elite. During the seventeenth century, John Locke argued that the right to vote should be limited to those with property so that they might defend themselves against a government acting on behalf of the masses. 

Locke’s argument was later incorporated into the slogan of the American War of Independence (“No taxation without representation.”) In later years, John Stuart Mill favoured a system of plural voting that would effectively disenfranchise the illiterate whilst providing more votes to the educated. Modern-day liberals also believe that the rights of minority groups must be protected via legislative measures and the constitution. 

Having said this, supporters of liberal democracy claim that it holds significant benefits for humanity. Perhaps the most persuasive argument is that democracies tend not to fight each other as they are fearful of the electoral consequences. Whereas a dictatorial regime can largely ignore the wishes of their people, the ruling party in a democracy could face a potential electoral backlash. Furthermore, the spread of democracy enables the individual to play their full part in the political process. In addition, liberals such as John Stuart Mill argue that democratic participation promotes the development of the individual and is therefore the best system available for ensuring maximum happiness for the greatest number. Democracy could also be said to promote stability within society in that all groups have the opportunity to express their beliefs. 

6. What do you mean by Procedural democracy?

Ans : Procedural democracy is a democracy in which the people or citizens of the state have less influence than in traditional liberal democracies. This type of democracy is characterized by voters choosing to elect representatives in free electrons. 

Procedural democracy assumes that the electoral process is at the core of the authority placed in elected officials and ensures that all procedures of elections are duly complied with (or at least appear so). It could be described as a republic (i.e., people voting for representatives) wherein only the basic structures and institutions are in place. Commonly, the previously elected representatives use electoral procedures to maintain themselves in power against the common wish of the people (to some varying extent), this thwarting the establishment of a full-fledged democracy. 

Procedural democracy is quite different from substantive democracy, which is manifested by equal participation of all groups in society in the political process. 

Certain southern African countries such as Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique, where procedural elections are conducted through international assistance, are possible examples of procedural democracies. 

For procedural democrats, the aim of democracy is to embody certain procedural virtue. Procedural democrats are divided among themselves over what those virtues might be, as well as over which procedures best embody them. But all procedural democrats agree on the one central point: for procedural democrats, there is no “independent truth of the matter” which outcomes ought track; instead, the goodness or rightness of an outcome is wholly constituted by the fact of its having emerged in some procedurally correct manner. 

PART – II: Liberty


1. Who said that liberty means power to do anything that does not injure another?

Ans : Laski. 

2. Who said that from liberty is meant, “Every man is free to do what he wills, provided his infringes not the freedom of other man?”

Ans : Herbert Spencer. 

3. Who said, “liberty is the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which the men have the opportunity to be at their best selves?”

Ans : Laski. 

4. Type of liberty, which a man enjoys as a member of civil society, is called–

Ans : Civil liberty. 

5. The liberty, which people enjoy for earning their bread, is called–

Ans : Economic liberty. 

6. When national enjoy both interns as well as external liberty it is called–

Ans : National liberty. 

7. Who said that liberty is primarily absence of restraints?

Ans : Seeley.

8. Who said that liberty is means for the polarisation of fullness of individual’s life?

Ans : Benjamin. 

9. According to individualists people can enjoy maximum liberty only when state–

Ans : Performs minimum functions. 

10. According to Idealists liberty lies in:

Ans : Complete obedience to laws. 

11. Liberty means providing those conditions which are essential for development of human personality’ is the view of:

Ans : Modern thinkers. 

12. Which one is not an essential condition for safeguarding liberty?

Ans : Federal system. 

13. What is the meaning of Liberty?

Ans : The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means freedom. Thus, etymologically, liberty means freedom or absence of restraint. Liberty in the essential condition for the enjoyment of one’s rights. It is not the absence of restraints just as beauty is not the absence of ugliness. 

14. Which one of the following statements is not correct?

Ans : Liberty means powers to do anything that does not injure another. 

15. “Freedom or liberty is the positive power of doing or enjoying something worth doing or enjoying and that too something we do or enjoy in common with others.” This definition was given by:

Ans : T.H Green. 

16. Who of the following said ‘Political liberty in the absence of economic liberty is a myth’?

Ans : G.D.H. Cole. 

17. Liberty and equality are not contradictory but complimentary to each other.’ This was said by:

Ans : H.J. Laski. 

18. Which of the following is not an essential condition for maintaining liberty?

Ans : Discretionary powers with the executive. 

19. Which one of the following is not true about liberty?

Ans : It is licence to do what one wants to do. 

20. Who of the following has laid stress on positive aspect of liberty?

Ans : H.J. Laski. 

21. Who of the following has laid stress on negative aspect of liberty?

Ans : J.S. Mill. 

22. Who has defined liberty by saying “freedom is not the absence of restraints but rather the substitution of rational ones for the irrational”?

Ans : G.D.H Cole. 

23. The term liberty derives its origin from:

Ans : Latin language. 

25. Who of the following has not supported the idea of moral liberty?

Ans : Karl Marx. 

26. Liberty to make criticism of the policies of the government is:

Ans : Political right. 

27. Individual’s right to demand work and leisure is covered under:

Ans : Economic liberty. 

28. Who of the following has said, “Law is the condition of liberty”?

Ans : Ritchie. 

29. Which of the following is not true about liberty?

Ans : It does not mean freedom of media. 

30. Which one of the following is not covered under civil liberty?

Ans : Freedom of vote in the manner one will like to. 

31. The term liberty has been drawn from the Latin term:

Ans : Liber. 

32. Who said that ‘Liberty is the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity of be their nest self”?

Ans : Laski. 

33. Which one of the following statements is correct?

Ans : Liberty is not total absence of restraints but the existence of socially acceptable restraints. 

34. Who said that liberty consists in following the moral law?

Ans : Spinoza. 

35. The view that “Liberty consists in following the moral law” is associated with:

Ans : Idealists. 

36. Who was an advocate of positive liberty?

Ans : J.S. Mill. 

37. Who is considered the chief advocate of negative liberty?

Ans : Bentham. 

38. Who said that ‘liberty is the absence of all restraints’?

Ans : Seeley. 

39. Liberty in negative sense means:

Ans Right to do whatever one likes. 


1. Show the relationship between law and liberty. How does law products and helps liberty?

Ans : Law and liberty are closely related. It is like that without law, liberty can be in danger and without liberty law loses its very purpose of promotions of human welfare. Law is the protector and preserver of liberty. It involves the presence of rational and historically rested restraints which are necessary for the creation of such conditions as can enable all the people to enjoy their rights and liberty.

Law protects and helps liberty in the following way:

(i) Law lays down rules for the regulation of the behaviour of the people in society without these there can be no order in society. By maintaining order, law makes it possible for the people to enjoy their liberty. 

(ii) Law gives legal protection to the rights of the people, including the right to liberty. If enforces the rights of the people and ensures that these are really made available to them. Without legal enforcement there can be no real rights and freedom. 

(iii) Law helps liberty by settling the disputes between the people over their rights. This indeed is a necessary condition of liberty. Law provides justice, a necessary condition of liberty. Law punished every violation of the liberty of the people. 

(iv) One of the best ways to protect right to freedom is to make all the rights of the people a part of the supreme law of the land i.e.a part of the constitution of the state. 

(v) Liberty involves the presence of retrains which are necessary, logical and historical. There are also to be enforced uniformity over all the people and their organisations. Law acts for all. It binds all. It is objective. It ensure justice. It helps people to meet their needs. Hence, law alone has their potential to lay down and enforce uniformly the restraints which are essential for the enjoyment of liberty by all. 

(vi) Finally, Law by dominating exploitation of man by other, by protecting the interest of all section of society, by keeping the struggle for power and economic competition healthy, and by providing social, economic, political and physical security to the people, helps and ensure, liberty for all. 

2. What is meant by liberty? Explain the different kinds of liberty. 

Ans : The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means freedom. Thus, etymologically, liberty means freedom or absence of restraint. Liberty in the essential condition for the enjoyment of one’s rights. It is not the absence of restraints just as beauty is not the absence of ugliness. 

According to Seelay, “Liberty is the opposite of government.” G.D. H. Gle said, “Liberty is the freedom of individual to express, without external hindrances, his personality.” According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Liberty does not mean the absence of restraint but it has development of personality.” Laski defines, the liberty as the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be their best slaves. 

Kinds of Liberty: The concept of Liberty involves several of its kinds which can be discussed as follows :

(i) Natural Liberty: Traditionally the concept of Liberty remained a popular one. However, now it has lost much of its relevance and support. In this way liberty is taken to mean the enjoyment of unrestrained natural freedom and it is justified on the ground that since man is born free, he is to enjoy freedom to act as he wills. All restraints’ negate his freedom. According Rousseau, “man is born free, but everywhere he is in claims.” They, therefore, argue that all types of restrictions, social, political or religious, destroy the liberty of the people and that controls of government lead to the curtailment of Liberty of men. However, the concept of natural liberty is now considered to be an imaginary one. 

(ii) Civil Liberty: Liberty which individuals enjoys as a member of the society is called civil liberty. It is equally available to all the individuals. All enjoys equal freedom and rights in society. Civil liberty is not unrestrained liberty. It is enjoyed only under the restrictions imposed by the state and society. 

Civil Liberty is the very opposite of natural liberty. Civil liberty has two aspects. Viz. 

(a) State guarantees civil liberty, and 

(b) Civil liberty stands for the protection of rights and freedom from undue interferences by government. 

3. Write a short on necessary condition of liberty. 

Ans : Necessary condition of liberty: There should be true independence for realisation of liberty, requisite conditions are:

(a) Rule of Democracy where ultimate power is vested in the hands of the people. 

(b) Another condition of liberty is separation of powers. 

(c) Independence of judiciary is another condition for realisation of liberty. 

(d) Rule of law implies that all are equal before the eyes of law. According to Laski, ‘liberty can never be real it some people enjoy special privileges in comparison to another people’. 

(e) Realisation of Rights is another condition for realisation of liberty. Without fundamental right one can’t realise about liberty properly. 

(f) There should not be any discrimination among the people in case of money or wealth i.e poor and rich. To, economic equality is another condition to realise liberty. 

4. “Political liberty is meaning less without economic equality”Comment. 

Ans : Both liberty and equality are considered the main basis of democracy. Both are the most popular concepts and one cannot exist without the other. In the absence of one other is meaningless. Discussing the relationship between liberty and equality in his book “Grammar of Politics’, Laski remarked that “political liberty, in the of economic equality is held to be a mere myth.”

We must understand the meaning of those terms clearly in order to understand the saying of Laski. 

According to Laski, Political liberty means the power to be active in the affairs of the state. 

Following things are included in this type of liberty:

(i) To exercise the right to vote in order to from the government of the state. 

(ii) Right to contest elections.

(iii) Right to make use of the press and platform freely. 

(iv) Right to hold political of public office. 

(v) Right to criticise the government. 

(vi) Right to form political party. 

On the other hand the economic equality means:

(i) All the citizens should enjoy equal opportunities for earnings their livelihood. 

(ii) All the citizens should have the means to meet their needs. 

(iii) Gross inequalities of Wealth Should not exist in Society. 

(iv) Absence of exploitation of man-by-man. 

(v) Means of production and distribution should be controlled in such a way that they stand for public welfare. 

5. What do you mean by liberty? State the main features of Liberty. 

Ans : The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means freedom. Thus, etymologically, liberty means freedom or absence of restraint. Liberty in the essential condition for the enjoyment of one’s rights it is not the absence of restraints just as beauty is not the absence of ugliness. 

According to Seelay,”Liberty is the opposite of government.” G.D.H.Gle said, “Liberty is the freedom of individual to express, without external hindrances, his personality.” According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Liberty does not mean the absence of restraint but it his development of personality.” Laski defines, the liberty as the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be their best slaves. 

Features of liberty:

(i) Liberty does not mean the absence of all restraints. 

(ii) Liberty admits the presence of rational restraints and the absence of irrational restraints. 

(iii) Liberty postulates the existence of such conditions in which people can enjoy their rights and develop their faculties and be their best slaves. 

(iv) Liberty is not a licence to do anything and everything. It involves the freedom to do only this things which are considered worth-doing or worth-enjoying. 

(v) Liberty is possible only a civil society and not in a state of nature or a ‘state of jungle.’ State of anarchy can never be a state of liberty. 

(vi) Liberty is for all. Liberty means the presence of adequate opportunities for all as can enable all the people to enjoy their rights. 

(vii) Since Liberty is not absence of restraints and it is present only in a civilised society. Law is an essential condition of Liberty. 

(viii) Without liberty, rights do not have a meaning. 


1. What is meant by ‘Liberty’ Explain the different kinds of liberty. 

Ans : The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means freedom. Thus, etymologically, liberty means freedom or absence of restraint. Liberty in the essential condition for the enjoyment of one’s rights. It is not the absence of restraints just as beauty is not the absence of ugliness. 

According to Seelay, “Liberty is the opposite of government.” G.D.H.Gle said, “Liberty is the freedom of individual to express, without external hindrances, his personality.” According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Liberty does not mean the absence of restraint but it his development of personality.” Laski defines, the liberty as the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be best slaves. 

Kinds of Liberty: The concept of Liberty involves several of its kinds which can be discussed as follows:

(i) Natural Liberty: Traditionally the concept of Liberty remained a popular one. However, now it has lost much of its relevance and support. In this way liberty is taken to mean the enjoyment of unrestrained natural freedom and it is justified on the ground that since man is born free, he is to enjoy freedom to act as he wills. All restraints negate his freedom. 

According Rouss, “man is born free, but everywhere he is in claims.” They, therefore, argue that all types of restrictions, social, political or religious, destroy the liberty of the people and that controls of government lead to the curtailment of liberty of men. However, the concept of natural liberty is now considered to be an imaginary one. 

(ii) Civil Liberty: Liberty which individuals enjoys as a member of the society is called civil liberty. It is equally available to all the individuals. All enjoys equal freedom and rights in society. Civil liberty is not unrestrained liberty. It is enjoyed only under the restrictions imposed by the state and society. Civil Liberty is the very opposite of natural liberty. Civil liberty has two aspects. 

These are:

(a) State guarantees civil liberty, and 

(b) Civil liberty stands for the protection of rights and freedom from undue interferences by government. 

(iii) Political Liberty: The opportunities to enjoy political rights by the people is defined as political liberty. When the people have the freedom of participation in the political process, it is held that they enjoy political liberty. This type of liberty involves the exercise of such rights as the right to vote, right to contest elections, right to hold public office, right to criticise and oppose the policies of the government, right of form political parties, interest groups and pressure groups, and the right to change the government through constitutional means. Laski observes,”political liberty means the power to be active in the affairs of the state.”

(iv) Individual Liberty or personal liberty: Individual Liberty means the freedom to pursue one’s desire and interests as a person but which do not clash with the interests or desires of others. The freedom of speech and expressions, freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom of conscience, freedom of taste and pursuits, freedom to choose any profession trade and occupation, freedom to profess any religion or not, freedom to accept or not to accept any ideology etc. However, all these freedoms are to be exercised in a way as does not hinder the equal freedom of others as well as the public order, health and morality. 

(v) Economic Liberty: Laski defines economic liberty as freedom from wants of tomorrow and availability of adequate opportunities for earnings the livelihood. It stands for freedom from poverty, and unemployment, and the ability to enjoy at least the three basic minimum food,clothing and shelter. According to Laski,”By economic liberty we mean security and opportunity to find reasonable significance in the earning of one’s daily bread.”

(vi) National Liberty: National liberty is another name of freedom of the nation. 

It denotes that the people of a nation’s have the freedom:

(a) to have a constitution of their own. 

(b) to pursue independent in foreign, relation through the formulation and implementation of an independent foreign policy and 

(c) to organise own government freely and adopt any form of government. 

(d) freedom from external control over their political system. 

2. Write a note on evolution of the concept of liberty. 

Ans : The concept of liberty has developed mainly in modern times and is closely associated with the philosophy of Individualism. In the ancient and mediaeval periods, the concept of liberty in the present form was missing. The ancient philosopher like Socrates, Plato refused to accept the idea of individual liberty against society or state. For, the Greek the liberty involves participation is the affairs of the state or society. Thus, the Greek did not know the concept of liberty as we understand today. They did not differentiate between state and society, state and government and thought in terms of life partnership state. 

During the mediaeval period, there was no idea of individual liberty. In those days, the ideas of salvation and freedom of soul were prominent. However, there were reformation of liberty. 

(i) Renaissance: As a result of the renaissance, a multi dimensional demand for liberty was made. There were liberty of religion demanded from church and the papacy, Economic liberty of free contract and free market was demanded against the feudal economic order. Political theory was demanded against the monarchs. The demand for liberty was raised against the then existing religious, economic, social and moral order. The absence of restraints was regarded as a precondition for individual Liberty. 

(ii) Utilitarians: The utilitarians like Bentham considered the government as a necessary evil. For them, liberty was not an end in itself, but a valuable means of happiness. If people were left alone, they would naturally seek happiness. 

(iii) Kant: According to Kant, a man who became really free when subjected himself to the dictates of universal reason and when he did what he ought to do. This idea was further emphasised by Hegal. According to Hegal, freedom must be understood as a social phenomenon. It was gift of the social. Legal and ethical installations of the community. 

(iv) Green: T. S. Green described Bentham’s idea of freedom as a negative one. According to Bentham, “liberty as a positive power or capacity of doing or enjoying something worth doing or enjoying”. It was both social and individual concept. According to this view the quality of liberty enjoyed by the people depended upon the moral quality of society and the persons who constituted that society. 

(v) J.S. Mill: J.S. Mill divided the different sphere of human action into two parts self regarding and other regarding actions. The individual was free with regard to self-regarding actions but was subject to the control of the government as regards others regarding actions. 

(vi) Barker: According to Barker, “Liberty in the state is plural. It is civil, political and economic.” It is a complex motion. Barkar stated that liberty is one of the principles of justice and one of the procedural rules on which the state and law must act. 

(vi) Laski: According to Laski, “Liberty is the produced of rights.” Without rights there can not be any liberty. Without rights, men are the subject of law Unrelated to the needs of personality. Laski classified liberty into three parts-private, political and economic. 

3. What is liberty? Discuss the relationship between law and liberty. 

Ans : Generally, liberty means liberator normalization of  consumption of rights. The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from Latin word ‘liber’ which means unrestricted freedom. In a word, liberty means freedom to do everything provided without interfering the others right. It is a product of rights. 

But unrestricted liberty is not possible in a civilised society. Hence, true liberty can be enjoyed it there is some limitations to follow. 

Definition: According to Laski, ‘Liberty is the egar maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be their best slaves.’ According to Herbert Spencer Every man is free to do that which he will provided the infringes, not the equal freedom of any other mam’, Seeley observes, ‘Liberty is the opposite of over government ‘. It is said that liberty denotes absence of restraints or restrictions upon the existence of those social conditions which in modern civilization are necessary guarantees of individual happiness. 

Relationship between law and Liberty:

(i) To get exemptions from slavish condition of Greek women. 

(ii) To maintain a corruption free ideal state. 

(iii) To prevent the ruler class from selfishness and narrowness of family life. 

(iv) To concentrate the ruler with his administration heart and soul. 

(v) To reduce difference between man and woman. 

4. What is Liberty? Explain the different means through which the liberty of the citizens may be safeguarded. 

Ans : The word ‘Liberty’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means freedom. Thus, etymologically, liberty means freedom or absence of restraint. Liberty in the essential condition for the enjoyment of one’s rights. It is not the absence of restraints just as beauty is not the absence of ugliness. 

According to Seelay, “Liberty is the opposite of government.” G.D.H. Gle said, “Liberty is the freedom of individual to express, without external hindrances, his personality.” According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Liberty does not mean the absence of restraint but it his development of personality.” Laski defines, the liberty as the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be their best slaves. 

The following stand universally recognised as essential safeguards of Liberty: 

(i) Love for Liberty: The first major safeguard of Liberty is the love for liberty. Only when people are mentally in love with liberty, they have a passion for liberty and they realise in full measure the absolute importance of liberty that the liberty can be really safeguarded. 

(ii) External vigilance: The commitment of the people of continuously defend their liberty and their full alertness against any encroachment on their liberty, is the second most important safeguard of liberty. People must remain continuously vigilant against every attempt of the power holders to encroach upon their liberty. 

(iii) Grants of equal right to all: For safeguarding liberty, it is essential that in society there should be no privileged class of persons. Liberty can exist only when equal rights are guaranteed to all classes of people without any discrimination. Grant of special privileges and rights to any class is always against the spirit of liberty. 

(vi) Democratic polity: Establishment of a democratic polity is an essential safeguard of liberty. Both liberty and democracy are supplementary to each other. We can not conceive of a democratic polity without the presence of civil, economic, political and individual liberty. 

(v) The right should be independent: Laski suggest that the state must ensure that rights and freedom of some people should not be dependent upon the will and happiness of others. The rulers and ruled should both be under the rule of law. 

(vi) Unbiased government action: For safeguarding the liberty, it is essential that the government should exercise unbiased and impartial control over every section of society. The bureaucracy must remain neutral and act independently for giving equal benefits of administrative policies and laws to every section of society. 

(vii) Protection of Fundamental rights: One of the key methods of safeguarding liberty is to incorporate a charter of fundamental rights and freedom in the constitution of the state. Along With it, judicial protection should be given to rights. 

(viii) Independence of judiciary: Judiciary should be assigned the responsibility to protect the right to freedom as well as all rights of the people. 

(ix) Separation of power: Along with Independence of judiciary, separation of powers should be effected between the legislature and executive. 

(x) Decentralisation of power: For safeguarding liberty against possible dictatorship or authoritarianism it is essential that decentralisation of powers should be secured in the organisation of government. 

(xi) Rule of law: All the people of the state should enjoy equal rights and freedom. Alongwith it all should be under the same laws and bound by same types of obligation. 

(xii) Political education and enlightened citizenship: For safeguarding liberty, it is essential that people should be duly educated and enlightened. They should be fully aware of their rights and freedoms as well as enlightened enough to judge the dangerous to their. 

(xiii) Economic equality: Equitable and fairer distribution of income, wealth and resources, and adequate opportunities for employment are essential safeguards of liberty. 

(xiv) Well organised interest group and non-governmental organisations: One very essential safeguard of liberty is the presence of well organised and active interest groups and non-governmental organisations or voluntary social service organisation. 

Liberty is the most important and a fundamental condition of human society as without it there can be little development of the personalities of the people. Thus, there is every need to secure, protect and guarantee liberty to one and all in society. 

5. ‘Liberty without equality is meaningless.’ Discuss. 

Ans : Liberty and equality are inseparable to each other. One can’t enjoy liberty without equality. On the other hand, equality is a must to fulfilment of liberty. 

Since time immemorial people have been enjoying quality and liberty. But modern states have modernised it with some short of restriction on limitations. By the concept of equality they meant the special privileges. 

In the middle of the 18th century. Political thinkers opined that there were no difference between liberty and equality liberty means freedom i.e do anything. Consume anything, movement any where without hampering others right, but equality implies economic and social equality. Later, the liberal thinkers considered that social and economic equality were contrary to the principle of political equality. Those thinkers supported only negative aspect of liberty only as like as the socialist. 

On the other hand, absolute liberty would destroy equality, unless there is equality, the power handed class would control the machinery of state. Inequality of wealth will make the poor people unhappy. To develop their inner equalities, each and everyman should get liberty. 

For that purpose state should remove the inequality of wealth. 

The second view of equality extends side by side support to liberty where it has concluded the both. 

According to Pollard, ‘There is only one solution to the problem of liberty, it lays in equality.’

This school of Principal (Positive of Liberal view) is viewed that some value liberty more than equality. It is better to say that they complement each other. It is the good sign of democracy. Modern political system is quite democratic in form. 

Hence, we come to conclusion that liberty and equality have some importance which neither in conflict not separate one depends upon another. 

PART – III: Equality


1. Where is written that men are born equal and always continue to be free and equal in respect of their rights?

Ans : Slogan of Glorious Revolution. 

2. Who said that all men are crated equal?

Ans : U.S Constitution. 

3. What type of equality, which believes that all should be treated as equal partners in society?

Ans : Social equality. 

4. Which theory, believes that all are equal in the eyes of nature?

Ans : Natural equality. 

5. What is liberty and equality?

Ans : Liberty and equality are neither complementary nor contradictory. 

6. Who said that political equality can never be real unless it is accompanied by virtual economic equality?

Ans : Laski. 

7. Under which system each one is given the right to vote on equal basis?

Ans : Political equality. 

8. Under which system the people are treated equal in the eyes of law?

Ans : Civil equality. 

9. Who believed in the concept of negative equality?

Ans : Lord Action. 

10. Who was associated with the concept of positive equality?

Ans : Laski. 

11. Which the concept of sovereign equality is associated?

Ans : National equality. 

12. Which one is not true about equality?

Ans : It means equal right to hold political office. 

13. Which one is not covered under political equality?

Ans : Right to live in family. 

14. Which of the following is covered under national equality?

Ans : Right to have equal status in international forums. 

15. These days it is believed that political equality goes together with. Which equality?

Ans : Economic equality. 

16. Today it is generally believed that what equality and liberty are?

Ans : Just tolerate each other. 

17. Equal wages for equal work for both the sexes is covered under which equality?

Ans : Economic equality. 

18. Caste system as it prevails in India is primarily opposed to the concept of which equality?

Ans : Social equality. 

19. Abolition of bonded labour is based on the philosophy and concept of–

Ans : Civil equality. 

20. What means that equality in true and positive sense?

Ans : Everyone should get equal opportunity for development of personality. 

21. Equality in the positive sense means that what all should get?

Ans : Equal opportunities for growth. 

22. “The passion for equality made vain the hope for liberty”. Who?

Ans : J.S. Mill. 

23. What means equality in the positive sense?

Ans : Equal opportunity to get higher education. 

24. Who said “Political liberty in reality can only be real when there is social equality”?

Ans : Laski.

25. Who said, “Liberty and equality are not in conflict not even separate, but are different facts of same ideal”?

Ans : Laski. 

26. Which is true about social equality?

Ans : It means elimination of caste distinction. 

27. When equality before law is possible?

Ans : In a society with democratic set up. 

28. In which sense womanhood franchise means equality?

Ans Political sense. 

29. Which is true about economic equality. It means: 

Ans : Minimum basic needs of all. 

30. Who said that, “The Liberty and equality are opposed to each other misunderstand the meanings of these words?

Ans : Pollard. 

31. Which one has been wrongly listed as constituting equality?

Ans : Provision of equal pay for all. 

32. Which event was a protest against the prevailing inequalities?

Ans : The French Revolution of 1789. 

33. On which the philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries emphasised?

Ans : Social and economic equality only. 

34. On which quality in the twentieth century greater emphasis was laid?

Ans : Social and economic equality. 

35. Civil or legal equality is a feature of which government?

Ans : All democratic governments. 

36. Equality before law falls in the category of which equality?

Ans : Civil equality. 

37. The grant of franchise to women on equal terms with men is assertion of the principle of which equality?

Ans : Political Equality. 


1. What do you mean by term ‘equality’?

Ans : In Simple words the term ‘equality’ means that all men are equal and all should be entitled to equal opportunities and treatment. It simply implies a levelling process in which chances are given to all for developments of their potential. If also means that special preference of all kinds should be abolished and no discrimination should be made on ground of birth, Wealth, sex, caste, creed or colour. 

2. What do you mean by “equal opportunities for all”?

Ans : The term “equal opportunities for all” means that every human being should get the opportunity to progress without any discrimination. The citizens of India have been granted Six Fundamental rights, one of them is–”The right to equality.” This right has five parts, the third part of this right deals with equality of opportunity. According to its right, every individual gets the equal opportunity to hold the public office or to gets the government service. Accordingly the state will treat every one equally without the consideration of religion, caste, sex or language. 

3. What is the general opposition to the concept of equality?

Ans : The general opposition to the concept of equality is given below: 

(a) It may lead to a lowering of incentives and adversely affect the efficiency in production. 

(b) If may adversely affect the family autonomy because it will lead to increased competition in society. 

(c) It may create problem of bureaucracy increasing the problems between masses and the state. 

4. How many type of equality? Write briefly of these aspects?

Ans : There are two aspects of Equality as follows:

(i) Positive aspect: In the positive sense, equality means the provision of adequate opportunities for all. The concept of equality does not remove natural inequalities, but at least the rationality of the individual can be developed by providing adequate opportunities in life. According the Laski, equality is a process of socialisation.” i.e. the social setup should be such that every individual may get equal opportunities of development and of fully unfolding his qualities. 

(ii) Negative aspect: In the negative sense, equality means the absence of under privileges. There should be no artificial grounds of discrimination like religion, caste, colour, wealth and sex, so that talent may not suffer due to the lack of facilities. It means that one can hold any public office by his own ability. 

Thus negative equality means removing the men made inequalities in society, and ending the privileges enjoyed by the special. 

5. Write the basic requirements of political equality?

Ans : Following are the 3 basic requirement of political equality: 

(a) Right to vote: It is essential for the establishment of democracy that all the citizens should have equal rights in the organization of government. 

(b) Right to be elected: The organization of democracy is not possible only by the right to franchise. The right being elected also is as important as the right of voting. Everybody, who feels that his friends want him to be elected on representative has the right to elected. 

(c) Right to hold public office: Under political equality, the citizens have the right to get government offices without any discrimination. The qualifications fixed for any office are equal for all. 

6. What is the general opposition to the concept of equality?

Ans : The general opposition to the concept of equally are as follows,:

(a) It may lead to lowering of incentives and adversely affect the efficiency in production. 

(b) It may adversely affect the family autonomy because it will lead to increased competition in society. 

(c ) It may create problem of bureaucracy increasing the gulf between masses and the state. 

7. Write a short note on Social Equality. 

Ans : It means that all are equally eligible to enjoy various opportunities in society. It also implies absence of other privileges. Social equality is a difficult idea to the political equality has no importance. 

The basic requirements of political equality are the following:

(i) Right to vote: It is essential for the establishment of democracy that all the citizens should have equal rights in the organisation of government. 

(ii) Right to be elected: The organisation of democracy is not possible only by the right to franchise. The right of being elected also is as important as the right of voting. Everybody, who feels that his friends want him to be elected as representative, has the right to be elected. 

(iii) Right to hold Public Office: Under political equality, the citizens have the right to get government offices without any discrimination. The qualification fixed for any office are equal for all. 


1. Write a short note on Proportionate equality. 

Ans : Aristotle, the most succinct exponent of this view, links equality to the idea of distributive justice. In elaborating this view, he points out that inequality arises when equals are treated unequally and unequals are treated equally. This is because he believes individuals differ in their capacities, interests and achievements. The varied dimensions of human life-social, economic and cultural -differ in importance. It is necessary to distinguish the deserving from the undeserving. He tries to counter the principle of equality by justifying inequalities in two ways. First, the desire for equality is more in the nature of a wish rather than being grounded in reality. Second, even if one accepts the demand of equality as a moral one it still fails to convince. This is because it contradicts ‘the spirit of morality with its presupposition of men’s different stations and functions, especially their obligations and duties of obedience on the one hand and their rights and positions of authority on the other’. 

2. What do you mean by Equality before the Law or Legal Equality?

Ans : Equality before the law or Legal equality means equality before the law and equal protection under the law. This nation is the lynchpin of the liberal critique against absolutism. It means that the rule of law or the sovereignty of law subordinates everyone, the ruler and ruled alike and it is a guarantee of equal freedom and equality to every citizen. There is never full equality in this respect, for children and lunatics are treated differently from adults with a sound mind. 

Women as a rule are also treated differently from men. In Britain, the peers are treated differently from ordinary citizens. Therefore, those who fight for equality before the law, try to ascertain which of these distinctions are relevant to legal rights and privilege, and which ones are not. A distinction is also made between de jure equality and de facto equality, both the wealthy and the poor have equal rights under the law but it is wrong to claim that they have equal power to enforce them. 

The idea of equality before the law or isonomia was an established feature of Greek democracies. Isonomia overlapped with isopoliteia, meaning equal Citizenship; a citizen distinct and yet opposed to a slave. Greek democracies affirmed the nation of every man as equal to every other in his intrinsic dignity and worth and it’s modern variant could be found in the statement ‘all men have equal and inalienable rights’, which was articulated during the French Revolution and is an affirmation of an important egalitarian principle. Initially, equality before law meant equal rights and equal laws, made explicitly clear by the 1795 French Constitution. 

After the Napoleonic period and the Restoration, the liberal democratic demand for equality includes three specific demands, equal universal suffrage to every adult, social equality understood as equality of status implying that class and wealth distinctions do not carry much weight and equality of opportunity. These were specifically democratic rather than liberal demands, for liberalism is more concerned with political freedom than the problem of class and status. 

3. What do you understand equality of opportunity. Explain briefly. 

Ans : Equality of opportunity is most commonly associated with the liberal democratic tradition. It means, in principle, that access to important social institutions shall be open to all on universalistic grounds especially by achievement and talent. The notion of a career open to talent, an important consequence of the American and French Revolutions, sets aside ascribed status and favoured ‘acquired status, meaning regardless of birth and status, administrative and professional positions are open to persons with talent, willingness to do hard work and capacity. 

Interestingly, the earliest exponent of this position Plato proposes a meritocracy in the form of philosophic rule, which will be realised through an educational system that allows equal chance for talented children to achieve unequal social positions. The debate on equality of opportunity helps in the development of modern educational institutions and meritocracy, for people are recruited and promoted on the basis of their intelligence and talent regardless of their family connections and wealth.

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