understanding indian politics course guide 12-13

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Understanding Politics



PLIT10088Understanding Indian Politics Course Guide

Politics/IR Honours Option

2012-2013Dr. Wilfried Swenden (convenor)Welcome to Understanding Indian PoliticsUnderstanding Indian Politics is a Politics/IR Honors Option, convened by Dr. Wilfried Swenden. It builds on the courses South Asian Studies 2A and 2B (offered as options to all first and second year Politics and IR students) However, students should not have taken those courses previously to enter this course, even though some preliminary readings on Indian politics may be advisable.

Course related enquiries should be addressed in the first instance to the course convenor, Dr Wilfried Swenden, Chrystal Macmillan Building, third floor, room 5; tel: 0131 650 4255, Email: w.swenden@ed.ac.uk. Office hours: Wednesday 14:30 16:30. Where possible, students are encouraged to make use of these office hours. Meetings outside of office hours may be arranged by email.Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

understand the dynamics of Indian politics since Independence, and demonstrate processes of continuity and change in Indian politics

critically appraise competing theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses on the transformation of Indian politics and society since Independence

situate Indian domestic and foreign politics in a broader comparative perspective, especially by drawing comparisons with other developing states, situating India within comparative understandings of state-market-society relations, comparative theories of state and nation-building, comparative federalism, comparative theories for governing divided societies.

develop research, analytical and presentation skills, through guided research in preparation for assessment and tutorial presentationsCourse Structure, Venue and Time

This course adopts a lecture-tutorial format. Lectures are on Monday, 15.10-16:00, in Zone: Central. Forrest Hill, room D.02 (3.D02) on the third floor. Tutorials will held on Thursdays 10-10.50 (DHT, 7.01); 11.10-12.00 (Faculty Room South) and 15.10-16.00 (Dugald Stewart Building, 3.10 Peter Lodefoged Room). Students will be asked to sign up for a tutorial group via the course Learn page in week 1. Tutorials begin in week 2.

Tutorial Format

All students are expected to participate in tutorial discussions, and take part in group presentations. In the first tutorial (week 2), students will be divided in groups of 3-4 and will remain in these groups throughout the semester. Each group will lead two tutorial discussions, including delivering a 15 minute powerpoint presentation (see Annex 1). Tutorial participation will be assessed and count towards 15 percent of your final mark.Course Material: Course Guide + LearnThe Course Guide is your first source of information: it provides a list of core, tutorial, and further readings. Most of the core or tutorial readings can be accessed as e-journals or e-publications. We will make some tutorial readings available on Learn. Book chapters or books can be found in the Library (the most important books are put on reserve). Lecture handouts will be made available on Learn on the day of the lecture. Course Assessment This course has three components of assessment:1) 40% essay (2500 words)2) 15% tutorial participation (based on two group based assessments: 20 minute presentations in which a group of four students addresses a question and prepares questions for discussion; with one mark per group)

3) 45% take home exam (students must answer two questions posted on Learn and are given 48 hours to hand back a typed home exam)


Essay Deadline: Tuesday 26 February 2013, 12pm Take Home Exam: released: Monday 8 April 2013, 10am submission 11 April 2013, 10am All coursework will be marked and returned to students within 3 working weeks of the submission deadline. Once marked, essays will be distributed in class or can be collected from the course convenor during office hours. Feedback will be provided for all assessed work. All marks are provisional until confirmed by the Exam Board, which meets in early June 2013. Topics and guidance for the essay and Take Home Exam are listed in Annex 2 and 3 of this document.

For further information regarding Submission of coursework [ESSAY + TAKEHOME EXAM], LPW, plagiarism, learning disabilities, special circumstances, common marking descriptors, re-marking procedures and appeals, see The Politics/IR Honours Handbook LATE SUBMISSION

Penalties for late submission OF Essays are set by College, and are as follows:

Five marks per working day (i.e. excluding weekends) for up to 5 days;

Coursework handed in more than 5 days late will receive a mark of zero

PLEASE NOTE that failure to submit an electronic version along with the hard copy of your coursework will be treated as failure to submit, and subject to the same lateness penalties set out above. For the late submission of your Take Home Exam You will lose 5 marks per half hour past the due date and time and will automatically receive a mark of 0 if you are more than twenty-four hours late. The submission procedure is exactly the same as for an essay.

Students who feel they have a legitimate reason for late submission of assessed work must apply for a lateness penalty waiver. For guidance on policy and procedure regarding work submitted after the deadline, please see the Politics and Internationals Relations Honours Handbooks: http://www.pol.ed.ac.uk/studying_politics#oncourseug. The School looks sympathetically on students with a legitimate reason for late submission. Please also consult the PIR Honours Handbooks for information on the extended marking scheme, plagiarism and freedom of information rules.Assessment Criteria The following are key assessment criteria for the Essay. However, it is important to note that the overall mark is a result of a holistic assessment of the assignment as a whole.

a.Does the essay address the question set, and with sufficient focus?

b.Does the essay show a grasp of the relevant concepts and knowledge?

c.Does the essay demonstrate a logical and effective pattern of argument?

d.Does the essay, if appropriate, support arguments with relevant, accurate and effective forms of evidence?

e.Does the essay demonstrate reflexivity and critical thinking in relation to arguments and evidence?

f.Is the essay adequately presented in terms of: correct referencing and quoting; spelling, grammar and style; layout and visual presentation?

The following are key assessment criteria for the Take Home exam:

a.Does the exam address the question set, and with sufficient focus?

b.Does the exam show a grasp of the relevant concepts and knowledge?

c.Does the exam demonstrate a logical and effective pattern of argument?

d.Does the exam if appropriate, support arguments with relevant, accurate and effective forms of evidence?

e.Does the exam demonstrate reflexivity and critical thinking in relation to arguments and evidence?f. Does the (typed) exam make reference to some key resources (but not more than 8 per answer)

g. Does the exam stay within the prescribed word limit The following are key assessment criteria for tutorial participation:

With respect to tutorial presentations:

a. Does the tutorial presentation discuss the set question in a clear, concise and engaging manner?

b.Does the group repond well to the questions posed by the rest of the class?

c. Does the group lead a vibrant and relevant discussion on the set research question?

d. Do the presentation and discussion demonstrate a positive group dynamic which demonstrates the collective effort that went into preparing and executing the presentation?

With respect to participation in tutorial discussions:

Attendance: You are expected to attend every tutorial, unless you have a very good reason to be absent. Absences should be explained in advance and justified with evidence where appropriate. Note that absence may affect your final grade.

Preparation: You are expected to complete the required reading every week. You may be called on at any point in any week to contribute to the discussion as part of your participation assessment. There may sometimes be more specific instructions, found in the reading list below. The required reading is the bare minimum you are expected to do; the more you read, the better the discussion, the better your essays will be, and the easier your exam revision will be.

Listening and Etiquette: You are expected to listen when others talk, both in small and large group discussions. Ideally, you will be able to incorporate or build off the ideas of others. Please be respectful of other peoples opinions!


WeekDateLECTURE (Monday)TUTORIAL (Thursday)

114-1The Formation of the Indian State: Past Legacies, New BeginningsNO TUTORIAL tutorial sign-up via LEARN

221-1Imagining the Indian NationGuest Lecturer: Dr. Crispin BatesIntroduction & discussion: What unites India? What sets the process of Indian state building apart from state-building in other countries? In what sense is India a plurinational state?

328-1Designing Institutions for a Complex SocietyIs India a power-sharing democracy? Group A presents

44-2The transformation of the Indian Party System : from One Party Dominance to Party FragmentationHow can we explain the transformation of the Indian party system from a one party dominant to a multi-party system? Group B presents

511-2The transformation of Indian Society and the assertion of the Lower Castes: from Exclusion to InclusionGuest Lecturer: Dr. Hug