One week has gone by, and my new semester is simply fascinating! We are doing six courses, namely,
Foundations of Social and Political Thought
International Relations: Theory and Practice
Contemporary India: A Sociological Perspective
War and Peace in West Asia
Indian Economic Development
Environment and Society
In the first course, we will be doing extracts from the works of Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Max Weber. We would be looking at the development of ideas like democracy, republicanism, justice, free-market, the role of the state, etc.
The second course is pretty self-explanatory – we would be studying the different theories of international relations, the different entities which interact with each other on the international stage and how international relations is practiced.
The third course helps us explain the complexity of a multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual and multireligious society that exists in India. We would be examining ethnicity, gender, religion, language, violence, crime, nationalism, caste, sexuality and much much more.
War and Peace in West Asia deals with the tumultuous events of the Middle East, starting from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire to the establishment of the Israeli State, and from the Cold War alliances to the Arab-Israeli conflicts.
The next course deals with the path which the Indian economy has taken since independence. Different governments have followed different policies in the past, leading to the current economic scenario. In order to better understand the present, one always needs to look at the past, and the history of post-Independence political economy is quite interesting.
Our last course is about the different perspectives that different segments in society have on environmental issues. Our understanding of how we are linked to our environment plays a vital role in our interactions with it – for good or for worse. And this is not something that can be taken lightly.
All in all, these courses seem very interesting at the outset, and I can’t wait to lose myself in the world of politics, sociology and philosophy for the next four months!