NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY chapter 1 POLITICAL THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION, (Political theory) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.

Sometimes, students get stuck with inside the exercises and are not able to clear up all of the questions.  To assist students, solve all of the questions and maintain their studies without a doubt, we have provided step by step NCERT Notes for the students for all classes.  These answers will similarly help students in scoring better marks with the assist of properly illustrated Notes as a way to similarly assist the students and answering the questions right.




An Introduction

Human beings are unique in two respects: 

  1. They possess reason 
  2. The ability to reflect on their actions.

Unlike other species they can express their innermost thoughts and desires, they can share their ideas, and discuss what they consider to be good and desirable.

Political theory analyses certain basics questions such as:-

  1. How should society be organized?
  2. Why do we need government?
  3. What is the best form of government?
  4. Does the law limit our freedom?
  5. What does the state owe citizens?
  6. What do we owe each other as citizens?
  •  Political theory also examines the extent to which freedom or equality are actually present in the institution that we participate in, everyday life such as schools, shops, busses or trains, or government offices. 
  • It looks at whether existing definitions are adequate and how existing institutions ( government, bureaucracy ) and policy practices must be modified to become more democratic.


  • Poltics is the study of power or the struggle for power.
  • It is an important and integral part of any society. No society can exist without some type of political organization nd collective decision making.
  • A number of social institutions such as the Family, tribes and economic institutions, have emerged to help people fulfill their needs and aspirations.
  • Such institutions help us find ways of living together acknowledging our obligation to each other. How governments are formed and how they function is thus the important focus of politics. 

But politics is not confined to the affairs of government.

In fact, what government do is relevant because it affects the lives of people in many different ways. like government determines our economic policy and foreign policy and educational policy.    to increase employment, so that we may get an opportunity to go to a good school and get a decent job.

  • These policies can help to improve the lives of people but an inefficient or corrupt government can also endanger people’s lives and security.
  • Since the actions of the governmment affect us deeply, we take lively interest in what governments do.
  • We forms associations and organise campaigns to articulate our demands
  • We negotiate with others and try to shape the goals that governments pursue.
  • We protest and organize demonstrations to persuade the government to change the existing laws.
  • To sum up, politics arises from the fact that we have different visions of what is just and desirable for us and our society.
  • It involves the multiple negotiations that go on in society through which collective decisions are made.
  • At one level, it involves what governments do and how they relate to the aspirations of the people.
  • At another level, it involves how people struggle and influence decision-making.


  • There are certain values and principles that have inspired people and guided policies.

ideals like democracy, freedom, or equality for instance.

  • Different countries may try to protect such values by enshrining them in their constitutions as in the case with the American and Indian constitutions.
  • These documents did not just emerge overnight; they are built upon the ideas and principles debated almost since the time of Kautilya, Aristotle to Jean Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R Ambedkar.
  • As far back as the fifth century B.C., Plato and Aristotle discussed with their students whether monarchy or democracy was better. 
  • In modern times, Rousseau first argued for freedom as a fundamental right of humankind.
  • Karl Marx argued that equality was as crucial as freedom.
  • Mahatma Gandhi discussed the meaning of genuine freedom or swaraj in his book Hind Swaraj.
  • Dr. Ambedkar vigorously argued that the scheduled castes must be considered a minority, and as such, must receive special protection.
  • These ideas find their place in the Indian constitution; our preamble enshrines freedom and equality; the chapter on Rights in the Indian constitution abolishes untouchability in any form; Gandhian principles find a place in Directive Principles.
  • Political theory deals with the ideas and principles that shape the constitution, governments, and social life in a systematic manner.
  • It clarifies the meaning of concepts such as freedom, equality, justice, democracy, secularism, and so on.
  • It probes the significance of principles such as rule of law, separation of powers judicial review, etc.
  • Though Rousseau or Marx and Gandhi did not become politicians, their ideas influenced a generation of politicians everywhere.
  • Political theorists also reflect upon our current political experiences and point out trends and possibilities for the future.
Why this is relevant for us now?
  • India is free and independent, and questions regarding freedom and equality have not ceased to crop up.


  • Because of issues concerning freedom, equality, and democracy, arise in many areas of social life and they are being implemented in different sectors at different paces.

For instance, although equality may exist in the political sphere in the form of equal rights, it may not exist to the same extent in the economic or social spheres. 

Like people may enjoy political rights but still be discriminated against socially because of their caste or poverty. Some people may have a privileged place in society while others are deprived even of basic necessities. For them, freedom is still a distant dream.


  • Though freedom is guaranteed in our constitution, we encounter new interpretations all the time.
  • The fundamental rights guaranteed by our constitution are continually being reinterpreted in response to new circumstances.
  • For example, the right to life has been interpreted by the courts to include the right to livelihood. The right to information has been granted through a new law.
  • The fundamental rights expanded over time through judicial interpretations and government policies which are designed to address the new problems.
  • As our world changes, we may discover new dimensions of freedom as well as new threats to freedom.
  • For example, global communications technology is making it easier for activities to network with one another across the world for protecting tribal cultures or forests. But it also enables terrorists and criminals across to network.
  • As a result, questions are raised regarding how much freedom should be given to people using the net.

Putting political theory to practice

  • In the textbook, we confine ourselves to one aspect of political theory- that which deals with the origins, meaning, and significance of political ideas that we are familiar with such as freedom, equality, citizenship, justice, development, nationalism, secularism, and so on.
  •  Political theorists have asked what is freedom or equality and provided diverse definitions.
  • Unlike in mathematics where there can be one definition of a triangle or square, we encounter many definitions of equality or freedom, or justice. This is because terms like equality concern our relationships with other human beings rather than with things. Human beings, unlike things, have opinions on issues like equality.
  • you may have noticed that people that people often jump the queue in shops or doctor’s waiting rooms or government offices.
  • But we also notice everyday that many poor people cannot go to the shop or to a doctor because they have no money to pay for goods and services.
  • Thus you may see in that our ideas of equality is quite complex. So the reason we have many definations is because the meaning of equality is dependent on the context.
  • Political theorists clarify the meaning of political concept by looking at how they are understood and used in ordinary language.
  • they also debate and examine the diverse meanings and opinions in a systematic manner.
  • As in the case of equality, so also in the case of other concept such as Freedom, Citizenship, Rights, Development, Justice, Equality, Nationalism and Secularism, political theorists engage with everyday opinions. debate possible meanings and thrash out policy options.


  • First of all, political theory is relevant for all the above target groups. As high school students, we may choose one of the above professions in the future and so indirectly it is relevant for us even now.
  • Secondly, we are all going to be citizens entitled to vote and decide other issues. To act responsibly, it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of the political ideas and institutions that shape the world we live in.
  • Thirdly, freedom equality and secularism are not abstract issues in our lives. We daily encounter discrimination of various sorts in families, schools, colleges, shopping malls and so on. Political theory encourages us to do is examine our ideas and feelings about political things.
  • Finally as a students we enjoy debates and elocution competitions. We have opinion about what is right or wrong, just or unjust but do not know whether they are reasonable or not.
  • Political theory exposes us to systematic thinking on justice or equality so that we can polish or opinions and argue in n informed manner and for the shake of common interest.

For what we are studying Political Theory?

  • To study state and government
  • About Human
  • To study international relations.
  • Encourages us to examine our ideas and feelings.
  • To polish our opinions and arguments.
  • Make aware of the adult franchises.

Aim of Political Theory

  • The aim of political theory is to enable the citizen to think and analyze contemporary political issues.

Scope of Political Theory and Relevance of Political Theory

  • Constitution and government
  • Freedom
  • Equality
  • Justice
  • Peace and security
  • Citizenship
  • Nationalism
  • Development
  • Secularism
  • Rule of law

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