NCERT Contemporary World Politics Textbook for Class XII

NCERT Contemporary World Politics Textbook for Class XII

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Preface Contemporary World Politics is part of the NCERT s effort to help students understand politics. Other books for students of Political Science in Classes XI and XII deal with various facets of politics the Indian Constitution, politics in India, and political theory. Contemporary World Politics enlarges the scope of politics to the world stage. The new Political Science syllabus has finally given space to world politics. This is a vital development. As India becomes more prominent in international politics and as events outside the country influence our lives and choices, we need to know more about the world outside. International affairs are discussed with great passion in India, but not always with sufficient understanding. We tend to rely on the daily newspaper, television, and casual conversation for our knowledge of how the world works. We hope this book will help students comprehend what is happening outside and India s relations with it. Before we go any further, it is necessary to say something about why the book is titled world politics rather than the more traditional international politics or international relations . In this world, the relationship between governments of different countries, or what we call international politics or international relations, is of course crucial. In addition, though, there are vital connections between governments, non-government institutions, and ordinary people. These are often referred to as transnational relations. To understand the world, it is not possible any longer to understand only the links between governments. It is necessary to understand what happens across boundaries also and governments are not the only agents of what happens. In addition, world politics includes politics within other countries, understood in comparative perspective. For instance, the chapter on events in the second world of the communist countries after the Cold War deals with internal developments in this region. The South Asia chapter presents the state of democracy amongst India s neighbours. This is the field of comparative politics. The book is concerned with world politics as it is today, more or less. It does not deal with world politics through the 19th or 20th centuries. The politics of those eras is dealt with in the History textbooks. We deal with the 20th century only to the extent that it is the background to present events and trends. For instance, we begin with the Cold War because it is impossible to comprehend where we are today without an understanding of what the Cold War was and how it ended. How should you use this book Our hope is that this book will serve as an introduction to world politics. Teachers and students will use the book as a springboard to find out more about contemporary world politics. Each chapter will give you a certain amount of information. It will also, though, give you some useful concepts with which to understand the world the Cold War the notion of hegemony international organisations national security and human security environmental security globalisation and so on. Each chapter begins with an overview to quickly give you an idea of what to expect. Each chapter also has maps, tables, graphics, boxes, cartoons, and other illustrations to enliven your reading and to get you to reflect on world politics by provoking, challenging, or amusing you. The characters Unni and Munni, introduced in earlier
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