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Arthaśāstra

CPS 5505 To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a major treatise on statecraft, and their relevance for the contemporary world.

$900.00

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Course Code: CPS 5505

Credit Hours: 3

Course Level: 500

$900.00

CPS 5505 To examine the core ideas such as state, war, and peace in the ancient text Arthashastra, a major treatise on statecraft, and their relevance for the contemporary world.

Clear
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Description

Kautilya’s Arthaśāstra, written around 300 BC, is a text on statecraft, a book of political realism. It deals with various topics including war and diplomacy, how a king can retain his kingdom and become a conqueror, how to make allies and know the enemies, and how to make treaties. It focuses on elements, what can be termed in modern usage diplomacy, such as the doctrine of a silent war, propaganda, secret agents, how to use women as weapons of war, and how to use religion and superstition to advantage. According to Kautilya, “power is (possession of) strength” and “strength changes the mind.” More importantly, Kautilya emphasized power to control not only outward behavior but also the thoughts of one’s subjects and enemies. According to him, “one possessed of personal qualities, though ruling over a small territory … conversant with (the science of) politics, does conquer the entire earth, never loses.” Kautilya is the founder of Mandala Theory of foreign policy, which can be termed as a precursor of the theories of political realism and balance of power. Kautilya favored righteous war than greedy and demoniacal wars. The course will delve into various elements of this insightful text and juxtapose the main ideas in the text with similar theories and approaches in the modern world. The students will be able to draw parallels between the core ideas embedded in this ancient text with many modern ideas.

Additional information

Quarter Offered

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