Chandrasekaran, Pravin (2006): KAUTILYA: POLITICS, ETHICS AND STATECRAFT.
Download (88Kb) | Preview
Kautilya was the minister in the Kingdom of Chandragupta Maurya during 317 – 293 B.C. He has been considered as one of the shrewdest ministers of the times and has explained his views on State, War, Social Structures, Diplomacy, Ethics, Politics and Statecraft very clearly in his book called Arthashastra . The Mauryan Empire was larger than the later British India which expanded from the Indian Ocean to Himalayas and upto to Iran in the West. After Alexander left India, this was the most powerful kingdom in India and Kautilya was minister who advised the King.
Before Kautilya there were other philosophers in India who composed the Shastras but his work was robust and encompassed all the treaties written earlier. I considered Kautilya for three reasons. Firstly, I wanted to highlight the patterns of thinking in the east which was present long before Machiavelli wrote his “Prince”. Secondly Kautilya’s ideologies on state, statecraft and ethics are very realistic and vastly applicable in today’s context. Thirdly, I feel Kautilya’s work on diplomacy is greatly underrepresented in the western world and it is quite apt to analyze his work in that area.
If we compare statesman on the four dimension framework of: War & Peace, Human Rights, International Economic Justice and World Order Kautilya had a strong opinion on all the four aspects. In fact people like Bismark and Woodrow Wilson in recent history had been able to demonstrate their views only on two of the four dimensions. Kautilya’s work is primarily a book of political realism where State is paramount and King shall carry out duties as advised in his book to preserve his state. Kautilya’s work is so deep rooted in realism that he goes to describe the gory and brutal means a King must adopt to be in power. This could have been one reason why Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya whom Kautilya advised renounced violence and war thus taking the path of Dharma or Morals. In this paper, I shall primarily focus on Kautilya’s thoughts on war, diplomacy and ethics. I have devoted a section to compare Kautilya with great philosophers like Plato and later ponder over why Machiavelli’s work looks so abridged and succinct in comparison to Kautilya’s work. Kautilya’s work is then seen in the light of today’s politics and ethics. As Max Weber put it aptly in his lecture, “Politics as a Vocation”, he said Machiavelli’s work was harmless when compared to Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||KAUTILYA: POLITICS, ETHICS AND STATECRAFT|
|Subjects:||A - General Economics and Teaching > A3 - Collective Works
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
|Depositing User:||Pravin Chandrasekaran|
|Date Deposited:||12. Aug 2008 01:03|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 04:39|
George Modelski, “Kautilya: Foreign Policy and International System in the Ancient Hindu World”, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 58, No. 3. (Sep., 1964), pp. 549-560.
E. V. Walter, “Power and Violence”, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 58, No. 2. (Jun., 1964), pp. 350-360.
Max Weber, “Politics as a Vocation,” in H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 77-127.
Roger Boesche, “Kautilya’s Arthashastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India”, The Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, (January 2003), pp 9-38
Ritu Kohli, “Kautilya’s Political Theory – Yogakshema: The Concept of Welfare State”, 1995, Deep and Deep Publications, ISBN 81-7100-802-x
N.Siva Kumar & U.S. Rao, “Guidelines for Value Based Management in Kautilya’s Arthshastra, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 4 (April 1996), pp 415-423.
Joseph J. Spengler, “Kautilya, Plato and Lord Shang: Comparative Political Economy, Vol. 113, No. 6 (Dec 1969), pp 450-457
O. Pflanze, “Realism and Idealism in Historical Perspective: Otto von Bismarck,” in C.J. Nolan, ed., Ethics and statecraft: The Moral Dimension of International Affairs (Westport, C.T.: Praeger, 1995) pp. 39-56.
S. Hoffmann, Duties Beyond Borders: On the Limits and Possibilities of Ethical International Politics (N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1981), pp. 1-43.
Kenneth G.Zysk, “Kautilya’s Arthshastra; A Comparative Study”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 107, No. 4 (Oct – Dec 1987), pp 838-839
Torkel Brekke, “Weilding the Rod Punishment – War and Violence in the Politcal Science of Kautilya, Journal of Military Ethics, Vol 3, No. 1 (2004), pp 40-52
Roger Boesche, “Moderate Machiavelli? Contrasting The Prince with Arthshastra of Kautilya, Critical Horizons, 2002, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p253, 24p
Roger D. Spegele, “Three forms of Political Realism”, Political Studies, Vol. 35 (1987), pp 189-210
Kauṭiliyaṃ Arthaśāstram. The Arthasastra of Kautilya. Ed. by R. Shama Sastri, Mysore, Printed at the Government Branch Press, 1909. xxi, 429, 6 p. 23 cm
Yogi Ramesh, “Ethics of Chanakya”, 1997, Sahni Publications, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7564-013-8
Bharati Mukherjee, “Kautilya’s Concept of Diplomacy”, August 1976, Minerva Associates Publications, Calcutta, India. ISBN: O-88386-504-1
Kautilya's Arthasastra' and Machiavellism - a Reevaluation, The Quarterly review of historical studies, 1984 vol: 23 iss: 2 pg: 10
Pushpendra Kumar, “Kautilya Arthasastra: An Appraisal” 1989 Nag Publishers, ISBN: 81-7081-199-6
K.P.A Menon, “Kautilya on Rajaniti”, Nag Publishers, 1998
K.M.Agrawal, “Kautilya on Crime and Punishment”, Shree Almora Book Depot Publishing, 1990
V.K.Gupta, “Kautilyan Jurisprudence”, B.D.Gupta Publishers, 1987