Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material: Glossary B

Political Science Glossary: B


Ballots are votes cast in an election contested by two or more individuals or parties. By extension the ballot box is the box into which the votes are put, and to ballot denotes the process of voting. There are many different kinds of voting procedure. In modern democracies ballots must be cast in secret and an effective and impartial machinery must be established to prevent any tampering with the ballot.

Bamboo Curtain

Bamboo curtain refers to those restrictions and prohibition imposed by the Chinese Government and the Communist party over the Chinese people, which isolate them from the rest of the world. Because of the Bamboo Curtain, the outside world remains unaware of the Chinese affairs and so also the Chinese people do not come into contact with the outside world.


This is a pressure technique to highlight some issues, in which a political party or a pressure group gives call for the closure of shops, Government offices, schools and other activities for a certain period. Bandh is organized to protest against the policies and programmes of the Government.

Bi-cameral Legislature

Bi-cameral Legislature means a Legislature which consists of two Houses, the Upper House and the Lower House. The Lower House is also called a popular house as its members are elected directly by the people. In modern times, most of the Legislatures are Bi-cameral Legislatures. The concept of Bi-cameral Legislature originated and developed in the Great Britain.

Bilateral Agreement

The agreement or the understanding arrived at between only two parties is called bilateral agreement. Similarly if such agreement is made among more than two parties, it is called multilateral agreement. Also, when some announcement or declaration is made by single party without the reference of other party or group, it is called a unilateral declaration.

Bill of Rights

Many constitutions have bills of rights, often under different names, protecting certain vital civil liberties. The most imitated bills of rights are the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which has survived into the constitution of the Fifth Republic, and the first ten amendments to the US Constitution ratified in 1791, although the English bill of rights, enacted in 1689 to establish parliament's sovereignty in relation to the monarchy, is earlier. A typical bill of rights will contain provisions guaranteeing the basic natural rights, such as the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly and the right to own property. It will usually also contain a set of more legalistic civil rights, including, for example, the right to a fair trial, perhaps by jury and with representation, prohibitions on cruel and excessive punishment and protection against double jeopardy.


Bolshevism comes from a Russian word ‘Bolshevik’ which literally means ‘majority’ The Russian Revolution of 1917 is called the Bolshevik Revolution because it was supported by the majority of the people. Bolshevism, thus stands for the ideals and principles of the communist revolution as propagated by the revolutionaries in Russia.

Boot Legging

This refers to an illegal practice of manufacturing and sale of alcohol and wine without a Government license to do so.


Bourgeoise means a rising middle class consisting of the the businessmen, industrialists, etc. Which replaces the the feudal class and becomes instrumental in the development of capitalism. Karl Marx popularized the concept of bourgeoise to refer to a class which controls the means of production and distribution and exploits the working class called proletariat.


The declaration of non-participation in the affairs or meeting of a the group or individuals is called Boycott. It signifies that the person or group making declaration of Boycott do not agree with the activities of the groups of the persons which are boycotted.

Brain Drain

Brain Drain is a situation in which the qualified and trained human resources such as technicians and scientists migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities and careers. Thus, the country which has invested heavy amount in development of these human resources suffers and its development is undermined.

Brain Washing

Brain washing means those activities which are employed by a group of Government officials to wield undue influence over the minds of the people. The result is that the people become void of their own ideas and come under the sway of influencing ideas and principles and thus, their brains are washed off:

Buffer state

Buffer State is that State which is located in between two States which are not on good terms. Buffer State tries to play a neutral role in the situation of hostilities between the two States. The location of a buffer state becomes useful in preventing armed hostilities between the two States. For example, Nepal happens to be a buffer State between India and China.


Bureaucracy, in its most general sense, describes a way of organizing the activities of any institution so that it functions efficiently and impersonally. The major theorist of bureaucracy was Max Weber, and most subsequent research and theorizing has closely followed his analysis. For Weber, and most subsequent writers, bureaucracy is characterized by a set of basic organizational principles.


By-election is a mid-term election to fill up one or few constituencies which have become vacant due to resignation, death or otherwise before the completion of the full term of the representatives.