Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material: Glossary G

Political Science Glossary: G

Gallup poll

This is a method of surveying and collecting people's opinion on various issues. It was developed by American public opinion expert George Gallup.

Genocide

The organised mass killing of the people belonging to a particular community or ethnic origin by a group or the Government itself is called genocide. In 1970, the Pakistani Army was accused of genocide of the people of Bangladesh as they were demanding liberation from the then Pakistan. The United Nations has declared it as a ‘crime against humanity’ by enacting a convention of the nations to that effect.

Gerrymandering

This refers to the practice prevalent in the American politics in which the ruling party demarcates the electoral constituencies in a manner which ensures the election of more candidates of the ruling party. This may be termed an unethical political practice, as it involves manipulation of the constituencies in favour of the ruling party, which is detrimental to the election prospects of other parties.

Glasnost

It is a term of Russian origin which literally means ‘openness’ The term was used by the President of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev to describe his policy of openness in public and the Government affairs. The policies of Glasnost and Perestroika (meaning reconstruction) were advocated by him to reform economy, polity and society of the Soviet Union but these policies eventually led to the disintegration of the country.

Guerrilla Warfare

It means fighting by small independent groups, characterised by surprise and secret attack on the enemy. The technique of Guerrilla warfare is adopted by a weak and small army in comparison to big army of enemy. The activities of Guerrillas are secret and hidden. Marathas used the technique of Guerrilla warfare against Mughal army. Similarly, the communist revolutionaries led by Mao in China scored success against Chinese defence forces through Guerrilla warfare.

Guillotine

In France, before the revolution, Guillotine was a sharp iron weapon used by the State for beheading the criminals who were awarded death sentence. It was named after its inventor who was incidentally its first victim. Thus, it denotes a sudden and short killing of a person. From this analogy, the term in politics refers to a sudden end of a controversy or debate on an issue. In modern Parliamentary practices, it specifically means the sudden closure of a debate on an issue and the matter is put to the vote of the House.

Gun Boat Diplomacy

It refers to use of military threat by a country against another country to achieve some diplomatic objectives. In fact, it is not the actual use of force but involves arms-twisting by displaying military threat. For example, America used Gun Boat diplomacy against India during 1971 Pakistan war when it sent its 7th fleet of ships in the Indian Ocean to pressurise India to declare ceasefire.