This section is wholly re-organised in accordance with the latest syllabus of POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (PSIR) optional of the UPSC Civil Services Examination.
The study of politics started with the ancient Greek scholars. In fact, the terms ‘polity’, ‘politics’ and ‘political’ are derived from the Greek word ‘polis’ which denoted ancient Greek city-states. Politics in their understanding was aimed at securing good life for the community. Aristotle called it the “master-science.”
The discipline has undergone significant changes in its meaning, nature and scope. From the usual normative studies and more focus on philosophical part, to the behavioral revolution and then post-behavioral phase, it has been evolving.
In the field of political science, not only do we study thinkers and their concepts, approaches, but we also study foreign policies, international relations, etc. (though International Relations has emerged as a separate discipline, it is considered to be a branch of Political Science).
The articles published will be immensely useful to those Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination (CSE) aspirants who have POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (PSIR) as their optional paper. PSIR is a highly scoring optional paper in the UPSC Civil Services Examination and it helps in you GS papers as well. However, the content of articles in this section will be of significant interest to all the students of Political Science in general as well.
Before you read further, you would love to see this first: POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS book list for UPSC CSE.
Also, one thing you should always be clear is the concepts. You will be delighted to check this dedicated section in this regard: Concepts in Political Theory!
If you have anything to suggest, feel free to share it in the comments below.
Last updated: 11 February, 2018.
POLITICAL SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITICAL THEORY AND INDIAN POLITICS
Meaning and Approaches.
- What is Political Theory?
- What is Political Philosophy?
- Relation between Political Theory and Political Philosophy
- Why Do We Need Political Philosophy? What are the Problems of Political Philosophy?
THEORIES OF STATE
Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and Feminist.
Conceptions of Justice with special reference to John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and its Communitarian Critiques.
Social, Political and Economic; Relationship between Equality and Freedom; Affirmative Action.
Meaning and Theories; Different Kinds of Rights; Concept of Human Rights.
Classical and Contemporary Theories; Different Models of Democracy- Representative, Participatory, and Deliberative.
CONCEPT OF POWER
Hegemony, Ideology and Legitimacy.
Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT
- Plato’s Theory of Ideas or Forms
- Plato’s “Republic” is the finest treatise ever written on education: Rousseau
- Karl Popper’s Critique of Plato’s Philosophy
- Plato’s Idea of the Philosopher King
- Plato’s Theory of Three Classes and Three Souls
- Plato and the Idea of Justice
JOHN STUART MILL
INDIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
DHARMASHASTRA, ARTHSHASTRA and BUDDHIST TRADITIONS
SIR SYED AHMED KHAN
M. K. GANDHI
B. R. AMBEDKAR
M. N. ROY
INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to Mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements.
Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit.
MAKING OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Legacies of the British Rule; Different Social and Political Perspectives.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure Doctrine.
PRINCIPAL ORGANS OF THE UNION GOVERNMENT
Envisaged Role and Actual Working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
PRINCIPAL ORGANS OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT
Envisaged Role and Actual Working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroots Movements.
Election Commission (CB)*
Comptroller and Auditor General (CB)*
Finance Commission (CB)*
Union Public Service Commission (CB)*
National Commission for Scheduled Castes (CB)*
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (CB)*
National Commission for Women (SB)^
National Human Rights Commission (SB)^
National Commission for Minorities (SB)^
National Backward Classes Commission (SB)^
Constitutional Provisions; Changing Nature of Centre-State Relations; Integrationist Tendencies and Regional Aspirations; Inter-State Disputes
PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Nehruvian and Gandhian Perspectives; Role of Planning and Public Sector; Green Revolution, Land Reforms and Agrarian Relations; Liberalization and Economic Reforms
CASTE RELIGION AND ETHNICITY in Indian Politics
National and Regional Political Parties, Ideological and Social Bases of Parties; Patterns of Coalition Politics; Pressure Groups, Trends in Electoral Behavior; Changing Socio-Economic Profile of Legislators
Civil Liberties and Human Rights Movements; Women’s Movements, Environmentalist Movements
COMPARATIVE POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Nature and Major Approaches; Political Economy and Political Sociology Perspectives; Limitations of the Comparative Method.
STATE IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Characteristics and Changing Nature of the State in Capitalist and Socialist Economies, and Advanced Industrial and Developing Societies.
POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION AND PARTICIPATION
Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Social Movements in Advanced Industrial and Developing Societies.
Responses from Developed and Developing Societies.
APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems Theory.
KEY CONCEPTS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
National Interest, Security and Power; Balance of Power and Deterrence; Transnational Actors and Collective Security; World Capitalist Economy and Globalization.
CHANGING INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ORDER
Rise of Super Powers; Strategic and Ideological Bipolarity, Arms Race and Cold War; Nuclear Threat.
Non-aligned Movement: Aims and Achievements.
Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American Hegemony; Relevance of Non-alignment in the Contemporary World.
EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM
From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist Economies and CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World Demand for New International Economic Order; Globalization of the World Economy.
Envisaged Role and Actual Record; Specialized UN Agencies- Aims and Functioning; Need for UN Reforms.
REGIONALIZATION OF WORLD POLITICS
EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.
CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL CONCERNS
Democracy, Human Rights, Environment, Gender Justice, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation.
INDIA AND THE WORLD
INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Determinants of Foreign Policy; The Institutions of Policy-Making; Continuity and Change.
INDIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT
Different Phases; Current Role.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
Regional Cooperation: SAARC- Past Performance and Future Prospects.
South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
India’s ‘Look East’ Policy (Now, ‘Act East’ Policy).
Impediments to Regional Cooperation: River Water Disputes; Illegal Cross Border Migration; Ethnic Conflicts and Insurgencies; Border Disputes.
INDIA AND THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership Role in the Demand for NIEO and WTO Negotiations.
INDIA AND THE GLOBAL CENTERS OF POWER
USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
INDIA AND THE UN SYSTEM
Role in UN Peace-Keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
INDIA AND THE NUCLEAR QUESTION
Changing Perceptions and Policy
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY
India’s Position in the Recent Crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, Growing Relations with US and Israel; Vision of a New World Order.
To make good use of the initiative, please visit this page regularly. This page will be updated regularly to add new articles to each topic of the syllabus.
Download PSIR Optional syllabus in pdf: POLITICAL SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OPTIONAL SYLLABUS.
*CB: Constitutional Body; ^SB: Statutory Body.