Political Science and International Relations

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

PAPER I

POLITICAL THEORY AND INDIAN POLITICS

POLITICAL THEORY

Meaning and Approaches.

THEORIES OF STATE

Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and Feminist.

JUSTICE

Conceptions of Justice with special reference to John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and its Communitarian Critiques.

EQUALITY

Social, Political and Economic; Relationship between Equality and Freedom; Affirmative Action.

RIGHTS

Meaning and Theories; Different Kinds of Rights; Concept of Human Rights.

DEMOCRACY

Classical and Contemporary Theories; Different Models of Democracy- Representative, Participatory, and Deliberative.

CONCEPT OF POWER

Hegemony, Ideology and Legitimacy.

POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES

Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.

WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT

PLATO

ARISTOTLE

NICOLO MACHIAVELLI

THOMAS HOBBES

JOHN LOCKE

JOHN STUART MILL

KARL MARX

ANTONIO GRAMSCI

HANNAH ARENDT

INDIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT

DHARMASHASTRA, ARTHSHASTRA and BUDDHIST TRADITIONS

SIR SYED AHMED KHAN

SRI AUROBINDO

M. K. GANDHI

B. R. AMBEDKAR

M. N. ROY

INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

INDIAN NATIONALISM

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.

GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroots Movements.

STATUTORY INSTITUTIONS/COMMISSIONS

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)^

FEDERALISM

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

PARTY SYSTEM

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

SOCIAL MOVEMENT

Civil Liberties and Human Rights Movements; Women’s Movements, Environmentalist Movements

*****

PAPER II

COMPARATIVE POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

COMPARATIVE 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.

GLOBALIZATION

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.

UNITED NATIONS

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.

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