For the aspirants of Civil Services, it is very important to choose such readings which are more informative as well as less exhaustive to study. The textbooks provided by NCERT are of such kind which contains a complete package of any stream. Such textbooks are very important for the aspirants who are engaged in preparing for various competitive exams. The aspirants always faces challenges to completed their given syllabus of respective exams, so, NCERT textbooks have been proved as a better tools for the preparation of competitive Exams.
As per the recent trend, the Indian Polity constitute an integral part of the IAS Prelims Exam as well as in the IAS MainsExam.
This chapter provides a backdrop to the entire book. The end of the Cold War is usually seen as the beginning of the contemporary era in world politics which is the subject matter of this book. It is, therefore, appropriate that we begin the story with a discussion of the Cold War. The chapter shows how the dominance of two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, was central to the Cold War. It tracks the various arenas of the Cold War in different parts of the world. The chapter views the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) as a challenge to the dominance of the two superpowers and describes the attempts by the non-aligned countries to establish a New International Economic Order (NIEO) as a means of attaining economic development and political independence. It concludes with an assessment of India’s role in NAM and asks how successful the policy of nonalignment has been in protecting India’s interests.
The Berlin Wall, which had been built at the height of the Cold War and was its greatest symbol, was toppled by the people in 1989. This dramatic event was followed by an equally dramatic and historic chain of events that led to the collapse of the ‘second world’ and the end of the Cold War. Germany, divided after the Second World War, was unified. One after another, the eight East European countries that were part of the Soviet bloc replaced their communist governments in response to mass demonstrations. The Soviet Union stood by as the Cold War began to end, not by military means but as a result of mass actions by ordinary men and women. Eventually the Soviet Union itself disintegrated. In this chapter, we discuss the meaning, the causes and the consequences of the disintegration of the ‘second world’. We also discuss what happened to that part of the world after the collapse of communist regimes and how India relates to these countries now.
We have seen that the end of Cold War left the US without any serious rival in the world. The era since then has been described as a period of US dominance or a unipolar world. In this chapter, we try to understand the nature, extent and limits of this dominance. We begin by narrating the story of the rise of the new world order from the First Gulf War to the US-led invasion of Iraq. We then pause to understand the nature of US domination with the help of the concept of ‘hegemony’. After exploring the political, economic and cultural aspects of US hegemony, we assess India’s policy options in dealing with the US. Finally, we turn to see if there are challenges to this hegemony and whether it can be overcome.
After the end of the bipolar structure of world politics in the early 1990s, it became clear that alternative centres of political and economic power could limit America’s dominance. Thus, in Europe, the European Union (EU) and, in Asia, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), have emerged as forces to reckon with. While evolving regional solutions to their historical enmities and weaknesses, both the EU and the ASEAN have developed alternative institutions and conventions that build a more peaceful and cooperative regional order and have transformed the countries in the region into prosperous economies. The economic rise of China has made a dramatic impact on world politics. In this chapter, we take a look at some of these emerging alternative centres of power and assess their possible role in the future.
Let us shift our gaze from the larger global developments in the post-Cold War era to developments in our own region, South Asia. When India and Pakistan joined the club of nuclear powers, this region suddenly became the focus of global attention. The focus was, of course, on the various kinds of conflict in this region: there are pending border and water sharing disputes between the states of the region. Besides, there are conflicts arising out of insurgency, ethnic strife and resource sharing. This makes the region very turbulent. At the same time, many people in South Asia recognise the fact that this region can develop and prosper if the states of the region cooperate with each other. In this chapter, we try to understand the nature of conflict and cooperation among different countries of the region. Since much of this is rooted in or conditioned by the domestic politics of these countries, we first introduce the region and the domestic politics of some of the big countries in the region.
In this chapter we shall discuss the role of international organisations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We shall examine how, in this emerging world, there were calls for the restructuring of international organisations to cope with various new challenges including the rise of US power. The potential reform of the United Nations Security Council is an interesting case of the reform process and its difficulties. We then turn to India’s involvement in the UN and its view of Security Council reforms. The chapter closes by asking if the UN can play any role in dealing with a world dominated by one superpower. In this chapter we also look at some other transnational organisations that are playing a crucial role.
In reading about world politics, we frequently encounter the terms ‘security’ or ‘national security’. Do we know what these terms mean? Often, they are used to stop debate and discussion. We hear that an issue is a security issue and that it is vital for the well-being of the country. The implication is that it is too important or secret to be debated and discussed openly. We see movies in which everything surrounding ‘national security’ is shadowy and dangerous. Security seems to be something that is not the business of the ordinary citizen. In a democracy, surely this cannot be the case. As citizens of a democracy, we need to know more about the term security. What exactly is it? And what are India’s security concerns? This chapter debates these questions. It introduces two different ways of looking at security and highlights the importance of keeping in mind different contexts or situations which determine our view of security.
This chapter examines the growing significance of environmental as well as resource issues in world politics. It analyses in a comparative perspective some of the important environmental movements against the backdrop of the rising profile of environmentalism from the 1960s onwards. Notions of common property resources and the global commons too are assessed. We also discuss, in brief, the stand taken by India in more recent environmental debates. Next follows a brief account of the geopolitics of resource competition. We conclude by taking note of the indigenous peoples’ voices and concerns from the margins of contemporary world politics.
In this final chapter of the book we look at globalisation, something that has been referred to in many chapters of this book and textbooks of many other subjects. We begin by analysing the concept of globalisation and then examine its causes. We then discuss at length the political, economic and cultural consequences of globalisation. Our interest is also in studying the impact of globalisation on India as well as how India is affecting globalisation. We finally draw attention to resistance to globalisation and how social movements in India also form part of this resistance.