UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus 2023: Political Science and International Relations is one of the most popular optional subjects and most common choice of the majority of previous UPSC toppers as the data shows approximately 1300-1800 aspirants choose this optional subject, and approximately 8%-10%of aspirants are placed in the final merit list. However, it is essential to have an inclination or interest towards Political science before finalising it as an optional subject.
Aspirants must check the Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Syllabus for UPSC thoroughly and then plan the robust strategy accordingly. As per previous exam analysis, it is reported that the questions asked in Political Science and International Relations subjects are medium level.
In this blog, we have shared the detailed UPSC PSIR syllabus Pdf along with the preparation strategy and best books to excel in this subject.
UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus 2023 PDF
The Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) syllabus comprises two papers i.e. Paper I and Paper II. The maximum mark for each paper is 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. Aspirants must check the UPSC Political Science and International Relations syllabus and then pick the right books in order to perform well in the exam. The topic-wise UPSC Political Science and International Relations syllabus for both papers is discussed below.
UPSC IAS Political Science and International Relations Syllabus
UPSC Political Science Paper 1 Syllabus
The UPSC Political Science and International Relations Syllabus for Paper I covers topics like Political Theory and Indian Politics and Indian Government and Politics. Check the topic-wise UPSC Political Science and International Relations mains Paper I syllabus shared below.
Political Theory and Indian Politics :
- Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
- Theories of state: Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist.
- Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
- Equality: Social, political and economic; the 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.
- Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
- Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
Indian Government and Politics
- Indian Nationalism :
(a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Noncooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements.
(b) 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.
- (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
(b) 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; Grassroot movements.
- Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission; Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
- 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; liberalisation 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 behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
- Social Movement: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
UPSC Political Science Paper 2 Syllabus
The UPSC Political Science and International Relations Syllabus for Paper II covers topics like Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics and India and the World. Check the topic-wise UPSC Political Science and International Relations mains Paper II syllabus discussed below.
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.
- Globalisation: 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; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
- Changing International Political Order :
(a) Rise of super powers; Strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat;
(b) Non-aligned Movement: Aims and achievements.
(c) 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 the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
- United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
- Regionalisation 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 :
(a) Regional Co-operation: SAARC-past performance and future prospects.
(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
(c) India’s “Look East” policy.
(d) 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 Centres 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 on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Isreal; Vision of a new world order
How to Prepare for UPSC Political Science Syllabus 2023?
Political Science and International Relations is a highly popular optional subject in the UPSC mains exam. It is a common choice among the previous IAS toppers making it a highly competitive subject. With this, they should create an effective UPSC Political science preparation strategy and then study accordingly. Mentioned below are the tips and tricks to cover the entire UPSC Political Science and International Relations syllabus with ease.
- Analyse Syllabus: One should create a list of important topics with the help of the UPSC Political Science and International Relations mains syllabus and assign time to each and every topic accordingly.
- Learn the Basic Concepts: The next tip is to master the concepts of all the topics mentioned in the syllabus. For this, they should read the books that are recommended by the experts and previous toppers.
- Previous Year Papers: Practice UPSC Political Science and International Relations previous year's papers to familiarise yourself with the topics and question weightage in the exam.
- Answer-writing Practice: After covering at least 50% of the syllabus, one should start practising answers in the exam. This will help them to improve their speed of solving questions in less time with accuracy.
- Attempt Mock Tests: Candidates must attempt mock tests to track the progress of their performance and identify their mistakes. This will help them to focus more on the areas that require improvement.
Booklist for UPSC Political Science Syllabus
A huge variety of UPSC Political Science and International Relations books and resources are available in PDF format and in the local market based on the latest UPSC Political Science and International Relations Mains Syllabus. Let’s look at the paper-wise books for the Political Science and International Relations subject detailed below:
UPSC Political Science Books
Paper 1: Section A: Political Theory
An Introduction to Political Theory by O.P Gauba.
A History of Political Thought: Plato to Marx by Subrata Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy.
Political Theory: An Introduction by Rajeev Bhargava and Ashok Acharya, 2nd edition, Pearson.
Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the age of Ideology by Brian. R. Nelson.
Modern Indian Political Thought: Text and Context by Bidyut Chakrabarty and Rajendra Kumar Pandey.
Paper 1: Section B: Indian Government and Politics
Indian Government and Politics by A.S.Narang, Geetanjali Publication
India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.
The Oxford Companion to Politics in India by Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
Introduction to the Constitution of India by Dr Durga Das Basu.
Paper 2: Section A: Comparative Politics and International Relations
The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations by John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens.
IGNOU notes on Comparative Politics.
Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered by Ronald H. Chilcote.
Global Politics by Andrew Heywood.
Paper 2: Section B: India and the World
International Relations by Mcgraw Hill Education
Indian Foreign Policy: An Overview by Harsh Pant