What is international relations? What all does it cover? Is that a good choice?
Political science and international relations is one of the options offered by the upsc. It has been the most popular optional among the aspirant,majorly because of its correlation with GS paper and a chunk of if comes through current affairs making it even more easier to pick.
So what is PSIR optional all about? PSIR includes fundamentals of political science and our relations with international borders.
This is one of the most informative topics we can address by exploring our relationships with our neighbours in a more explanatory way.
But, the question arises who should take this subject? Do we need a specialisation of the subject? then the answer is no, no one is demanding a specific degree in this subject.Anyone who is interested in knowing more in depth the relations and policies of foreign Indians can take this.
So what is the syllabus for the subject?
A.Political Theory and Thinkers
Meaning, Definition, and approaches
2.Theories of the state
Concept of justice with reference to Rawl’s theory of justice
Relationship between freedom and equality and;
Political, Social, and economic;
Meaning and theories;
the concept of Human Rights
different models of democracy – deliberative, participatory and representative, Contemporary and Classical theories
7.Concept of power
9.Indian Political Thought
Dharamshastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions;
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,
10.Western Political Thought
John S. Mill,
B.Indian Government and Politics
Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle:
Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha,
Peasant and workers’ movements,
2.Making of the Indian Constitution
Different political and social perspectives,
Legacies of the British rule
Salient Features of the Indian Constitution
Fundamental Rights and Duties,
Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine,
3.Principal Organs of the Union Government
Executive, Envisaged role and actual working of the Legislature, and Supreme Court.
4.Principal Organs of the State Government
Executive, Envisaged role and actual working of the Legislature, and High Courts.
5.Statutory Institutions/ Commissions
Comptroller, and Auditor General,
Union Public Service Commission,
National Backward Classes Commission,
National Commission for Scheduled Castes,
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,
National Commission for Women;
National Commission for Minorities.
Changing nature of center-state relations;
Constitutional provisions; and regional aspirations;
7.Planning and Economic Development
The role of planning and public sector;
land reforms and agrarian relations;
National and regional political parties,
Ideological and social bases of parties;
trends in electoral behaviour;
patterns of coalition politics;
Pressure groups, changing the socio-economic profile of Legislators.
Civil liberties, women’s movements;
A.Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics
Political economy, Nature and major approaches;
limitations of the comparative method.
Responses from developing and developed societies.
Approaches to the Study of International Relations
Idealist, Functionalist, Realist, Marxist, and Systems theory.
3.Key concepts in International Relations
Security, World capitalist economy and globalization;
Balance of power and deterrence;
National interest, and power;
Transnational actors, and collective security.
4.Changing International Political Order
The arms race and Cold War;
Rise of superpowers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity,
Non-aligned movement: Achievements and Aims;
Collapse of the Soviet Union;
Unipolarity and American hegemony;
Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
5.Evolution of the International Economic System
From Bretton Woods to WTO;
Globalisation of the world economy;
Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance);
Third World demand for new international economic order.
Envisaged role and actual record;
Specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning;
the need for UN reforms.
7.Regionalization of World Politics
8.Contemporary Global Concerns
B .India and the World
1.Indian Foreign Policy
Continuity and change:
Institutions of policy-making,
Determinants of foreign policy
2.India and South Asia
South Asia as a Free Trade Area
Regional Cooperation: SAARC –past performance and future prospects
Impediments to regional cooperation:
ethnic conflicts and insurgencies;
river water disputes;
illegal cross-border migration;
India’s “Look East” policy
3.India and the Global South
Relations with Latin America and Africa,
Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations
4.India and the Global Centres of Power
USA, China, EU, Japan, and Russia.
5.India and the UN System
Role in United Nation Peace-keeping
6.India and the Nuclear Questions
Perceptions and Changing policy
7.Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy
India’s position on the recent crisis in West Asia,
Growing relations with US and Israel;
Afghanistan and Iraq, the vision of new world order
What is the booklist for the subject?
➦ An Introduction to Political Theory by O P Gauba
➦ A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx by Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy
➦ An Oxford Companion To Politics In India by Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta
➦ India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
➦ IGNOU BOOKLET MPSE-004 Social and Political Thought in Modern India
➦ “The Oxford Companion to Politics in India” by Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
➦ Indian Government And Politics – B L Fadia
➦ Foundations Of Indian Political Thought- V.R Mehta
➦ “Political Ideologies: An Introduction” by Andrew Heywood.
➦ Global Politics- Andrew Heywood
➦ Challenges and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
➦ Does The Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy- David M. Malone
➦ “The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations” by John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens.
➦ International Relations- Mcgraw Hill education
➦ India’s Foreign Policy Challenges and Opportunities by GoI publication
Other Important References
➦ IGNOU notes on Comparative Politics.
➦ “IDSA website (should be followed for articles)
➦ MEA website (for current affairs)
➦ IR editorials from daily newspaper
➦ MPS-004 Comparative Politics: Issues And Trends By Expert Panel Of GPH