UPSC » UPSC – Political Science and International Relations Syllabus

UPSC – Political Science and International Relations Syllabus


Political Theory and Indian Politics : 

  1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches. 
  2. Theories of state : Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist. 
  3. Justice : Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its  communitarian critiques. 
  4. Equality : Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative  action. 
  5. Rights : Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights. 
  6. Democracy : Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy—representative,  participatory and deliberative. 
  7. Concept of power : hegemony, ideology and legitimacy. 
  8. Political Ideologies : Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism. 
  9. Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed  Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy. 
  10. Western Political Thought : Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci,  Hannah Arendt. 

Indian Government and Politics 

1. Indian Nationalism :  

    (a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers  Movements. 

    (b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and  Dalit. 

  1. Making of the Indian Constitution : Legacies of the British rule; different social and political  perspectives. 
  2. 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. 
  3. (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. 

  1. Grassroots Democracy : Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th  Amendments; Grassroot movements. 
  2. 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. 
  1. Federalism : Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist  tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Social Movement : Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s  movements; environmentalist movements. 


Comparative Politics and International Relations 

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics : 

  1. Comparative Politics : Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology  perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method. 
  2. State in Comparative Perspective : Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and  socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.  
  3. Politics of Representation and Participation : Political parties, pressure groups and social movements  in advanced industrial and developing societies. 
  4. Globalisation : Responses from developed and developing societies. 
  5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations : Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and  Systems theory. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. United Nations : Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning;  need for UN reforms. 
  3. Regionalisation of World Politics : EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA. 
  4. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation. 

India and the World 

  1. Indian Foreign Policy : Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Continuity  and change. 
  2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement Different phases; Current role.
  3. 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 co-operation : River water disputes; illegal cross border migration; Ethnic  conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes. 

  1. India and the Global South : Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand  for NIEO and WTO negotiations. 
  2. India and the Global Centres of Power : USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia. 
  3. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security  Council. 
  4. India and the Nuclear Question : Changing perceptions and policy. 
  5. 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.