PSIR Optional Subject (UPSC) Syllabus

Paper-I Political Theory and Indian Politics (250 Marks)
Paper-IIComparative Politics and International Relation (250 Marks)


Paper – I: Political Theory and Indian Politics


PART – A: Political Theory and Thinkers

Ø Political Theory: meaning and approaches.

Ø Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and feminist.

Ø Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.

Ø Equality: Social, political, and economic; the relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.

Ø Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; the concept of Human Rights.

Ø Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.

Ø Concept of power, hegemony, ideology, and legitimacy.

Ø Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism, and Feminism.

Ø Indian Political Thought: Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.

Ø Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.


PART – B: Indian Government and Politics:

Ø Indian Nationalism:

o   Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and workers’ movements.

o   Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist, and Marxist; Radical humanist and Dalit.

Ø Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives. 

Ø 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.

Ø Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; the significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.

Ø 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.

Ø Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of center-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.

Ø Planning and Economic Development: Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; the role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.

Ø Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics. 

Ø 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.     

Ø Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.           


Paper-II: Comparative Politics and International Relations


PART – A: Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics:

Ø Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches; political economy and political sociology perspectives; limitations of the comparative method.

Ø State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and, advanced industrial and developing societies.

Ø Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups, and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.

Ø Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.

Ø Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.

Ø 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. 

Ø Changing International Political Order:   

o   Rise of superpowers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;

o   Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;

o   Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.

Ø Evolution of the International Economic System: From Bretton Woods 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.

Ø United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; the need for UN reforms.

Ø Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.

Ø Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

PART – B: India and the World

Ø Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.

Ø India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases; current role.

Ø India and South Asia:

o   Regional Cooperation: SAARC – past performance and prospects.

o   South Asia as a Free Trade Area.

o   India’s “Look East” policy.

o   Impediments to regional cooperation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.

Ø India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.

Ø India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China, and Russia.

Ø India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.

Ø India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy.

Ø Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy: India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; a vision of new world order.

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