PSIR Optional Subject (UPSC) Syllabus
Paper-I – Political Theory and Indian Politics (250 Marks)
Paper-II – Comparative 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.