UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam consists of Political Science and International Relations as one of the Optional Subjects with 2 papers (paper I and paper II). Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. Read on for the syllabus of political science optional for UPSC mains exam.
PAPER – I
Political Theory and Indian Politics:
- Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
- Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, 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; 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, 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.
- 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; liberalilzation 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 Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
PAPER – II
Comparative Politics and International Relations 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; Transnational 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, SAARC, NAFTA.
- Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.
India and the World:
- Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; 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 co-operation: 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 crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; vision of a new world order.