International Relations Books for UPSC Mains GS Paper II

International Relations is an important topic for UPSC Civil Service Mains (written) examination in General Studies Paper II. The international relations topic encompasses foreign policy of India, bilateral relations, regional cooperation, etc. This article gives an overview of International relations topics and important books for International Relations, UPSC Mains Paper II.

Considering the standard of the IAS Exam, aspirants must be equipped with the latest study material to be able to excel in the examination. The best book for International Relations for UPSC comes with in-depth information along with appropriate statistics on India’s bilateral relations which can be used to score more in the descriptive paper.

To get the UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination, aspirants can visit the linked article and accordingly start their preparation. 

The candidates can check the following links to prepare for International Relations more comprehensively:

Important Topics and IR Books for UPSC

Foreign policy is the instrument by which India intermingles with the world outside its borders. It has formulated foreign policy to smoothen the interaction with countries. The foreign policy of India has two main objectives:

  1. Protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of India
  2. Promotion of the well-being of the people from India

The foreign policy of India is framed to encourage national security and development. The policy is impacted by global, provincial and internal growths. The global, regional and interior atmosphere of India has become extremely complicated, posing numerous challenges to the foreign policy of India.

  • Overview of Foreign Policy of India
  • Relationship and affiliation towards socialism and USSR
  • Fragmentation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic
  • Modifications in the foreign policy of India in a unipolar world
  • Bi-lateral relations with neighbour countries in India
  • Gujral Doctrine
  • Strategic partners of India
  • Look East Policy
  • Multilateral relations with associations like BRICS, ASEAN, SAARC, BIMSTEC, etc.
  • International disputes concerning India
  • Ministry of External Affairs
  • Recent issues in the global arena

Also, candidates can get detailed notes on India’s Bilateral Relations with other countries at the linked article. 

Best Books on International Relations for UPSC Mains GS II

Given below is the list of books for international relations for UPSC Mains examination:

  • International Relations (4th Rev. & Enl. Edn.)by Vinay Kumar Malhotra
  • International Relations: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides)by Terry O’Callaghan, Martin Griffiths, Steven C. Roach
  • International Relations in the 21st Century by Pant
  • The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations by John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens
  • Global Politics by Andrew Heywood
  • Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
  • International Relations & Organisations for UPSC and State Civil Services Main Examination
  • Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered” by Ronald H. Chilcote
  • Understanding International Relations” by Chris Brown and Kirsten Ainley
  • “Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches” by Georg Sorenson and Robert Jackson
  • The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy” by David M. Malone, C Raja Mohan and Srinath Raghvan

How to prepare current affairs for the IR section?

Apart from these International Relations UPSC Books, the aspirants have to also follow the current events because of the dynamic nature of questions asked in the previous years. The questions are more current affairs oriented and therefore, it is a necessity to back the static knowledge with the updates with respect to the preparation for International Relations. In this regard, the candidates can follow two newspapers:

  1. The Hindu and
  2. The Indian Express 

Prepare current affairs with us, Daily Video Analysis – The Hindu Newspaper.

The Editorials of the Hindu about an IR topic are written in a comprehensive manner, which helps the students to cover the topic holistically. Also, the political views of the Indian Express newspaper are unbiased and this will help the students to develop and write unbiased answers, which is a mandatory aspect to remember while writing UPSC Mains. Apart from these newspapers, the aspirants also can follow the website of the Ministry of External Affairs for their press releases and important announcements related to any foreign policy changes or any other important updates related to International Affairs/Relations.

Magazines like Economic and Political Weekly also can be used additionally by the aspirants for knowing the viewpoint of different authors especially if there is a significant affair in the news frequently close to the examination.

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