UPSC CSE Political Science Syllabus

Paper - I

Political Theory and Indian Politics:

  1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
  2. Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, 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:
  • Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and workers’ movements.
  • 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.
  4. Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  5. 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.
  6. Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  7. 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.
  8. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

  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; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
  7. Changing International Political Order:
  • Rise of super powers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
  • Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
  • 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, SAARC, 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; 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:
  • Regional Co-operation: SAARC – past performance and future prospects.
  • South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
  • India’s “Look East” policy.
  • 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 crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; vision of a new world order