Political Science Optional Books and Syllabus for UPSC

Political Science Books and Syllabus is one of the most popular subjects among the UPSC aspirants. This subject has a great sense of overlapping with the GS exam so various people prefer it as their optional subject for the UPSC exam. You can always get a humongous amount of study material for the preparation of this subject. If you are the one who has opted for Political Science as optional, then you should prepare well for it. Political Science has a high scope for fetching good marks.

You will encounter various topics related to the Constitution of India, Politics, economy and trade of the country, and various other aspects of the nation that will help you in the future. Are you the one who has opted for this one and now struggling with how to proceed with it? Then, you are the apt place with the article.

We have provided you with the detailed IAS optional syllabus in company with a list of books so that you can have an idea about what are the topics in the subject and how much it overlaps with the GS exam. This optional subject is divided into two papers, so you need to perform well in both of them to get an overall good rank.

This article will guide you through the political science syllabus for upsc of both papers so that you can move on towards the stepping stones of success without wasting much of your time. You will also witness various good books for the preparation of Political Science as an optional subject so that you get the perfect study material for preparation. Let’s get started with the discussion of the IAS optional syllabus.

Political Science Books and Syllabus for UPSC

Political science books for UPSC should be referred before appearing in exams. Political science optional UPSC books provides you with every topics related to the political science syllabus for upsc and you will be able to crack the exams in one go

Books for Paper-I

  • An Introduction To Constitution- D.D. Basu
  • An Introduction To Political Theory- O.P Gauba
  • Fifty Major Political Thinkers- Ian Adams And R W Dyson
  • A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy
  • An Oxford Companion To Politics In India – Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  • Foundations Of Indian Political Thought- V.R Mehta
  • A New Look At Modern Indian History- B.L Grover And Alka Mehta
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  • Indian Government And Politics – B L Fadia

Books for Paper-II

  • India’s Foreign Policy – V P Dutt
  • International Organisations- Spectrum Books Publication
  • International Relations – V N Khanna
  • Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy- Rajiv Sikri
  • Does The Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy- David M. Malone
  • Global Politics- Andrew Heywood
  • MPS-004 Comparative Politics: Issues And Trends By Expert Panel Of GPH

Aspirants can choose from various sets of books for their preparation. These are some fantastic political science optional books for upsc that can boost up your preparation for the exam. You can have political science books for upsc to  prepare  to excel in the exam.

Syllabus for Political Science Optional for UPSC Exam

Political Science Syllabus for Paper-I

  1. Political Theory and Indian Politics:
  2. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
  1. Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and feminist.
  1. Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
  1. Equality: Social, political, and economic; the relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
  1. Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; the concept of Human Rights.
  1. Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.
  1. Concept of power, hegemony, ideology, and legitimacy.
  1. Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism, and Feminism.
  1. Indian Political Thought: Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.
  1. Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Government and Politics

  1. 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.

  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.

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 Court.

  1. Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; the significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  2. 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.
  3. Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of center-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  4. 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.
  5. Caste, Religion, and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  6. 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.
  7. Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

Political Science Syllabus for 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.
  1. State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and, advanced industrial and developing societies.
  1. Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups, and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
  1. Globalization: Responses from developed and developing societies.
  1. Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
  1. 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.
  1. Changing International Political Order:
  2. The rise of superpowers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, the arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
  3. Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
  4. 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 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.
  1. United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; the need for UN reforms.
  1. Regionalization of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.
  1. 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:
  4. Regional Cooperation: SAARC – past performance and prospects.
  5. South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
  6. India’s “Look East” policy.
  7. Impediments to regional cooperation: 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 Centers 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; the vision of a new world order.

Bottom Line

Getting the IAS optional syllabus is one of the most essential things to progress well towards your goal. Don’t jump down to preparation without going thoroughly through the syllabus. You should get some good books beforehand so that your preparation can take a smooth head start and you excel in your exam. This will help you analyze the overlapping topics so that you can make a rapport between your preparation with Political Science and GS. Make sure you are acquainted with the syllabus. Then go with your preparation and make a meticulous study plan to excel in your UPSC exam.

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