Political Science Optional Syllabus for UPSC: Download PDF

Political Science Optional Syllabus for UPSC

UPSC preparing candidates can read or download Political Science Optional Syllabus for UPSC from here.



Political Theory and Indian Politics : 

1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches. 

2. Theories of state : Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, 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 : 

(a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Noncooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements. 

(b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit. 

2. Making of the Indian Constitution : 

Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives. 

3. 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. 

4. (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. 

5. Grassroots Democracy : 

Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements. 

6. 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. 

7. Federalism : 

Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes. 

8. Planning and Economic development : 

Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms. 

9. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics. 

10. 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. 

11. Social Movement : 

Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements


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; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation. 

7. 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. 

8. 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. 

9. United Nations : 

Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms. 

10. Regionalisation of World Politics : 

EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA. 11. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World 

1. Indian Foreign Policy : 

Determinants of foreign policy; the 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 : 

(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. 

4. India and the Global South : 

Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations. 

5. India and the Global Centres of Power : 

USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia. 

6. India and the UN System: 

Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council. 

7. India and the Nuclear Question : 

Changing perceptions and policy. 

8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy : 

India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; Vision of a new world order.

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