UPSC Main Exam Syllabus : Political Science and International
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
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
9. Indian Political Thought : Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist
traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N.
10. Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes,
Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt. Indian Government and
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.
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
4. (a) Principal Organs of the Union
Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and
(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
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
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; liberalilzation 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 Movements: Civil liberties and
human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
PAPER – II
Comparative Politics and International Relations Comparative Political
Analysis and International.
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
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.
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
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, SAARC, 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; institutions of
policy-making; continuity and change.
2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases;
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.
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 crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and
Israel; vision of a new world order.