IAS Exam Preparation: Booklist for Political Science and International Relations Optional

UPSC Mains Exam: Booklist and Strategy for Political Science and International Relations

Here is a booklist and strategy for political science and international relations. Before getting into details, It is an attempt to help the aspirants by  giving a fair idea on how to devise their strategy and on which resource to rely on for preparation. Given below is the booklist for Political Science and International Relations Optional Subject

Political Science and International Relations Paper I


Section A 

Political Ideologies – O.P Gauba for basics
Indian Political Thought – V R Mehta
Western Political Thought – Brian Nelson

Section B

Indian National Movement – Bipin Chandra and Spectrum
Indian Polity – B. L. Fadiaand Laxmikanth for basics

 

Political Science and International Relations Paper II


Section A

Comparative Politics – by Andrew Heywood
IGNOU notes
Selective study on International Organizations
Section B

The Globalization of World Politics. An introduction to international relations by John Baylis and Steve Smith Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy by David Malone
RS TV Videos (India’s World)
Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) website
BYJU’s Daily News Analysis for UPSC Current Affairs

Preparation Strategy for Political Science and International Relations Optional Paper I


Part A

  • Andrew Heywood’s “Political Theory”will help candidates to get conceptual clarity on all fundamental topics like Equality, Rights, Power, Liberty and Democracy.
  • From Indian Political Thought, aspirants can cover Gandhism and for political ideologies, one can refer to the book Political Ideologies by O. P. Gauba.
  • For Western Political Thought, one should give importance to western thinkers and also refer O. P. Gauba’s “Political Theory”.

Part B

  • The Part B section of Paper I is current affairs oriented along with the static part, hence candidates should be thorough with the basic concepts as well as current issues and should be able to connect both. The basic concepts can be covered from the above-mentioned booklist and for current affairs candidates can refer to Byju’s comprehensive news analysis.

Preparation Strategy for Political Science and International Relations Optional Paper II


Part A

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics:

We can break this topic into two sections namely – Comparative Politics and International Relations.

  • Comparative Politics can be covered by referring to IGNOU notes for covering the basics and then move on to Comparative Politics – by Andrew Heywood.
  • For international relations, one can refer to The Globalizationof World Politics. An introduction to international relations by John Baylis and Steve Smith.This book introduces candidates to the very best works within the history, theory, structures and key issues in international relations and is highly recommended for candidates who choose IR as their optional subject for UPSC Mains Exam.

Part B

Indian Foreign Policy – this part can be covered by referring to “Does the Elephant Dance? – Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy” by David Malone and the issues in news related to this topic.

Basic Preparation Tips


  • Be thorough with the UPSC Syllabus for Political Science and International Relations Optional subject. By knowing the syllabus very well, is essential to start thepreparation process without any difficulty.
  • One should cover the syllabus by devising the right study plan that covers the entire syllabus and includes answer writing practice, and solving UPSC Previous Years’ Question Papers.
  • Candidates should make their own notes. Making a list of all the topics and subtopics from the syllabus and preparing shortnotes on the same, of at least 100-200 words Is recommended.
  • Focus on the basics and understand each concept in depth, as it will make it easy for you to interlink the issues in news with the concepts with lesser efforts and form a base while answering the questions in the mains exam. One can master the static part of the syllabus well-enough by spending adequate time and by repeated revisions.

Answer writing tips


  • Analyse the statement given in the question
  • Start with an introduction
  • Provide contemporary examples wherever necessary
  • Connect the dynamic and static part of the syllabus while writing answers
  • Present your answers in a well-structured manner

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