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Booklist for PSIR Optional

By May 23, 2022June 29th, 2022PSIR, Syllabus and Books

UPSC Mains- Political Science and International Relations Booklist by Toppers

UPSC exams has three stages for an aspirant to become an officer- Prelims, Mains and Interview. In UPSC Mains Exam, students have to choose from 48 optionals. PSIR Optional is one of the most popular and scoring Optionals for UPSC Mains. It has produced a number of UPSC top rankers including Tina Dabi, Ria Dabi,Navneet Mann, Chandrima Attri, Trupti Dodhmishe, Ravinderpreet Kaur, Rupesh Kumar, Mirant Parikh and more.

However, one thing common to the UPSC strategy of UPSC Toppers is having a consolidated booklist of PSIR Optional which includes basic sources to cover both papers of PSIR. Political Science and International Relations has two papers with respective syllabus- Paper 1 Part A deals with Western Political Thought, Indian Political Thought, Political Theory and Paper 1 Part B deals with Indian Government and Politics. PSIR Paper 2 Part A deals with Comparative Politics and International Relations and paper 2 Part B deals with India’s foreign Policy.

(See detailed PSIR syllabus here https://youtu.be/U8RcbM2zUP4

See detailed PSIR strategy discussion here- https://youtu.be/8XgVuG-jpf4)

Here are basic and additional books and sources to use to cover Paper 1 and Paper 2 of PSIR Optional that are recommended by UPSC Toppers as well.

Paper 1 Part A- Western Political Thought, Indian Political Thought and Political Theory

Essential Books and Sources:

  • MPSE 003- Western Political Thought (Plato to Marx)
  • MPSE 004- IGNOU Material- Social and Political Thought in Modern India
  • An Introduction to Political Theory” by O.P Gauba.7TH EDITION, Mayur Publications
  • Editorials on important personalities, theoretical concepts and book reviews in news.
  • Justice series by Michael Sandel on YT.
  • See our free lectures on Political Thought and Theory here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYSuG-KZy7JApHupmkH7ZvaEalBhsHFnU

Additional Books and Sources:

  • A History of Political Thought: Plato to Marx” by Subrata Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy.
  • Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the age of Ideology” by Brian. R. Nelson.
  • Modern Indian Political Thought: Text and Context” by Bidyut Chakrabarty and Rajendra Kumar Pandey.
  • Political Theory: An Introduction” by Rajeev Bhargava and Ashok Acharya, 2nd edition, Pearson.
  • Political Theory: An Introduction” by Andrew Heywood.

Paper 1 Part B- Indian Government and Politics

Essential Books and Sources: 

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.

               Indian Polity by Laxmikanth.

  • The Oxford Companion to Politics in India by Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
  • Rethinking Public Institutions in India by P.B. Mehta, Devesh Kapur and Milan Vaishnav.
  • Editorials on IGP by P.B. Mehta, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Gautam Bhatia, SuhrithParthasarthy, Christopher Jaffrelot, Ashok Gulati, Jean Derez etc.

Additional Books and Sources:  

  • Indian Government and Politics by A.S.Narang, Geetanjali Publication
  • Our Constitution: An Introduction to India’s Constitution and Constitutional Law” by Subhash C. Kashyap.

Paper 2 Part A- Comparative Politics and International Relations

Essential Books and Sources: 

  • The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations by John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens.
  • Global Politics by Andrew Heywood.
  • MPS 004- IGNOU Material Comparative Politics: Issues and Trends
  • Editorials by Shyam Saran, C. Raja Mohan, Harsh Pant, Amitabh Mattoo, Suhasini Haider, Happymon Jacob, Stanly Johnny and Websites like ORF, IDSA, Project Syndicate, Council on Foreign Relations etc.

See our free lectures on Comparative Politics and International Relations theory here:

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYSuG-KZy7JApHupmkH7ZvaEalBhsHFnU

Additional Books and Sources: 

  • Theories of International Relations by Palgrave publications.
  • Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches by Georg Sorenson and Robert Jackson.

Paper 2 Part B- India and the World

  • Updates on PIB and MEA Website including the Distinguished Handbook Series.
  • Editorials by Shyam Saran, C. Raja Mohan, Harsh Pant, Amitabh Mattoo, Suhasini Haider, Happymon Jacob, Stanly Johnny and Websites like ORF, IDSA, Project Syndicate, Council on Foreign Relations etc.
  • Indian Foreign Policy: An Overview by Harsh Pant.

See our free lectures on India’s Foreign Policy here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYSuG-KZy7JApHupmkH7ZvaEalBhsHFnU

Additional Books and Sources: 

  • Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy by Shivshankar Menon
  • Can the Elephant Dance? By David Malone

              MPSE-001- IGNOU Material- India and the World (Unit 1- 6)

See how to approach how to approach Political Science and International Relations Answer Writing here https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYSuG-KZy7JAlQ31xQfN2hA_eYOQIA3C0

For free downloads of materials, join our PSIR telegram group:  https://t.me/PSIRforUPSCandPCS

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