Political Science Optional Paper: Books to read for Civil Services Main Exam

Political Science as an optional paper gained more popularity when Tina Dabi secured All India Rank 1 in UPSC Civil Services Exam 2015 selecting Political Science as her optional subject. In this post, we list useful books and study materials to score high for Political Science optional paper.

Political Science books

Note: Aspirants can click on the links to buy books online at discounted prices.

Books for Political Science: Paper 1

  1. Fifty major political thinkers by Ian Adams and RW Dyson.
  2. An introduction to political theory by O.P Gauba.
  3. Foundations of Indian political thought by VR Mehta (read only necessary topics ).
  4. A new look at modern indian history by BL Grover and Alka Yagnik.
  5. An introduction to constitution by DD Basu.
  6. An Oxford companion to politics in India (some chapters).

Books for Political Science: Paper 2

  1. MPS-004 Comparative Politics: Issues and Trends by Expert Panel of GPH (IGNOU material).
  2. Global politics by Andrew Heywood.
  3. Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
  4. Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy
  5. India’s foreign policy – V P Dutt.
  6. International organisations by spectrum.

Books for extra reading/reference

  1. Working in a Democratic Constitution: A History of the Indian Experience by Austin Granville.
  2. Indian constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation by Austin Granville.
  3. Indian Home Rule (Hind Swaraj) by MK Gandhi.
  4. Makers of modern India by Ramchandra Guha (chapters with respect to BR Ambedkar and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan are good).
  5. Panchayati Raj: Oxford India Short Introductions by Kuldeep Mathur.

Extra tips: Read ‘The Hindu’ for politics as well as IR.  Use Internet for perspectives on IR. Some sites recommended are MEA, carnegie endowment, stage craft and state craft, etc.

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