While preparing for UPSC CSE, it is important to be in line with the syllabus designed by UPSC. One such portion of the syllabus is International Relations and in this article, we have provided a list of Best Books to Study International Relations for UPSC CSE Mains and optional exam.
The study of international relations is an integral part of the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Civil Services Examination, specifically under the General Studies Paper II (GS-II).
This paper focuses on governance, polity, and international relations. Understanding international relations is a must for aspirants willing in this highly competitive examination.
This International Relations topic comprises a wide range of topics, including global politics, diplomacy, foreign policy, international organizations, and India’s role in the world.
Best Books to Study International Relations for UPSC CSE
Candidates are advised to stick to the syllabus while covering the International Relations topics. Aspirants with International relations as an optional subject required a greater depth of knowledge related to this topic compared to the other aspirants.
This booklist is majorly helpful for those who have chosen Political Science and International Relations as their optional subject. The rest of the aspirants are advised not to go too deep into these books and should stick strictly according to the syllabus.
Here, we have provided a list of valuable resources to help aspirants prepare for the international relations section of the UPSC CSE Mains.
“The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations” by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens
This book provides an excellent introduction to the field of international relations. It covers key theories, concepts, and actors in global politics.
With its clear language and detailed coverage, it is an important resource for understanding the dynamics of the international system.
“Global Politics” by Andrew Heywood
This book is written in an accessible style and provides a broad overview of global politics. It covers topics such as power, globalization, international organizations, and security.
In this book, the author presents complex ideas in a simplified manner, making it ideal for UPSC aspirants.
“Theories of Comparative Politics The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered” by Ronald H. Chilcote
This book presents the theories of comparative politics and provides insights into different approaches and paradigms.
It explores the complexities of political systems, institutions, and societal factors. With its easy language, it helps aspirants grasp the nuances of comparative politics.
IGNOU notes on Comparative Politics
The study materials provided by IGNOU on comparative politics are valuable resources for UPSC aspirants.
They offer concise yet informative content on various themes related to comparative politics, facilitating a deeper understanding of different political systems and their comparative analysis.
The preparation for the International Relations topic can be supplemented by further readings:
“Theories of International Relations” by Palgrave Publications
This book provides a detailed overview of theories in international relations. It covers realism, liberalism, constructivism, and other important approaches.
“The Oxford Handbook of International Relations” by Christian Reus-Smit and Duncan Snidal
This handbook offers in-depth insights into various aspects of international relations. It covers a wide range of topics, including international institutions, security, and global governance.
“Understanding International Relations” by Chris Brown and Kirsten Ainley
This book provides the key themes and debates in international relations. It covers topics such as globalization, terrorism, and human rights.
The authors of this book presented complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner, making it suitable for UPSC aspirants.
“Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches” by Georg Sorenson and Robert Jackson
This book provides a solid foundation in international relations. It introduces different theoretical perspectives and analyzes their applications.
India and the World Section of International Relations
To have a better understanding of India and the World Section of International Relations it is important to read these books to improve their preparation.
“Indian Foreign Policy: An Overview” by Harsh Pant
This book provides an overview of India’s foreign policy. It covers India’s historical context, key principles, challenges, and strategic priorities.
“International Relations” by Mcgraw Hill Education
This book focuses on India’s role in the international scenario. It covers various aspects of India’s foreign policy, including bilateral and multilateral relations.
Important Websites to Follow
When preparing for international relations for UPSC CSE Mains, staying updated with current affairs and gaining insights from reputable sources is crucial. Here are some websites that provide valuable information and analysis on international relations:
- Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA): The IDSA website (www.idsa.in) offers a wide range of articles, research papers, and policy briefs on international relations, security issues, and strategic affairs. It is a valuable resource for understanding regional dynamics and emerging global trends.
- Ministry of External Affairs (MEA): The official website of the Ministry of External Affairs (www.mea.gov.in) provides updates on India’s diplomatic engagements, official statements, and foreign policy initiatives. It is an essential source for understanding India’s foreign relations and the country’s stance on various international issues.
- United Nations (UN) website: The official website of the United Nations (www.un.org) provides access to reports, publications, and resolutions related to international relations and global governance. It is a reliable source for understanding the UN’s role in promoting international peace and cooperation.
- Foreign Policy: Foreign Policy (foreignpolicy.com) is a widely respected magazine that covers international affairs, diplomacy, and global politics. Their website offers articles, analysis, and expert commentary on a range of international issues.
Supplement Preparation by Using an Online Platform
When preparing for the international relations section of the UPSC Mains examination, online platforms can be valuable resources for accessing study materials. One such platform is ClearIAS.com, which provides free study material for international relations.
Aspirants are advised to follow the news related to international affairs closely on a day-to-day basis. To assess their progress in their preparation, it is required to attempt a reliable mock test. ClearIAS provide mock test based on the latest pattern of UPSC CSE to supplement the preparation of aspirants.
Tips to Prepare for International Relations
Tips to Study International Relations for UPSC Mains:
- Understand the Syllabus: Begin by thoroughly understanding the syllabus for the international relations section of UPSC Mains. Identify the key topics and sub-topics to prioritize your study.
- Read Comprehensive Study Materials: Choose reliable study materials that cover a wide range of international relations topics. Refer to standard textbooks, recommended books, and study guides specifically designed for UPSC preparation.
- Make Notes: While studying, make concise notes on important concepts, theories, and current affairs related to international relations. These notes will serve as quick revision material closer to the exam date.
- Stay Updated with Current Affairs: International relations is a dynamic field, heavily influenced by current events. Regularly read newspapers, online platforms, and international relations magazines to stay updated with global affairs and their impact on India’s foreign policy.
- Analyze Case Studies: Analyze real-world case studies to understand the application of international relations theories and concepts. Study historical events, diplomatic crises, and international conflicts to gain insights into decision-making processes and their consequences.
- Practice Answer Writing: Develop the skill of writing clear, structured, and well-articulated answers. Practice answering previous years’ question papers and simulate the exam environment to enhance your writing speed and time management skills.
- Revise Regularly: Allocate dedicated time for revision, focusing on key concepts, theories, and case studies. Regular revision helps consolidate knowledge and improves retention.
- Practice Mock Tests: Take regular mock tests to evaluate your progress and identify areas that need improvement. Mock tests will familiarize you with the exam pattern and boost your confidence for the actual examination.
Article Written By: Priti Raj