International Relations Book for UPSC Mains GS Paper 2

Physics Wallah Academic Expert
August 09, 2023

International Relations is one of the important topics in the UPSC Mains General Studies paper 2. The International Relations topic focuses on the foreign policy of India, regional cooperation, bilateral relations, etc. 

In this blog, we have provided an overview of the International Relations important topics and important books for International Relations for UPSC. Considering the standard of the UPSC civil services exam, aspirants must prepare with the latest study material to excel in the examination. 

The International Relations book for UPSC comes with in-depth information with proper statistics, which can be used to score more in the descriptive paper. 

Important Topics in UPSC International Relations Paper

The following are the important topics in the UPSC International Relations paper. 

Foreign Policy

  • Foreign Policy Architecture
  • Strategic Autonomy
  • Soft Power
  • Dynamics of Foreign Policy
  • India's Role in Future
  • Nuclear Doctrine
  • Big Brother
  • Historical Events in International Relations
  • Systemic Challenges


  • India - Afghanistan: Challenges; Geo-political Developments
  • India - Australia: AUSIDEX
  • India - Bangladesh: Boundary Settlement; Relations; Legacy of Pakistan; Illegal Immigration
  • India - Bhutan: Growth of Democracy
  • India - China: Comparison; China's Foreign Policy; Boundary Issues; Relations; Arunachal Pradesh; Tibet; One Belt One Road; China - Superpower?; China-Pak-India; Counter-Terrorism Drills; Dam on Brahmaputra; China's West Asia Policy
  • India - Pakistan: Confidence Building Measures; Kashmir Dispute; Terrorism; Peace Proposal; Gilgit-Baltistan; Nuclear India-Pak-US
  • India - Sri Lanka: Overview; Elections in Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka PM visi; Sri Lanka war crimes; Tamil Issue; OHCHR Resolution on Sri Lanka; Recent
  • India - USA: Overview; BIT President's Visit; Chinese Angle; Nuclear Deal Defence Ties - DTTI; Strategic and Commercial Dialogue; S & T; US or China; People to People; US-China vis-a-vis Pakistan; Climate; FATCA-Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act; LEMA-Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement
  • India - Germany: Overview; Cultural Ties; Merkel's India Visit-3rd Intergovernmental Consultation held
  • India - Japan: Relations; Railways; Nuclear Pact
  • India - Iram: Relations; Chabahar Port
  • India - Nepal: Nepal Constitutional Crisis; Relations
  • India - UK: Relations; Economic; Kohinoor Controversy
  • India - Saudi Arabia: Overview; India-Saudi-Iran
  • India - Canada: Uranium Deal
  • India - Israel: Overview; Palestine
  • India - Italy: Italian Marine Case
  • India - Mauritius: DTAC
  • India - Myanmar: Buddhist Chauvinism
  • India - North Korea: Relations; North Korea Events
  • India - Pacific Islands: Papua New Guinea
  • India - South Korea: Overview; Strategic Partnership
  • India - Russia: Relations
  • India - Mongolia: Relations
  • India - Sudan: Overview; Arrest of President
  • India - Sweden: Relations; Sustainable Urban Development
  • India - Turkey: Kurdish Movement
  • India - Netherlands: Relations
  • India - Cambodia: Overview
  • India - Chile: Overview
  • India - France: Overview
  • India - Ireland: Overview
  • India - Jordan: Overview
  • India - Maldives: Overview
  • India - Morocco: Overview
  • India - Mozambique: Overview
  • India - Singapore: Overview


  • ASEAN - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Central Asia
  • SAARC - The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  • BBIN - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal
  • Indo-pacific Issues
  • West Asia
  • India - EU
  • SCO - The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
  • BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
  • EEU - The Eurasian Economic Union
  • BCIM - Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar
  • IBSA - India, Brazil, and South Africa
  • APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • IAFS - The India-Africa Forum Summit (Bilateral & Multilateral)
  • NSS - Nuclear Security Summit
  • RCEP - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

International Institutes and Treaties

  • APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • BIT - Bilateral Investment Treaty
  • CTBT - The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
  • IBRD - The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • ICC - The International Chamber of Commerce
  • ICJ - The International Court of Justice
  • IDA - The International Development Association
  • IMF - The International Monetary Fund
  • ISA - International Solar Alliance
  • MTCR - The Missile Technology Control Regime
  • NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • NDB - New Development Bank
  • NPT - The Non - Proliferation Treaty and its Failure
  • NSG - Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • PCA - Permanent Court of Arbitration
  • TPP - The Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • TFA - Trade Facilitation Agreement
  • TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
  • UN - United Nations
  • UNSC - The United Nations Security Council
  • WHO - The World Health Organization
  • WTO - The World Trade Organization
  • WIPO - The World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Diplomatic Immunity - Saudi Diplomat Rape Case

Global Issues

  • East Asia
  • Syrian Crisis
  • South China Sea
  • UK Referendum - Brexit
  • Refugee Problem
  • Israeli Settlement
  • Diaspora
  • Internet Governance
  • World Trade Pattern
  • Global Hunger
  • China Currency Devaluation and its Impact
  • China - Economic Slowdown
  • Currency Wars
  • Quantitative Easing
  • Japan's Pacifism
  • Europe Crisis
  • Venezuela - Columbia Border Issue
  • Catalonia - Spain
  • Greece Crisis

Best International Relations Books for UPSC

Preparing with the best International Relations book for UPSC is important to get a good score on the exam. The International Relations paper contains questions for 250 marks. Hence, candidates should check the important topics and understand the weightage of the topics. 

Also, checking the previous year's question papers is necessary to understand the question type and the pattern followed. Hence, selecting the International Relations book with previous year's papers also plays an important role in the preparation. 

UPSC Sampoorna International Relations 

The following are some of the benefits of International Relations books for UPSC. 

Holistic and In-Depth Discussion

This International Relations book for UPSC contains an in-depth discussion of all the topics. Moreover, it is prepared as per the core needs and requirements of the UPSC preliminary and main examination. Therefore, candidates can refer to them to know how the concepts started and get a clear idea about them. 

Different Understanding Methods

Different explanation methods like diagrams, timelines, flow charts, and comparative tables are included in this International Relations book for UPSC. Hence, it helps the candidates in quick understanding and easy revision. 

One Stop Solution

This International Relations book for UPSC is a one-stop solution for comprehensive and integrated subjects. Moreover, it provides topic-wise coverage. Hence, candidates can first refer to the easier topics and move on to the complex topics. This helps them to cover the portions faster. 

Integrated and Holistic Preparation

The UPSC exam consists of two stages called preliminary and Mains. This International Relations book for UPSC provides integrated and holistic preparation for both UPSC Prelims and Mains exam. 

Previous Year UPSC Papers

This International Relations book for UPSC contains Prelims and Mains exam previous year papers. This helps the candidates to assess their understanding of the topics. Moreover, they can use last years' papers for analysis. 

Tips to Prepare for UPSC International Relations Paper

The following are the tips to prepare for the UPSC International Relations paper.

Besides investing in the International Relations book for UPSC, candidates should follow the current events to understand the dynamic nature of the questions asked in the previous years. Moreover, the questions are current affairs oriented.

Hence, static knowledge with updates is important for International Relations preparation. Candidates can follow two newspapers in this regard.

  • The Hindu
  • The Indian Express

The Editorials section of The Hindu newspaper contains information regarding International Relations papers written comprehensively. Therefore, aspirants can cover the topic holistically. 

The Indian Express provides political views which are unbiased. This helps the aspirants to develop and write unbiased answers, which is one of the mandatory aspects for the UPSC exam. Besides these newspapers, the Ministry of External Affairs website will help the aspirants get information about press releases and important announcements related to foreign policy changes. 

In addition to this, magazines like Economic and Political Weekly can also be followed to get the viewpoint of different authors. Candidates can follow this if there is any significant affair in the news close to the examination. 

International Relations Books for UPSC FAQs

Q1. What is the use of the UPSC International Relations book? 

Ans. By preparing from the UPSC International Relations book, candidates can get a holistic and in-depth discussion and get different understanding methods. 

Q2. Is International Relations a good optional subject for the UPSC exam?

Ans. International Relations is one of the good optional subjects for the UPSC exam. 

Q3. How can I prepare for the UPSC International Relations current affairs section?

Ans. Candidates can prepare from the newspaper's editorial: The Hindu and The Indian Express. 

Q4. What is the weightage given for the International Relations paper in UPSC?

Ans. The weightage for the International Relations paper in UPSC is 250 marks. 

Q5. What are the five important areas to be focused on in the UPSC International Relations paper? 

Ans. The five important areas to be focused on are Foreign Policy, Bilateral, Multilateral, International Institutes & Treaties, and Global Issues.

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