Strategy for International Relations for CSS Exam (By: Ayesha Younas)

Strategy for International Relations for CSS Exam

Written by: Ayesha Younas

Assalam u alaikum everyone! I had received a lot of requests for a strategy to Study International Relations. I know, I am quite late but it was like a heavy burden on me, and with this article I feel quite relieved. Anyway, I have simply categorized the syllabus of both papers into different sections in a particular pattern, which may or may not be followed. The procedure including the books has been explained along with the analysis of 2016 paper pattern. I hope I have done justice with it, for further queries kindly comment below. Happy Reading!

Sections of IR (Paper I & II)

1) History Section (AB)

i. International Relation between two Wars: Russian Revolution, Fascism, League of Nations, Second World War
ii. Cold War: Decolonization in Asia and Africa, Rise of United States and Soviet Union, Era of Tight Bipolarity, Détente and Loose Bipolarity, Revival of Cold War
iii. Post Cold War: End of History, Clash of Civilizations, Terrorism, Globalization, Unipolarity (New World Order) and Revival of Multi-Polarity

2) Theories and Approaches Section (JB)

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i. The Classical Approaches-Realism and Idealism
ii. Neo-realism, Neo-liberalism.
iii. The Scientific Revolution-Behavioral Approach, System Approach*
iv. Post-modernism, Critical Theory, Feminism, Constructivism*

3) Concepts Section

i. The Definition and Scope of International Relations
ii. The Nation-State System
iii. Evolution of International Society
iv. Conceptualization of security in the Twenty-First century
v. Power. Elements of National Power
vi. Balance of Power
vii. Foreign Policy: Determinants, Decision Making and Analysis
viii. Sovereignty
ix. National Interest
x. War: Causation of War, Total War, Limited War, Asymmetric Warfare, Civil War, Guerilla Warfare
xi. Strategic Culture: Determinants of Pakistani Strategic Culture.
xii. Theories in IPE: Mercantilism, Economic Liberalism, and Neo- Marxism*
xiii. Theories of Imperialism, Dependence and Interdependence discourse
xiv. Nationalism
xv. Internationalism*
xvi. Globalization
xvii. Diplomacy
xviii. International Law
xix. Arms Control /Disarmament and Nuclear Non proliferation Regime.
xx. Weapons of Mass Destruction: Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Weapon States- Programs and Postures: Indian-Pakistan Nuclear Doctrines, Nuclear Non –Proliferation Regime: International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty; Nuclear Supplier Group; Partial Test Ban Treaty; Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty; Challenges of Non-Proliferation, Cooperation for Nuclear Energy; The Missile Defence Systems and their impact on global strategic environment; Militarization and Weaponization of Space.

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4) Foreign Policy of Selected Countries

i. USA, Russia, China, UK, India, Pakistan and EU

5) Current Affairs Section: Regional Relations

i. India and Pakistan: Overview of agreements and accords, Indus Water Treaty; Composite Dialogue; Sir Creek & Siachen border, Visa and People to people contact; Trade; and Role of civil society Peace-making and Peace-Building in South Asia: Analytical overview of peace processes between/among the states of South Asia especially between India and Pakistan.
ii. Pakistan and Afghanistan: Cold war theatre; Soviet Invasion and Mujahedeen; Geneva Accord; Post Cold War situation—Rise of Taliban, AL-Qeada & 9/11; Operation Enduring Freedom; The Bonn Process- Withdrawal

6) Current Affairs Section: International Political Institutions and Regional Organizations

i. United Nations
ii. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
iii. World Bank
iv. International Court of Justice
vi. Reforms in the United Nations, World Bank and the IMF

7) Current Affairs Section: Contemporary Global Issues

i. Euro-Atlantic Vs. Asia Pacific: Great Power Policies
ii. Kashmir Issue
iii. Palestine Issue

*=Short Notes Only

If you have a look at the above categorization, you’d realize that it is the complete syllabus of IR. A mere change of perception can simplify apparent complex ideas. Before starting the preparation of this subject, keep the IR Past Paper Analysis handy. The above data is your map and the past paper analysis is your key.

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Technically, you only need to cover the First 4 Sections. The other sections are merely overlapping with Current Affairs (CA) as well as Pakistan Affairs. The manner of covering the topics is also mentioned. Firstly, complete the history portion from Anthony Best’s book, reason being, you need to have your world history straight before you study the concepts. The bigger picture i.e. the World History must be clear before studying the components. Secondly, go to Globalization of World Politics by John Baylis (JB) for theories. Then, use these books to cover your concepts portion, you’ll be able to find all of the concepts from these books; Prakash Chander (PC), Joshua Goldstein (JG), Globalization of World Politics (JB), Understanding IR by Chris Brown (CB). For foreign policy’s portion, some countries’ foreign policy (outdated) is mentioned in Parkash Chander, however, you’ll have to research online. (Foreign Policies of Major Countries: History (Peu Gosh), Contemporary

Furthermore, you don’t have to read all the books completely, except for the History portion. Read relevant topics to clear your concepts. It’s more like being a gold miner and extracting only what you need. Anyway, you only need to purchase parkash chander, which is a standard book for IR. All other books are available online on Bookfi . net.

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2016 Paper Pattern

1) Paper 1 Pattern

i. 5 Questions were from the Concepts Section (you need to prepare all of the concepts in depth)
ii. 1 Question from Current Affairs Section specifically International Organization i.e. UN
iii. 1 Question from Theories Section (even if you had prepared a 10 mark note of the less important theories you would have been able to answer this question)

2) Paper 2 Pattern

i. 2 Questions from History Section (a tricky one, but not really if you studied it well)
ii. 1 Question from Foreign Policy Section
iii. 4 Questions from CA; South Asia Relations(Pak-Afghan), Domestic (Nuclear Programme)(Pak-Saudi alliance’s implications on the country), Global Issue (Greece Economic Crisis)
Now, considering the Pattern you’d realize that smart study would be sufficient.

Only 4 Sections and CA. Voila, you’re good to go!

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