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Best book on Indian diplomacy/international relations of india

hi everyone,
can you plz suggest me which book is best for Indian diplomacy/international relations of india?

Comments

  • edited February 2014
    1) Handbook of India's International Relations
    2) Does The Elephant Dance - Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy
    3) IGNOU: India & World module
  • @Stardust1901

    I am also looking for a standard reference book on IR, albeit of GS standard. Would you recommend these for GS too?
  • @Pink_Floyd
    IGNOU's India & World is an absolute essential for international relations of India, it is concise and gives the historical perspective and the important events in our relations with all the major players. The notes were written in around 2002 (Vajpayee is still the PM in their notes), so you will have to supplement it with recent developments from other sources.

    Does The Elephant Dance? is a nice read, is more up-to-date and much better written than IGNOU's notes. The pdf is available on the forum.

    Both of these should suffice for IR part of GS. IGNOU is more about the factual and historical part, while Does The Elephant Dance? is analytical and speculative.
  • edited May 2013
    I would also highly recommend the South Asia Plus quarterly journal of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. pdfs available on their website.
    http://www.ipcs.org/
    It has analyses of important recent events in our corner of the world, and Gs mains will probably have dynamic questions.

  • @Stardust1901 : Bro, if you can put up the link for 'Does the elephant dance'?? I went through search option of forum...The elephant wasnt dancing there :P
    CSE 2014| 1st Attempt | AIR 470s| IRS C&CE
    ESE 2014| 1st Attempt | AIR 90s |
  • @alphaqsecc Uploading it here again.Can't quite remember who uploaded it but credit to him/her.
    pdf
    pdf
    Does the elephant dance.pdf
    2M
  • @Dilip : Thanks brother :)
    CSE 2014| 1st Attempt | AIR 470s| IRS C&CE
    ESE 2014| 1st Attempt | AIR 90s |
  • edited May 2013
    Well i just found that it was in the thread "Political Science and International Relations" .Credit to @oxford95 :)
  • I read Shashi Tharoor's Pax Indica recently, and thought that's a good holistic(identifies weak points, solutions and some relevant data) account of Indian foreign policy as well, but of course it needs to be backed up by some foundation reading like IGNOU notes.
    IFS aspirant | History Optional | 3rd attempt | 2nd interview|
  • I read Shashi Tharoor's Pax Indica recently, and thought that's a good holistic(identifies weak points, solutions and some relevant data) account of Indian foreign policy as well, but of course it needs to be backed up by some foundation reading like IGNOU notes.
    Will you recommend Pax Indica for GS? Will it not be a overkill? Do you have the soft copy of it? It is way too costly to buy. :P
  • hehe.. For GS it quite possibly is an overkill.. But yeah, since David Malone's book has been recommended I felt I needed to throw this one's hat into the ring as well... :P It's an absorbing read, and with the new GS pattern and expanded (or rather, more specific) IR portion, this may help. It'll definitely help for Essay if you get a conducive topic. I'd say it's worth a read!

    P.S. Sorry. No soft copy. I could lend you my hard copy if you stay close by though :P (Bangalore right now, ORN from June)
    IFS aspirant | History Optional | 3rd attempt | 2nd interview|
  • hehe.. For GS it quite possibly is an overkill.. But yeah, since David Malone's book has been recommended I felt I needed to throw this one's hat into the ring as well... :P It's an absorbing read, and with the new GS pattern and expanded (or rather, more specific) IR portion, this may help. It'll definitely help for Essay if you get a conducive topic. I'd say it's worth a read!

    P.S. Sorry. No soft copy. I could lend you my hard copy if you stay close by though :P (Bangalore right now, ORN from June)
    Thanks! :)

    I am in Mumbai. :( - Will check my local library.
    You seem to be a voracious reader. :) Any other good reads that you will want to recommend? General books for GS/Essay/knowledge etc.?

    - How about Imagining India - Nandan Nilekani ? I have heard good reviews about it. :)
  • @Partho
    you will get a rough idea about imagining india by watching this video
  • Well yeah, I do try to read, but UPSC doesn't really give you too much time for extraneous reading does it? But off the top of my head I would say India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha and Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani are terrific reads and won't make you feel like you are wasting your time while preparing for the exam. I recently read Service of the State by Bhaskar Ghose, and found it quite captivating and quite an eye opener into the life of an IAS officer. If you like World History I would also recommend Hobsbawm( "Age of" series), his insights into the evolution of the modern world are quite... well... insightful.. hehe (As you can see I am partial to history) Reading India Since Independence by Bipan Chandra right now.

    I have heard good things about Imagining India as well. No first hand info though. There's a collection of articles called Re-Imagining India as well of which I have read a couple of articles(my roommate had a copy) and could recommend.

    I am sure @subhagha doesn't appreciate me hijacking his/her thread to pontificate on my reading habits. Sorry :)
    IFS aspirant | History Optional | 3rd attempt | 2nd interview|
  • edited May 2013
    Service of the State by Bhaskar Ghose , normally read by officer trainees before leaving to Mussorrie . Seen my friends having their own respected copies ;)

    Imagining India is a good buy , will make you an obvious feeling towards development and state-building[ Normally we aspirants do read full of leftist oblique ones .]
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • edited May 2013
    @descorpio86 I must say, those are some really nice reads. "Pax Indica" is indeed worth the time and resources! "The Service of the State" is on my reading list, I wonder when would I have the time! :( However, "The Insiders View" by Jawed Chaudhary and "The Honest Always Stands Alone" by C.G.Somiah I.A.S (Home Secy (GoI), CVC, CAG) are also worth considering!
  • edited May 2013
    @partho To add to what has already been mentioned, "Imagining India" is indeed worth a read. As a college senior (IAS-2011) puts it, this book helps you understand the Governments' perspective.

    Recently I was reading "The Life of Mahatama Gandhi" by Louis Fischer. As much as its useful for the "Modern India and Freedom Struggle" portion, it also helps understand why Mahatama Gandhi is revered throughout the World!

    There are two more books(among many others), which I would recommend. They may not be directly helpful in the Civil Services examination, but they do make up for some good reading and help in developing a wider perspective!

    1. "The Story of India" by Michael Woods, 10,000 year history of the Indian Subcontinent.
    2. "Pakistan: Eye of the Storm" by Bennet Jones. It gives you the other-side of the story. The neutral/ 3rd party/ non-Indian take on Pakistan in totality, which includes the Kashmir issues among a lot else.

    PS - I read "Pakistan: Eye of the Storm" back in 2009. So, I am not sure if they have reprinted with updates. The one I have is with General Musharraf on the cover page!
  • @fallen_leaves & @descorpio86

    I think we should start a new thread where we can discuss all general books that are worth reading (Before we die)

    New thread: http://forumias.com/discussion/1324/amazing-books-worth-reading-before-you-die
    :)
  • And yes. Apologies to @subhagha :)
  • edited May 2013
    .
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • edited December 2013
    I have pushpesh pant and v.n. Khanna for foreign policy...
    is this sufficient??
    @Vibin
    @fallen_leaves sir
    Assistant Commandant ITBP
  • edited December 2013
    I have pushpesh pant and v.n. Khanna for foreign policy...
    is this sufficient??
    Most of the foreign policy books, including this, are good enough to get the basic theory and historical context. However, pretty much none of the IR questions in GS-II could have been answered through any of these books. There needs to be a heavy reliance on current affairs and opinion/analysis.
  • @Stardust
    much needed guidence..
    thanks a lot
    Assistant Commandant ITBP
  • yeah vn khanna is cool :) i have older version though covers till 2010
  • edited February 2014
    I recently read "Challenges and Strategy" by Rajiv Sikri and would recommend it as a must read for a neutral and futuristic outlook on India's foreign relations. It was also recommended in the article published in the 'employment news' as a reference, just after the new syllabus was introduced.
  • @Pink_Floyd
    IGNOU's India & World is an absolute essential for international relations of India, it is concise and gives the historical perspective and the important events in our relations with all the major players. The notes were written in around 2002 (Vajpayee is still the PM in their notes), so you will have to supplement it with recent developments from other sources.

    Does The Elephant Dance? is a nice read, is more up-to-date and much better written than IGNOU's notes. The pdf is available on the forum.

    Both of these should suffice for IR part of GS. IGNOU is more about the factual and historical part, while Does The Elephant Dance? is analytical and speculative.

    Can some share IGNOU: India and the World

  • edited February 2016
    I recently read "Challenges and Strategy" by Rajiv Sikri and would recommend it as a must read for a neutral and futuristic outlook on India's foreign relations. It was also recommended in the article published in the 'employment news' as a reference, just after the new syllabus was introduced.

    @kunalarya Can you share the reference books given in the employment news



  • A lot of people have already mentioned Malone's Does the Elephant Dance which is a very good book. But it's 4-5 years old now and hence, a little dated. And this is a problem with most books that are more than 2 years old.

    Since this question is about a book for a non Pol. Science Optional person and for a general understanding, I'd suggest reading the Introduction from Muchukund Dubey's book in India's foreign policy. In 40 odd pages he gives you an overview about different aspects. And then you can supplement it with newspaper and magazine articles.
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