ForumIAS:Current Affairs & Newspaper Analysis 2018(Morning Batch)
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Review: Rajiv Sikri's IR Book V/s Does the Elephant Dance?

Dear friends,

Suggest me any one book which you guys find more useful.

Also tell will it be worth it to go for the book: India's Foreign Policy by Muchkund Dubey

I know hardly anybody has read all these 3, so you may also provide the review on any single book.

Seniors, plz suggest any 1 out of 3. Thanks

Comments

  • edited September 2013
    Sorry for using this thread.. but can anyone please share the Rajiv Sikri book pdf. I guess earlier it was there in the folder4ias. Please pm me. Thanks in anticipation.

    @Doon_20 I personally havent read them.. but by people's reviews..
    Malone - suggested by rank28 last to last year.
    Sikri - http://insightsonindia.com/2013/07/23/how-to-prepare-upsc-civil-services-mains-paper-iii-gs-2/
    Dubey - nowhere i found it as a prescription.
    जहाँ जन्नत की उम्मीद ही नहीं वहाँ गुनाहो से क्या डरना..
  • Me too. I shall be grateful.
  • guys anyone??
  • @Doon_20 Sikri is good to start with. I recommend to read History of the World before starting Sikri.

    Regarding Does the Elephant Dance? I will start it next week and will let you know about it.
    CSM-2014
    CSM-2015
  • edited October 2013
    If somebody wants to have another option, check out Sumit Ganguly. I have used it this year and I quite like it. To someone who is yet to buy a Foreign Policy book, I would say- go to a bookstore and surf all the mentioned books and see which suits your reading style. (And then go home and flipkart it :P)

    I don't buy the whole 'we should buy foreign policy books written by practitioners and not by academics' argument. If that was the case, we would be buying Political Science texts authored by Lalu Yadav and not Andrew Heywood. And Sachin would make best Cricket commentator and columnist in the world. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

    PS: Sumit Ganguly doesn't cover multilateral organizations, LAC, Africa, etc., but, on the plus side, has additional stand-alone chapters on energy security, economic policy and nuclear policy.
  • edited October 2013
    Rajiv Sikri's book is good, but is 4 years old which is a lifetime in IR.

    Non-Alignment 2.0 along with IDSA's Asian Strategic Review 2012 + Grand Strategy of India should be more than enough to do a comprehensive SWOT analysis of India's international standing. All of these are available for free on the internet and can easily replace Sikri or Malone's book for CSE purposes.

    For current IR developments these, among many others, can be referred to:
    http://www.gatewayhouse.in/
    http://www.ipcs.org/
    http://the-diplomat.com/
  • @Stardust I really admire your conviction in your strategy. It's so refreshing to see someone picking his own sources and sticking to them with confidence when it's usual to see on the forum people having doubts about how to make notes and how to read newspaper and all that as if it's the first examination they are writing in their life. All the best, buddy. Sincerely hoping for a top rank for you and not just scraping through :) I am sure this is a feeling shared by many on the forum who have followed your posts and have benefited from your help and advice.

    At the same time, I would advise 2014 aspirants to have at least one standard IR text (whichever is your pick) which covers not just currents events and issues (which one can do from newspaper and IDSA) but the entire chronology of the relationship with neighbors and majors partners, and also the aspects that might not have been in news of late. It saves a lot of time.
  • @Stardust...I would prefer to go through a standard text b4 going through online material. This would atleast make my mind more peaceful reg the subject even if all of it is covered in the web.
  • @Stardust...I would prefer to go through a standard text b4 going through online material. This would atleast make my mind more peaceful reg the subject even if all of it is covered in the web.
    No problem. Does The elephant Dance is a good book for getting the basics of India's foreign policy and some historical context. I have not seen the Sikri book, but even that will probably be good enough. Like someone else said, flip through the various books in a bookstore and choose the one which you are most comfortable with.

    You can check out the ebooks I mentioned at:
    http://www.idsa.in/book/GrandStrategyforIndia2020andBeyond
    www.idsa.in/system/files/book_ASR2012.pdf‎
    www.cprindia.org/sites/default/files/NonAlignment%202.0_1.pdf‎

  • @stardust...is right here..does the elephant dance by david malone+muchkund dubey's latest book is more then enough if u can complete them properly and gain insights from them..along with that the hindu,frontline,world focus,any competitive magazine and the links provided by @stardust would be enough on international relations..u can also follow the articles of idsa..no need to go with rajiv sikri as it is outdated..if u want to have some basic note types material then i have already updated a thread on international relations...here it is...

    http://forumias.com/discussion/2691/international-relations-material-under-one-thread#Item_14

    i hope that will be more than enough on international relations..along withe historical perspectives u need 2 be aware of the current equations in diplomacy and world affairs..hope i have been of some help..

    thank you all.. B-) :)>-
  • @Stardust I really admire your conviction in your strategy. It's so refreshing to see someone picking his own sources and sticking to them with confidence when it's usual to see on the forum people having doubts about how to make notes and how to read newspaper and all that as if it's the first examination they are writing in their life. All the best, buddy. Sincerely hoping for a top rank for you and not just scraping through :) I am sure this is a feeling shared by many on the forum who have followed your posts and have benefited from your help and advice.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence! This forum is filled with enough prospective civil servants, you being one them, to keep oneself humble and realistic. Its worthwhile to keep in mind that luck is a fickle mistress, especially in an exam of this scale.
  • I am reading V P Dutt- FP since Independence for history.
    Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress.
  • Has Rajiv Sikri's book on IR been updated? It does show on Flipkart as print 2013, but at times it happens to be just re-printing the earlier edition. Can anyone clarify the same?
    Thank you.
  • Has Rajiv Sikri's book on IR been updated? It does show on Flipkart as print 2013, but at times it happens to be just re-printing the earlier edition. Can anyone clarify the same?
    Thank you.
    Come on... Nobody purchased a new edition of Sikri?
  • rajiv sikri's a good book to begin with for those who are new at IR , it gives a base . Before that doing history of world is a good option , because things go in a flow , reading sikri will be comparitively easy after doing world histroy 1st .
    Does the Elephants Dance is also a very good book , but directly jumping into it(for a beginner) is not recommended , it suits pretty much for both mains n also interview , it gives u the fodder required in mains in a precise manner and is also in the much needed opinion based questions (both in mains and interview0 but reading it with out a strong base will only eat away ur time .
    so i suggest world history then Rajiv sikri and then does the elephants dance along with few websites like MEA(ministry of external affairs) and if time permits Diplomat magazine
  • can anyone please provide the e- book link of Rajiv Sikri ..
    Simplicity is the real beauty ..
  • India and it's neighbor is not good in Elephent. Google and wikipedia is much better.
    Sino-Indian and Indai-US relations are quite good though.

    As someone already mentioned that combination of google and any book on IR is better option.

    Other than this I think before jumping on newspaper(IR) one should be thorough with a book on IR
    It gives a better perspective.
  • bhai read rajiv sikri also and does the elephant dance also
    along with ncerts new and old too
    and after see the last year questions i will say do not read except ncert and the hindu
    next is your wish !!!
  • Its a sheer waste of time to read sikri. I agree its a wonderful book. Its way interesting but for mains sections, the hindu+ wikipedia is more than enough
    Manzil mile na mile ye to muqaddar ki baat hain, Hum koshish bhi na kare ye toh galat baat hain.
  • dubey looks congress biased
    sikri looks bjp biased(or congress opposed)
    malone is a canadian author whose views look unbiased towards indian politicians although favors america a little in criticizing india's non alignment stand...
    Upsc, whom we are concerned with is completely current affairs biased...
    malone is the latest compilation of the three but still looks outdated as per upsc standards...
    these books will give a basic perspective about indian foreign policy compiled at one place which can eventually be replaced by reading either wiki or ncert or any other stuff... but the utility of these books can be found in foreign policy since independence 1st paper...

    last yr (2013) a question on tashkent agreement appeared in paper 1 while coming to 2nd paper Ir part, gujral doctrine can be written from these books but it has got its relevance due to his demise previous yr(nov 2012 after oct mains) and also changing equations in south asia with china's aggressive economic policy... marine silk route which china proposed last year could be the reason why gujral doctrine and string of pearls(a repeated old question) appeared.. japan question might been asked because of its emperor visit which is very significant since he rarely visits any country... srilanka tamilnadu tussle was another latest issue that appeared as part of Ir...likewise every question can be related to current affairs and if we attempt the 2nd paper questions based on static basic knowledge not relating them to current changing dynamic scenario's we might not be reaching the expectations of upsc.
    if you read them for basic understanding that's well and good but if you leave current affairs that will be bad and worse.
  • Could anyone please share the following?

    www.idsa.in/system/files/book_ASR2012.pdf‎
    www.cprindia.org/sites/default/files/NonAlignment%202.0_1.pdf‎

    As right now it is not accessible.


    Thanks a lot :)
  • Promoter @ Civilsdaily's android app | To be human is to be curious, childlike, complex and immoral.
  • Since we are discussing IR sources, also review Pax Indica. Good for a basic read?

    @Stardust @ysoserious others
  • Sorry for using this thread.. but can anyone please share the Rajiv Sikri book pdf. I guess earlier it was there in the folder4ias. Please pm me. Thanks in anticipation.

    @Doon_20 I personally havent read them.. but by people's reviews..
    Malone - suggested by rank28 last to last year.
    Sikri - http://insightsonindia.com/2013/07/23/how-to-prepare-upsc-civil-services-mains-paper-iii-gs-2/
    Dubey - nowhere i found it as a prescription.
    Sorry for using this thread.. but can anyone please share the Rajiv Sikri book pdf. I guess earlier it was there in the folder4ias. Please pm me. Thanks in anticipation.

    @Doon_20 I personally havent read them.. but by people's reviews..
    Malone - suggested by rank28 last to last year.
    Sikri - http://insightsonindia.com/2013/07/23/how-to-prepare-upsc-civil-services-mains-paper-iii-gs-2/
    Dubey - nowhere i found it as a prescription.
    Sorry for using this thread.. but can anyone please share the Rajiv Sikri book pdf. I guess earlier it was there in the folder4ias. Please pm me. Thanks in anticipation.

    @Doon_20 I personally havent read them.. but by people's reviews..
    Malone - suggested by rank28 last to last year.
    Sikri - http://insightsonindia.com/2013/07/23/how-to-prepare-upsc-civil-services-mains-paper-iii-gs-2/
    Dubey - nowhere i found it as a prescription.


    http://civilmentor.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Challenge-and-Strategy-Rethinking-India_s-Foreign-Policy-Sikri-Rajiv.pdf
  • @devilanuj,

    Sikhri is outdated yes. If you want a very brief historic perspective , that will help you understand relations in a good manner.

    This + Hindu would suffice.

    If you know nothing about IR, I would suggest go for CST ( I do not own or have any interest in the magazine :P ) of last 6 months and do ONLY IR from there. Dont be ambitious and think of doing anything else from there. That along with Hindu will be good enough for Mains 2015, you could totally skip the book.

    This suggestion is for non-political science people only.

    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • @devilanuj,

    Sikhri is outdated yes. If you want a very brief historic perspective , that will help you understand relations in a good manner.

    This + Hindu would suffice.

    If you know nothing about IR, I would suggest go for CST ( I do not own or have any interest in the magazine :P ) of last 6 months and do ONLY IR from there. Dont be ambitious and think of doing anything else from there. That along with Hindu will be good enough for Mains 2015, you could totally skip the book.

    This suggestion is for non-political science people only.

    If for a pol science optional 2016..what do u suggest for some1 who doesn't know the basics?
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