Sunday, 29 March 2015

BCS Written Syllabus - International Affairs

Total Marks 100
(For both General and Technical/Professional Cadres)

International Affairs is a compulsory paper for candidates of competitive examinations under the Public
Service Commission, Bangladesh and applicable to both general and professional cadre. This paper
deals with conceptual issues and actors in the study of international affairs. It starts with a basic
understanding of international affairs, its nature and evolution. It focuses on both conceptual and
empirical issues in international affairs. Under this paper basic concepts and theories such as power,
balance of power, realism, liberalism/neo-liberalism, foreign policy, security, trade, and environment
will be addressed. The empirical focus of the paper is on understanding bilateral and multilateral
relations, processes, functions, and politics of regional and global institutions. The paper is divided into
two sections: conceptual and empirical issues.

Proposed Distribution of Marks:
1. Short Conceptual Notes : 10 out of 12 10 x 4 =40
2. Analytical Questions: 3 out of 4 questions 3 x 15 =45
3. Problem-solving question 1 x 15 =15

Section A: Conceptual Issues
Introduction to International Affairs: Significance of international affairs; meaning and scope of international affairs; linkage between international affairs and international politics

Actors in the World: Modern state, types of state, sovereignty, non-state actors, international institutions, relations between state and non-state actors

Power and Security: power, national power, balance of power, disarmament, arms control, geopolitics, terrorism

Major Ideas and Ideologies: Nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, post-modernism, globalization and new world order
Foreign policy and Diplomacy: concepts of foreign policy and diplomacy, decision-making process, determinants of foreign policy, diplomatic functions, immunities, and privileges

International Economic Relations: International trade, free trade, protectionism, foreign aid, debt crisis, foreign direct investment (FDI), financial liberalization, regionalism, regionalization, North-South gap, global poverty, MDGs

Global Environment: Environmental issues challenges, climate change, global warming, climate adaptation, climate diplomacy

Section B: Empirical Issues

The United Nations System: The UN and its organs, importance and limitations of the UN, Reforms of the UN, Role of the Security Council, UN Peacekeeping and peace-building functions, Human rights agenda, Environmental agenda, International Court of Justice, and Women empowerment

Foreign Relations of Major Powers: USA, Russia, UK, China, France, Germany, India, Japan etc.

Global Initiatives and Institutions: World Bank, IMF, ADB, G8, G-77, WTO, Kyoto Protocol, COP

Regional Institutions: SAARC, BIMSTEC, EU, ASEAN, NATO, APEC, OIC, AU, GCC

Major Issues and Conflicts in the World: The Palestine Problem, the Arab Spring, the Kashmir Issue, the Syrian Crisis, Persian Gulf Conflict, nuclear issue and Iran, the North Korean issue, territorial disputes in Southeast and East Asia, Nuclear proliferation and other contemporary issues.

Politics in South Asia: India-Pakistan relations, Bangladesh-India relations, regional integration, water dispute, border problems and terrorism

Bangladesh in International Affairs: Major achievements, challenges, future directions

Section C: Problem-solving
The candidates may be asked to come up with an analysis of a problem and its solution on any aspect of global developments and security issues, such as trade, climate change, foreign aid, arms proliferation etc.


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