PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion - ForumIAS

PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion

Hi peeps. Let’s do this!

1. Previous papers from 2009 (both papers are in the same PDF):here

2. Topic-wise PYQs: here 

3. Look for PDFs of books here: b-ok.cchttp://libgen.rs/archive.org

4. Model answers from SR:here 

5. OnlyIAS notes, if you need extra matter for a few topics:here 

6. SR notes, typed:politicsforindia.com

Bajrang Lonikar,Saloni2607and91 otherslike this
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1.2k comments

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I would start by saying how the study of electoral behavior is a result of the growth of the behavioral and post-behavioral approaches in political science and how it's important to understand the political atmosphere of a country. 


Then I would mention Milan Vaishnav who pointed out the difficulty of studying EB in India due its size and diversity. Substantiate it with Kenneth Arrow's 'impossibility theorem.' 


Then I would mention the trend in EB like how individuals vote more based on the party or the PM or CM candidate as in a presidential system than on the MP and MLA candidate. I would point out how people vote differently at national and state level and how the public differentiates between national issues and local issues (supported by the post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti). Also could mention 'federalization' of electoral politics where national elections are also heavily shaped by state-level factors.


I would also point out how people seem to be voting for criminals or those with criminal cases pending against them leading to criminalization of politics (maybe quote Milan Vaishnav again since it's a 30 mark question).


You could also add that voter turnout seems to be increasing as seen in the 2019 LS elections.


This is all I have in my notes, but we should definitely add the role of caste and religion in voting behavior and how it's changed, if it has changed. If anyone has these points, please post it here.

With respect to "federalisation of electoral politics" - in context of India, I don't think this is true. If that must be the case, BJP must have suffered some setback in the hindi hinterland in 2019 elections which it clearly didn't. In today's time I don't think national elections are impacted by state level factors. Not sure just my opinion. 

D503,dragon_rider
2.1k views

@dragon_rider @sstarrr I did a bit of reading up on it. Vaishnav does claim that there is a voter preference for criminals who can "get things done" in the context of weakening rule of law. However, there is also a counter-view by Abhijit Banerjee et al (2014)-

"Contrary to the voter preference hypothesis, voters presented with vignettes that randomly vary the attributes of competing legislative candidates for local, state, and national office become much less likely to express a preference for candidates who are alleged to be criminal or corrupt. Moreover, voters’ education status, ethnicity, and political knowledge are unrelated to their distaste for criminal and venal candidates. The results imply that the electoral performance of candidates who face serious allegations likely reflects factors other than voters’ preferences for patronage, such as limited information about candidate characteristics or the absence of credible alternative candidates with clean records."

D503,dragon_rider
2.2k views

@dragon_rider @sstarrr I did a bit of reading up on it. Vaishnav does claim that there is a voter preference for criminals who can "get things done" in the context of weakening rule of law. However, there is also a counter-view by Abhijit Banerjee et al (2014)-

"Contrary to the voter preference hypothesis, voters presented with vignettes that randomly vary the attributes of competing legislative candidates for local, state, and national office become much less likely to express a preference for candidates who are alleged to be criminal or corrupt. Moreover, voters’ education status, ethnicity, and political knowledge are unrelated to their distaste for criminal and venal candidates. The results imply that the electoral performance of candidates who face serious allegations likely reflects factors other than voters’ preferences for patronage, such as limited information about candidate characteristics or the absence of credible alternative candidates with clean records."

I don't agree with what Milan Vaishnav says, Voters do not vote that way. But for writing answer I think we can write both - view as well as counter view.

2.1k views
@sstarrr I found this the GSScore answers that may change your mind. They messed up in writing the name of the survey (may be Lokniti), but I don't think it's made up


"The recentLok pre-election survey provides an opportunity to adjudicate between these two competing explanations. The survey asked respondents a simple, direct question: “Would you vote for a candidate who delivers benefits to you even if s/he faces serious criminal cases?” In response, 26 percent said that they would vote for a candidate who gets things done but also faces serious pending criminal cases. In other words, one out of four Indians surveyed was willing to openly admit that he/she would vote for a candidate who is involved in a criminal case but is perceived to be an effective representative for the constituency. This seems to support the credibility hypothesis; voters can be well informed and support candidates with criminal reputations."

(edit: image replaced by text)

balwintejas,
2.2k views
@sstarrr I found this the GSScore answers that may change your mind. They messed up in writing the name of the survey (may be Lokniti), but I don't think it's made up


"The recentLok pre-election survey provides an opportunity to adjudicate between these two competing explanations. The survey asked respondents a simple, direct question: “Would you vote for a candidate who delivers benefits to you even if s/he faces serious criminal cases?” In response, 26 percent said that they would vote for a candidate who gets things done but also faces serious pending criminal cases. In other words, one out of four Indians surveyed was willing to openly admit that he/she would vote for a candidate who is involved in a criminal case but is perceived to be an effective representative for the constituency. This seems to support the credibility hypothesis; voters can be well informed and support candidates with criminal reputations."

(edit: image replaced by text)

Oh! Impressive. Well I should have trusted MV than my own brain. Next time I am never gonna question these scholars. 

2.1k views
» show previous quotes

I would start by saying how the study of electoral behavior is a result of the growth of the behavioral and post-behavioral approaches in political science and how it's important to understand the political atmosphere of a country. 


Then I would mention Milan Vaishnav who pointed out the difficulty of studying EB in India due its size and diversity. Substantiate it with Kenneth Arrow's 'impossibility theorem.' 


Then I would mention the trend in EB like how individuals vote more based on the party or the PM or CM candidate as in a presidential system than on the MP and MLA candidate. I would point out how people vote differently at national and state level and how the public differentiates between national issues and local issues (supported by the post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti). Also could mention 'federalization' of electoral politics where national elections are also heavily shaped by state-level factors.


I would also point out how people seem to be voting for criminals or those with criminal cases pending against them leading to criminalization of politics (maybe quote Milan Vaishnav again since it's a 30 mark question).


You could also add that voter turnout seems to be increasing as seen in the 2019 LS elections.


This is all I have in my notes, but we should definitely add the role of caste and religion in voting behavior and how it's changed, if it has changed. If anyone has these points, please post it here.

With respect to "federalisation of electoral politics" - in context of India, I don't think this is true. If that must be the case, BJP must have suffered some setback in the hindi hinterland in 2019 elections which it clearly didn't. In today's time I don't think national elections are impacted by state level factors. Not sure just my opinion. 

Federalisation of electoral politics was a feature of 1990's (at least Yogendra Yadav thinks so). Now there is separation in voting patterns in state and general elections eg. even in states where BJP was "punished" and pushed out of power in state elections, voter came back to support it in general elections.

sstarrr,
2.2k views
» show previous quotes

Federalisation of electoral politics was a feature of 1990's (at least Yogendra Yadav thinks so). Now there is separation in voting patterns in state and general elections eg. even in states where BJP was "punished" and pushed out of power in state elections, voter came back to support it in general elections.

Yeah. That's what I meant, Now people don't do it and question asked about the changing nature, we should write these points with proper timelines- else the examiner might not get it right and then we will get "punished".

KropotkinSchmopotkin,
2.1k views
@sstarrr You are right. This isn't the way I would have presented it in the answer. It would have been better to say that federalization of electoral politics happens but the recent post-poll survey by Lokniti shows a changing pattern where voters do differentiate between national and local issues. 

Also Milan Vaishnav backs up his claims with data in his book so I don't think we can entirely dismiss it. 


sstarrr,
2.1k views

@dragon_rider @sstarrr I did a bit of reading up on it. Vaishnav does claim that there is a voter preference for criminals who can "get things done" in the context of weakening rule of law. However, there is also a counter-view by Abhijit Banerjee et al (2014)-

"Contrary to the voter preference hypothesis, voters presented with vignettes that randomly vary the attributes of competing legislative candidates for local, state, and national office become much less likely to express a preference for candidates who are alleged to be criminal or corrupt. Moreover, voters’ education status, ethnicity, and political knowledge are unrelated to their distaste for criminal and venal candidates. The results imply that the electoral performance of candidates who face serious allegations likely reflects factors other than voters’ preferences for patronage, such as limited information about candidate characteristics or the absence of credible alternative candidates with clean records."

This is great. I hadn't known Abhijit Bannerjee had given such a countering viewpoint.

2.1k views
I haven't read Milan Vaishnav's When Crime Pays, but had noted following things: 
1. Nexus began between underground network and criminal MPs once corporate funding banned by Indira Gandhi
2. Vertical integration happened- criminals directly joined rather than just ensuring booth capturing
3. Loopholes in law
4. First past the post system- winnability criteria forced parties to have rich candidates, musclemen

Such points can be added in how winnability and voter behavior got interlinked in the last through a criminal lens. I would also add in bits about Electoral Bonds vs need for State funding of elections now, one consequence of which is that the average MP is getting richer and poorer candidates have slimmer chances of success. 
Would need more scholarly analysis I guess here- views of Vaishnav, Jaffrelot, Yogendra Yadav,  Suhas Palshikar etc while analyzing the recent trends, particularly post 2019 elections. 
D503,sstarrr
2.4k views

Hello all

I'm a new one for upsc and PSIR optional, since a working professional I took leave and started to prepare this attempt, GS is going with AWFG, optional I joined SR class this month, initially they said it's 2021mains but now it's for 2022 mains, I'm very scared about optional having 3 months with prelims I would like to spend one month with optional. Now, shall I join a test series other than SR class or I should focus only her class??

Kindly someone help me out, how to tackle PSIR as my best in this 1 months before prelims.

Thanks in advance.

1.9k views
@Amudhanadhi I would recommend spending this next month understanding the concepts and making notes of Section A of both papers, especially paper 1. In my opinion, your notes should be such that you don't have to refer to the parent material again. This way you can just revise these like a gazillion times after Prelims. Section B of paper 1 you will have some idea on due to studying polity and history and you should be able to finish the section relatively fast even post-Prelims. Section B of paper 2 is highly CA oriented and it also helps to have an understanding of the various terminologies and concepts used in IR which is in Section A of paper 2 before going through Section B of paper 2.

As for SR classes, I don't know. I haven't taken her classes so I don't know how good they are, but I have heard/read a lot of people say that it is quite slow paced and you don't have the luxury of time. And as for test series, I think it's important for you to understand all the concepts before writing test series, but do check the PYQs for each topic when you study them and make sure that you can answer them all using your notes.


whatonly,THE_MECHANICand1 otherslike this
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1.7k views

D503said

Should you use terms like Judicial Barbarism , ineffectual angel, Weimaranian Judiciary etc in your answers.

Also about that book, it's not worth the buying imo. Except for chapters by MP Singh , others are pretty static and lacking depth. Important ones can be read from pdf in a matter of a week or even less

Yes, why not if they are backed by scholars? 

D503,KropotkinSchmopotkin
1.7k views

D503said

Should you use terms like Judicial Barbarism , ineffectual angel, Weimaranian Judiciary etc in your answers.

Also about that book, it's not worth the buying imo. Except for chapters by MP Singh , others are pretty static and lacking depth. Important ones can be read from pdf in a matter of a week or even less

If you have some subtle alternatives, you can use them too - if they convey the same msg.

And if you wish to use the term like judicial barbarism , pls use only if you know scholars , never use them without mentioning scholars directly in your answer. The examiner might think it as your view and it won't really be nice. 

D503,
1.6k views
What do you do when a quote is popularly misattributed?
eg Voltaire never said "I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it". It was first produced in the book "Voltaire and Friends" published after his death.
eg2 Sir John Seeley is given credit for "History is past politics. Politics is present history" but was this originally said by Edward Freeman (this is common knowledge for Victorian historians but hasn't percolated down to PolSci)

1.6k views

What do you people think about crash course. Is it any useful?


1.4k views

Hello, Guys please help me out here!

Especially the ones who are not fond of SR paper 2 notes. I went through the notes and consulted Andrew Heywood as well. I find too much overlap in both and personally, I found SR notes to be better as it has many thinkers too to quote in answers although I felt Heywood can be used for concept clarity but for exam orientation I found SR much better maybe I am missing something or I am not in sync with exam needs but can anyone explain why do people consult other books for paper 2. Also, I think contemporary events anyhow have to be covered by reading articles and crash course so how would reading heywood or baylis smith add value to the notes, and even if we get extra 2-3 points, is it worth investing time in reading complete textbooks.

1.5k views

D503said

What do you people think about crash course. Is it any useful?


Useful but too slow.

She discusses three questions in a 3 hr lecture.

1.5k views
What do you do when a quote is popularly misattributed?
eg Voltaire never said "I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it". It was first produced in the book "Voltaire and Friends" published after his death.
eg2 Sir John Seeley is given credit for "History is past politics. Politics is present history" but was this originally said by Edward Freeman (this is common knowledge for Victorian historians but hasn't percolated down to PolSci)

Maybe we can just say "Voltaire is widely believed to have said..."

Still feels wrong, but we get to use the quote, and it doesn't matter whether the examiner too believes the misattribution, or whether they know who actually said it, or whether they've never heard of it - always safe.

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