(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.
The paper strives to understand a basic knowledge about international affairs. It aims to examine
whether the candidates are well equipped with the key concepts, perspectives and theories for explaining
global phenomena to deal with policy matters effectively. Another purpose of the paper is to examine
analytical capacity of the candidates about global issues and events that are closely linked with domestic
Proposed Distribution of Marks:
- Short Conceptual Notes : 10 out of 12 (10 x 4 =40)
- Analytical Questions: 3 out of 4 questions (3 x 15 =45)
- 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,
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