Politics

“Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen” – Winston Churchill

Politics is the broad, universal, and essential study of how governments, policies, and internal relations work. Politics plays a role in every country in the world, whether it be federal, democratic, communist or republic. It is through politics that many important questions are answered and global challenges are addressed; including human rights, poverty, equality, and welfare.

A Level Politics is designed to encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics. Students acquire knowledge of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom and are encouraged to think and debate more widely about how other political systems may differ. Through the study of global politics, students will develop an understanding of the political and economic patterns of the world and the different processes of political globalization in relation to world issues and social power.

Year 12

UK Politics

Democracy and participation: systems of representative democracy and direct democracy; extension to the franchise; pressure groups and influences; rights and responsibilities.
Political parties: functions and features; Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democratic Parties – development and ideas; emerging and minor political parties; UK political parties in context
Electoral systems: different electoral systems, referendums and how they are used, electoral system analysis.
Voting behaviour and the media: case studies of three key general elections and the factors that explain the outcomes of these elections. The influence of the media.
Core Political Ideas: core ideas and principles of Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

UK Government

The constitution: nature and sources of the UK constitution; how the constitution has changed since 1997; role and powers of devolved bodies in the UK; debates on further reform.
Parliament: structure and role of the Houses of Parliament; comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords; the legislative process; ways in which Parliament interacts with the Executive.
The Prime Minister and the Executive: structure, role and powers of the Executive; concept of ministerial responsibility; Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
Relations between branches: The Supreme Court; relationship between the Executive and Parliament; aims, role and impact of the EU; location of sovereignty in the UK political system.
Non-Core Political Ideas: core ideas and principles of Nationalism and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

Year 13

Global Politics

Theories of global politics: what is global politics; realism and liberalism; the end of history; a clash of civilisations.
The state and globalisation: the state; the process of globalisation; the extent to which globalisation resolves contemporary issues; the implications of globalisation on the nation-state and national sovereignty.
Global governance political: what is global governance; the United Nations; key UN institutions; how effective is the UN; treaties; realist and liber views.
Global governance economic: what is economic global governance; international trade; poverty; causes of poverty; attempts to resolve poverty
Global governance human rights: human rights and international law; human rights and state sovereignty; humanitarian intervention increase; the success of humanitarian intervention; the failure of humanitarian intervention; does Western democracy undermine the principle of humanitarian intervention.
Global governance environmental: why is there a need for global governance; what is climate change; what can be done to reduce climate change; global governance efforts.
Power and developments: different types of global power; the changing balance of global power; polarity; systems of government; change in global power since the Cold War; how has changing global power impacted on global issues.
Regionalism and the European Union: Why a European Union; Regionalism; development of regional organisations; regional and global issues.

Key Skills

Students should have the ability to consider evidence and draw conclusions. They should also have the ability to write fluently and analyse effectively. They should have an inquiring mind, enjoy research and be able to debate events from differing perspectives.

Assessment

Students will be examined at the end of Year 13. There are 3 papers: Paper 1 – UK Politics and Core Political ides; Paper 2 – UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas and Paper 3 – Comparative Politics in Global Politics

Key Resources

Edexcel GCE Politics AS and A-level Student Book and eBook
by Graham Goodlad, Andrew Mitchell, Andrew Colclough, Ian Levinson.
ISBN: 9781292187020

Global Politics for A-level
by Robert Murphy, John Jefferies, Josie Gadsby.
ISBN: 9781471889417

Pearson Edexcel A level Politics
by Sarra Jenkins, David Tuck, John Jefferies.
ISBN: 9781510448995