The United Kingdom is quite unique in that it has an uncodified constitution that is not entrenched. It is criticised for being outdated, undemocratic and lacking clarity. However, it has provided stability for many years and has a number of benefits such as its flexibility.
I set my A2 politics classes an essay on whether American power is in decline, to do in untimed conditions at home. Here is a selection of excellent essays with a brief comment from me as to why they were particularly good. Please note – these essays were set before we looked at IR theory and so I did not expect any references to realism or liberalism, however in their final drafts and in the exam this would be necessary. Please also note, I don’t expect them to write as much in the 45 minutes set for essay writing in the exam.
“Leadership or domination of one element of a system over others” – Used by Gramsci to describe the leadership of the bourgeoisie over lower classes suggesting it is based on more of an ideological intent rather than one of force.
A superpower is a term given to a country that has unmatched influence in global affairs, and is significant in international relations. No other state can challenge its authority, due to its superiority in military and economic capabilities, meaning it can manipulate the international environment to its best interests. A country like America, whose superpower status has not been disputed since the end of the second world war, has the ability to project power on a global scale.
Approaches to development rely on a particular world view. Understanding development in terms of wealth can lead to different practices and different results as understanding development in terms of freedom. The UN has taken the ‘alternative’ view on development, focusing on human development, rather than focusing on national wealth. However, even within this one organisation, changes in their ‘world view’ can be seen, affecting their development programmes.
Referendums in the UK are not be legally binding, but they might as well be David Cameron strongly supported the Remain camp during the EU debate, but even with a result as close as 52% leave to 48% remain, he accepted the decision made by the British electorate. To not do so would have almost certainly resulted in intra-party and wider calls for him to be removed as the Prime-Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, especially with many of his own MPs, such as Boris Johnson, having campaigned against him. This also comes as on 22nd February 2016, Cameron addressed Parliament and said ‘For a Prime Minister to ignore the express will of the British people to leave the EU would be not just wrong, but undemocratic’.
Neocolonialism involves a country using political, economic or other resources in other countries to gain influence or control. It has commonly been understood as a relationship between the Western core and its Southern and Eastern counterparts. However, with the identity of the ‘core’ transforming as new emerging countries increase their share of global wealth, this pattern of neocolonialism might also be changing.
The decision to stay or to leave the EU is seen to be the dividing issue between political parties, friends and families. The key aspects of debate are the issues of economy, migration, sovereignty and worker’s rights.
This is an interesting audio article by US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, outlining the case for American economic leadership. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pe_fore_010808_Article-8.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
The mood of much of the world is grim these days. Turmoil in the Middle East, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees; random terrorist attacks across the globe; geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe and Asia; the end of the commodity supercycle; slowing growth in China; and economic stagnation in many countries—all have combined to feed a deep pessimism about the present and, worse, the future. Historians looking back on this age from the vantage point of later generations, however, are likely to be puzzled by the widespread contemporary feelings of gloom and doom. By most objective measures of human well-being, the past three decades have been the best in history. More and more people in more and more places are enjoying better lives than ever before. Nor is this an accident— because despite Samuel Huntington’s foreboding, what has occurred over recent generations is not a clash of civilizations but a fusion of civilizations. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pe_fore_010812_Article-12.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
This is a very good audio article on Russian foreign policy and the world order. In the immediate post-9/11 era, the United States was riding high. But in more recent years, the order designed by Washington and its allies in the 1990s has come under severe strain. The many U.S. failures in the Middle East, the 2008 global nancial crisis and the subsequent recession, mount- ing economic and political crises in the EU, and the growing power of China made Russia even more reluctant to t itself into the Western-led international system. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pe_fore_010805_Article-5.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
In September 2015, veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the British Labour Party. After 33 years as a back bench member of parliament, the 66-year-old became one of the most important politicians in Britain.
Climate change through global warming has become one of the most prominent issues in global politics. While there has been growing agreement that climate change is happening and that it is anthropogenic or human-induced, there continues to be a major debate about how pressing or serious the problem of global warming is. However, although there have been a variety of global conferences and meetings and the environment has been placed highly on the agenda of politicians hoping to come to office, very little has been addressed and few pledges have materialised never mind achieved. Even the Paris Climate Change commitments seem to be recently unraveling. This is mostly due to the ‘great powers’ complacent attitude towards climate change and the perception that it is of lesser importance than domestic national interests and growth.
It is universally accepted that following the Cold War, the USA experienced a ‘unipolar moment’, establishing itself as a super power with global influence. Many referred to this as a global hegemony. The US had the strongest economy and unparalleled influence in global organisations. Francis Fukuyama even described this period as the ‘end of history’. However in recent years a number of factors, including the rise of China, military defeats and the loss of moral standing has led many to argue that the US will not maintain its position at the top.
All my class Keynote presentations for the Global unit 3 topic World Order
All my class Keynote presentations for the Global unit 3 topic Approaches to Global Politics
The following videos explain the connection between corruption and poverty and how the West facilitates much of this corruption
A PDF revision guide for AS unit 1 and unit 2 can be downloaded here: Revision Guide 2016 Note: Please attempt practise questions AFTER doing actual past papers found here
Parliament is seen as the sovereign body because it has absolute and unlimited legal authority, reflected in its ability to make, amend and repeal any laws it wishes. However, there are doubts about the accuracy and continuing relevance of parliamentary sovereignty to reasons such as the joining to the EU, devolution and the implantation of the Human Rights Act.
After two and a half decades, is the United States’ run as the world’s sole superpower coming to an end? Many say yes, seeing a rising China ready to catch up to or even surpass the United States in the near future. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/system/files/audio/articles/2016/pe_fore_010809_article_9_brooks.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
The Ukraine crisis marked the return of geopolitics in Europe. Can the EU, which has been originally designed to prevent geopolitics inside its borders, act as decisive foreign policy actor outside of them? How to cope in particular with the severe and manifold crisis in its neighbourhoods? http://media.rawvoice.com/lse_publiclecturesandevents/p/richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publiclecturesandevents/20160322_1830_europeAndTheReturnOfGeopolitics.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
All the past papers for unit 4d Global Politics in one PDF can be downloaded here
All the past papers for unit 3d Global Politics in one PDF can be downloaded here
Download a PDF of all Edexcel 40 mark questions (2009-2015) here
Download a PDF of all past Edexcel source questions here
The case against human rights. By Eric Posner http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/The-case-against-human-rights.-By-Eric-Posner.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
This documentary explores the relationship between Tony Blair and his cabinet. It was broadcast by BBC 2 in 2001. It is very useful for the unit 2 topic PM and Cabinet.
Since the 2015 general election, the promised Tory EU referendum has been looming over our heads and the prime minister has managed to seize a deal with the other 27 leaders of the EU council which gives the UK, what David Cameron describes as “a special status” within the EU. The deal was reached when talks in Brussels ended after a planned “British breakfast” turned into a “British dinner”. The first cabinet meeting to be held on a Saturday since the Falkland war took place as the tired PM David Cameron arrived back from the negotiation table in Brussels and passed the deal by his ministers.
An interesting analysis on China and Russia, explaining their challenge to the West and their relative domestic weakness. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/95205.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
Speaking at a TED Salon in London, economist Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of “When China Rules the World,” he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.
Can China Rise Peacefully? A debate between John Mearsheimer and Yan Xuetong in Beijing, China. SHOW MORE
Our first of many AS politics podcast looking at the state of democracy in the UK. On our panel: Rabia, Arman, Hannah, Precious, Ifrah and Nagina Editor: Edain http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Politics-podcast-DESKTOP-JDL17VC-1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
Bipolarity is a system of world order where two great powers dominate international relations. A bi-polar world emerged after 1945 when two disproportionately powerful powers developed. The USA and then the USSR had developed formidable military power, specifically atomic power and their ability to influence world events stemmed, in part, because of their willingness to utilise it to coerce global events in their favour. A bipolar world order differs from a multi-polar world, this type of world order existed prior to 1945 where a number of Great Powers vied for international supremacy. Bipolarity is seen, especially by neo-realist theorists, as a recipe for stability.
Alfie (chair), Theo, Lola, Pemi and Nagina explore the Liberal International Relations theory. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Liberalism_01.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
There is a fundamental division that exists within The Conservative party. The party leadership is dominated by the modernisers, those MPs gathered around Cameron that see the Conservative Party as the natural centre ground. Osborne is a key moderniser and his recent speech to the Tory conference was seen to be treading on traditional New Labour territory. However, the party also consists of a number of fundamentalist right wingers that believe in leaving the EU, imposing stricter regulations on immigration and moreover scrapping the Human Rights Act, which is manifesting itself in the showdown that is the EU referendum, set to be held by May 2017.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has been facing opposition from both within and outside his party regarding his stance on various political matters, one of which is the renewal of Trident. Corbyn is adamantly anti-nuclear weapons, declaring that he would never use them. Many view his uncompromising view and willingness to state it as political suicide.
Professor Waltz discusses the strategic challenges facing the European Union and explores the geopolitical implications of a weaker Europe for the West. http://media.rawvoice.com/lse_publiclecturesandevents/p/richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publiclecturesandevents/20151001_1830_doesEuropeHaveAFuture.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
A2 Global Politics Podcast with Theo, Alfie, Lola and Nagina discussing the the Realist school of international relations. http://alevelpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Realism71015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS