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Global Politics for the International Baccalaureate

If you decide to study Global Politics in the Group 3 component of the International Baccalaureate on Individuals and Societies the syllabus offered for both Standard and Higher Level provides an opportunity for students a range of issues with regard to International Relations. These include concepts such as power, rights, liberty and equality from a national, international and global perspective and contemporary political issues such as the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, the impact of the events of 9/11 on the foreign policy of the United States, Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans and Rwanda. Those students who are studying Global Politics to Standard Level complete Units 1 to 4 over three lessons in the two year period of the course while those studying to Higher Level complete Unit 5 in addition to the Standard Level units. The teaching takes place in the extra two lessons per week devoted to the subject.

The Standard and Higher Level options offered by the History and Politics Department are as follows: 


Unit 1: Power Sovereignty and International Relations

This unit focuses on the dynamics of power & how it is shown at different level of organisation within a global contest and includes:

  • Power.
  • Non-state organisations.
  • International Co-operation and Governance.

Unit 2: Human Rights

This unit focuses on the nature and practice of human rights and includes:

  • The Nature of Human Rights
  • The Practice of Human Rights
  • Controversies and Debates over Human Rights

Unit 3: Development

This unit focuses on the nature of and various pathways towards development and current issues and debates surrounding development and includes:

  • The Nature of Development
  • Development in Practice
  • Factors affecting Development

Unit 4: Peace and Conflict

This unit focuses upon different types of conflict and post conflict transformation including an analysis of the different types of violence and the application of humanitarian intervention and post conflict reconciliation and includes:

  • • Concepts and Theories
  • • Analysing Conflict
  • • Post Conflict Transformation


This part of the course provides students with the opportunity to explore key global political challenges through the examination of a number of case studies. Two of the following topics may be studied:

  • The Environment and Sustainability (Dealing with the Issue of Climate Change)
  • Poverty (The Make Poverty History Campaign)
  • Health and Disease (Ebola Outbreak in West Africa)
  • Culture and Identity (Ethnic Violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda)
  • Migration (Migration into Europe from Africa or the United States from Mexico)
  • International Security (United States Foreign Policy following 9/11)


All students need to complete an engagement activity in which they have to complete an investigation into a political issue of their choice and produce a 2000 word report analysing this activity.


There are no specific course requirements for Global Politics beyond those required for entry into the Sixth Form. Having an interest in issues related to International Relations and examining aspects of  Politics from a global dimension is helpful together with a willingness to keep up to date with developments which are taking place across the world at a time of immense upheaval and change.