year12ibSubject Description, Aims and Objectives

Global politics explores fundamental political concepts, such as power, equality, sustainability and peace, in a range of contexts and through a variety of approaches. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives.

Global politics allows students to engage critically with new perspectives and approaches to international relations that will allow them to make better sense to a changing world and their role as active citizens. It is a dynamic subject that will engage with the most current global events and draw on a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, reflecting the complex nature of the issues we focus on.

Global Politics will prepare students very well for any degree and career path that involves analysis, synthesis and high-level understanding of complex, interlinked issues. In particular, its students will be well prepared for humanities and social sciences degrees in Law, Philosophy, History, English Literature, Economics, Politics, Business or Human Sciences. Those destined for more scientific or mathematical courses will find much of benefit in the course’s discussions of theoretical perspectives and real-life applications, as well as excellent training in analytical rigour. Above all, the course will equip students to be well-informed, analytical and critical citizens of their country and the world.


Core Themes

Both HL and SL students complete the common core unit entitled ‘people, power and politics’. People recognizes that the world is not limited to ‘states’, but to non-state actors, communities and individuals. The concept of power is emphasised as being crucial to dynamics and tensions and current underlying structures of governing, and the political lens means the course has a uniquely rich context to explore the interaction between people and power.


People, Power and Politics consists of four core units:

  • Power, sovereignty and international relations
  • Human rights
  • Development
  • Peace and conflict


Higher Level extension

Higher level students will also examine two contemporary global political challenges through self-selected case studies. Two challenges must be studied from the following six options:

  • Environment
  • Poverty
  • Health
  • Identity
  • Borders
  • Security



All students undertake an engagement activity, such as interviewing policy makers on issues and concerns, participating in a simulation game, or organizing a campaign on the environment or human rights. They also complete an assessed written report where they examine a political issue that they have researched.

The standard level course is assessed through a stimulus paper (paper one), an essay paper (paper two), and the internal assessment exercise.

The higher level course requires an additional essay question (paper two) and that students submit a video-recorded oral presentation where they discuss a political issue from the case studies they have selected.


Click here to view Subject Brief – Global Politics SL

Click here to view Subject Brief – Global Politics HL