Government & Politics

Not only do students acquire a firm grounding in the ideas and principles behind government and political systems, they also develop many of the analytical, evaluative and research skills required to pursue further study in this important and deeply interesting subject.


Government & Politics

Government & Politics

Government & Politics News

Two year course, Edexcel exam board

There are four units in total. The AS year is comprised of two units which examine the UK’s political process. In the A2 year we complete two units which investigate in depth the ideas behind a variety of political ideologies

Year 12: AS year

Unit 1 : People & Politics

Democracy and Participation: What is democracy? What is a legitimate government? How and why do people participate in politics? Are enough people engaged and participating in the political process? How democratic is the UK? How could democracy be enhanced?

Elections: What is the purpose of elections? How do elections work in the UK? How do different electoral systems function? What different outcomes do electoral systems produce? Do UK elections promote democracy?

Political Parties: What is the history of the UK’s parties? What are the different ideologies and factions within parties? What policies do the mainstream parties currently pursue? Who do the parties represent and are they sufficiently different? Is the UK a two-party system?

Pressure Groups: What is a pressure group? What are the functions of pressure groups? What methods do different pressure groups use? What are the features of the most successful pressure groups? Are pressure groups becoming more influential? Are pressure groups good for democracy?

Unit 2 – Governing the UK

The Constitution: What is the difference between a codified and uncodified constitution? What are the sources and principles of the UK’s uncodified constitution? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s constitutional arrangements? Where does sovereignty lie in the UK? Should the UK introduce a codified constitution? What have recent constitutional reforms achieved?

Parliament: What are the components of Parliament? What are the main functions of Parliament and how well does it perform them? How much power does The Government have over Parliament? How successful have reforms to Parliament been? Should the House of Lords be an elected chamber?

Prime Minister and Cabinet: What are the powers and roles of the Prime Minister? What are the powers and roles of the Cabinet? How powerful is the Prime Minister? How powerful are Cabinet and other ministers? Is the Prime Minister effectively a President?

Judges and Civil Liberties: What is the role of judges within the political system? How powerful are judges? How effectively do the courts protect civil rights and liberties? 

Year 13 – A2 Year

Unit 3 – Introducing Political Ideologies

Liberalism

Key ideas

Rationalism, Individualism, Freedom, Rights, Tolerance, Pluralism, Equality, Meritocracy

Trends

Classical Liberalism, Modern Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Rawlsianism

Conservatism

Key ideas

Organicism, Hierarchy, Tradition, Irrationality, Paternalism, Property

Trends

Traditional Conservatism, One Nation Conservatism, The New Right, Christian Democracy

Anarchism

Key ideas

Perfectibility, Utopianism, Anti-statism, Anti-clericalism

Trends

Anarcho-communism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Mutualism, Anarcho-capitalism

Unit 4 – Other Ideological Traditions

Nationalism

Key ideas

Organic Community, Civic Bonds, Cultural and Primordial Bonds, The Nation, The State, Self-determination, Supranationalism

Trends

Liberal Nationalism, Conservative Nationalism, Radical Nationalism

Feminism

Key ideas

Gender, Patriarchy, Private and Public Woman, Equality, Essentialism

Trends

Anarcho-communism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Mutualism, Anarcho-capitalism

Ecologism

Key ideas

Ecology, Holism, Sustainability, Green Capitalism, Having and Being

Trends

Shallow Ecology, Deep Ecology, Eco-anarchism, Eco-feminism, Eco-socialism