A level Government & Politics is concerned with the study of political ideas such as the nature of democracy and popular participation in the government of a country, individual rights and responsibilities, and different political ideologies, theories and traditions (such as conservatism, liberalism and socialism). It also looks at political institutions, the executive (government), legislature (parliament) and judiciary (judges), political parties (Labour, Conservative and others) and pressure groups (Greenpeace, trade unions). The course will look in particular at the political system in the UK, but will also examine Britain’s position in the European Union, and make comparisons with political systems in other countries.
There are no prior knowledge requirements for the qualification and it is not expected that students will have taken the subject at GCSE. Government & Politics complements other A level subjects, such as History and Economics, and could lead on to further study and careers in politics, international relations, law, public administration, journalism and the media.
Government & Politics can be taken as a one year AS qualification or a two year A level qualification, which examines the subject in greater depth.
Teacher: G. Rosie
GCE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS (EDEXCEL) Aims The aims of the Edexcel Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE in
Government and Politics are to encourage students to:
develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutions and processes
acquire knowledge and understanding of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom, and how these may differ from those of other political systems
acquire knowledge and informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the individual and encourage an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.
AS/A2 knowledge and understanding This Edexcel Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE specification in Government and Politics.
requires students to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political system of the UK, including the local and European Union (EU) dimensions
encourages students to develop their capacity for critical thinking, to see relationships between different aspects of government and politics and to perceive their field of study in a broader perspective, including some comparisons with other political systems
requires students to develop knowledge and understanding of relevant political concepts and processes.
The Edexcel Advanced GCE in Government and Politics addresses the following:
the essential characteristics and inter-relationships of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary
the adequacy of existing political arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation
the rights and responsibilities of the individual
ideologies, theories and tradition
current political debates.
Although students should cover all of the issues above, it is not expected that they will cover each area of study in equal breadth or depth, or that specifications should adopt the structure implied above.
In addition, the A2 specification may require students to extend their knowledge and understanding of the political system of the United Kingdom. However, the A2 specification should require students to go beyond the context of the United Kingdom in at least one of the following areas:
the politics and government of another state
political ideologies or political thought
politics of the European Union.
This Edexcel Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE specification in Government and Politics requires students to:
comprehend, synthesise and interpret political information in a variety of forms
analyse and evaluate:
i. political institutions, processes and behaviour
ii. political arguments and explanations
iii. the relationship between institutions, processes, ideologies, concepts, behaviour and values
identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between aspects of the political systems studied
select and organise relevant material to construct arguments and explanations leading to reasoned conclusions
communicate arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence, using appropriate political vocabulary.
AS (8GP01) Term 1 Unit 1: People and Politics Introduction This unit introduces students to the key channels of communication between government and the people and encourages them to evaluate the adequacy of existing arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation.
Structure of examination
• Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes
• Answer two structured questions from a choice of four
• Answer the (a), (b) and (c) parts of each chosen question
• Structured questions are marked out of 40 – (a) = 5 marks; (b) = 10 marks; (c) = 25 marks
• Total marks for paper = 80 marks.
Scheme of work Democracy and Political Participation Introduction to Government and Politics:
• What is politics? Eg, politics and government; politics as debate; politics as power; discussion and conflict resolution.
• Why politics matters — eg active citizenship, value of political education, making democracy work.
• Power and politics — definitions of power, types of power (decision making, non-decision making, thought control).
• Power and authority — definitions of power, types of power (decision-making, non-decision making, thought control) definitions of authority; types of authority (traditional, charismatic, legal-rational).
• UK politics and government — an overview of the UK political system; introduction to its key features.
Democracy and Political Participation:
• Definition of democracy — key principles: political equality, political participation, public control; differences between direct and representative democracy.
• Nature of direct democracy — principles and features, eg direct popular participation; Athenian democracy; referendums.
• Nature of representative democracy — principles and features (link between representation and democracy, liberal democracy etc).
• Advantages of direct democracy — eg freedom, participation, personal development.
• Advantages of representative democracy — eg practicable, expertise, stability.
• Nature and features of UK democratic system — eg democratic franchise, electoral democracy, party competition, parliamentary democracy (advantages and disadvantages), devolved assemblies.
• Democratic deficit in the UK — eg non-elected posts, electoral system, ‘participation crisis’, ineffectiveness of Parliament, European Parliament.
• Enhancing democracy — referendums (when/why used, advantages and disadvantages); other reforms (eg compulsory voting, fixed–term elections, e-democracy).
Party Policies and Ideas • Definition of political party — distinguish from and identify overlaps with pressure groups; differences between major and minor parties (eg Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and nationalist parties).
• Functions of political parties — eg representation, goal formation, political recruitment, organisation of government.
• Ideological tradition of Labour Party — socialism; Keynesian social democracy; Blairism and modernisation; beyond Blairism?
• Ideological tradition of Conservative Party — Conservatism; One Nationism; Thatcherism; beyond Thatcherism?
• Ideological tradition of the Liberal Democrats — modern liberalism; constitutionalism; pro-Europeanism.
• Ideological and policy differences within major parties.
• Ideological and policy similarities and differences between major parties (consensus and adversary politics).
Elections • Definition of elections (distinguish from referendums).
• Functions of elections — eg formation of governments, representation of public opinion.
• Link between elections and democracy — how elections promote democracy; nature of electoral representation; electoral mandates and their viability.
• Features of the ‘first-part-the-post’ (FPTP), or simple plurality electoral system.
• Features of the other electoral systems used in the UK — additional member system (AMS); single transferable vote (STV); regional party list; supplementary vote; where and how they operate.
• Reasons for the wider use of proportional representation (PR) electoral systems since 1997.
• Impact of FPTP and PR on party representation and political systems generally (with reference to recent UK examples), emphasising the difference between majoritarian representation and proportional representation.
• Electoral reform debate — drawbacks of PR and strengths of FPTP including the tendency towards strong and stable government, mandate democracy and the containment of political extremism; drawbacks of FPTP and strengths of PR including fairer representation, more legitimate government and stronger emphasis on consensus building.
Pressure Groups • Definition of pressure group — distinguish from and identify overlaps with political parties.
• Types of pressure group — sectional (interest) and promotional (cause) groups; ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ groups.
• Pressure groups’ methods and strategies — eg links to executive, lobbying, links to political parties, public opinion campaigns.
• Factors that influence the success or failure of groups — why are some groups more successful than others (eg economic power, financial strengths, membership base, public support)?
• Changing importance of pressure groups — why have they become more important (eg proliferation of groups, membership growth)?
• Relationship between pressure groups and democracy — functional representation; pluralism and pluralist democracy; elitism; criticisms of pressure groups.
Revision and examination practice
Term 2 Introduction This unit introduces students to the major governmental processes within the UK. It encourages them to develop a critical understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions and the relationship amongst them in the context of multilevel governance.
Unit 2: Governing the UK Structure of examination • Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes
• Answer one stimulus question from a choice of two and one extended question from a choice of two
• Stimulus questions are divided into three parts – (a) = 5 marks; (b) = 10 marks; (c) = 25; total = 40 marks
• Extended questions are marked out of 40
• Total marks for paper = 80 marks. Scheme of work The Constitution • Definition of a constitution.
• Features of written/codified constitution — eg single source, two-tier legal system,
entrenchment, judicial review.
• Features of unwritten/uncodified constitutions — eg variety of sources, flexibility.
• Sources of UK constitution — eg statute law, common law, conventions, works of constitutional authority, EU law and treaties.
• Location of sovereignty within UK system — eg nature of sovereignty, parliamentary sovereignty, implications of EU membership, ‘pooled’ sovereignty.
• Strengths of UK’s uncodified constitution — eg organic and adaptable, responsiveness to public opinion.
• Drawbacks of uncodified constitution — eg elective dictatorship, weak checks and balances, weak protection for individual rights.
• Evaluating past and possible future constitutional reforms.
Parliament • Composition, role and powers of House of Commons.
• Composition, role and powers of House of Lords.
• Features of parliamentary government — eg fusion of powers, interlocking relationship between legislature and executive.
• Features of presidential government — semi-presidential system, eg separation of powers.
• Functions of Parliament — eg legitimation, representation, legislation, scrutiny/accountability.
• Mechanisms by which the executive is made accountable to Parliament, eg question time, select committees.
• Effectiveness of House of Commons — eg factors affecting effectiveness (party system, patronage, size of government majority).
• Effectiveness of House of Lords — eg factors affecting effectiveness (Acts of Parliament, lack of democratic credentials).
• Reforming the House of Commons — eg modernising reforms, select committees.
• Reforming the House of Lords — reform process to date; advantages and disadvantages of fully elected second chamber.
The Prime Minister and Cabinet • Structure of executive branch of government — Prime Minister; Cabinet; junior ministers; civil service.
• Theories of executive power — cabinet government model; presidential government model; core executive model.
• Collective responsibility — theory and practice.
• Individual responsibility — theory and practice.
• Role of the Prime Minister — contrast with president; styles of prime ministerial leadership.
• Powers of the Prime Minister — eg patronage, party leadership, management of cabinet, influence over the mass media.
• The presidentialism thesis — basis of thesis; similarities and difference between prime ministers and presidents.
• Limitations of prime ministerial power — eg the role of the Cabinet, Parliament, party and mass media in checking prime ministerial power.
• Role and influence of the Cabinet — eg power base of individual ministers, departmental resources, party cohesion.
Judges and Civil Liberties • Judges and the judiciary — eg role of judiciary (adjudicating the meaning of law, presiding over the courts, sitting on government bodies).
• Relationship between the UK judiciary, the European courts and EU law.
• The rule of law — eg features of the rule of law, benefits of rule-based governance.
• Principle of judicial independence and how it is maintained (including limitations)
• Principle of judicial neutrality and how it is maintained (including limitations).
• Influence of judges — eg relationship between judiciary and Parliament and the executive, uncodified constitutional structure and its implications, scope for judicial review.
• Civil liberties and individual rights in the UK.
• The Human Rights Act — implications for civil liberties, implications for judiciary.
• Strengthening civil liberties — reforms of the judiciary or court system, including the introduction of a supreme court and a constitutional bill of rights.
Term 3 Revision and examination practice
AS text: Garnett & Lynch UK Government & Politics Philip Allan 2005
A2 Units 3 and 4 (9GP01) Structure of examination
•Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
• Answer three short-answer questions from a choice of five
• Answer one essay question from a choice of three
• Short answer questions are marked out of 15 (15 minutes each)
• Essay questions are marked out of 45 (45 minutes)
• Total marks for paper = 90 marks.
Term 1 Unit 3: Topic B, Political Ideologies Focus This topic introduces students to the subject of political ideology
and examines the major ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism
Liberalism •Individualism — individualism versus collectivism; methodological individualism and ethical individualism; egoistical individualism versus developmental individualism; implications for equality (foundational equality; formal equality; equality of opportunity); implications for the state (state threat to individual/individual responsibility/freedom, hence minimal state, but individualism can justify the state — social contract theory).
•Freedom — link between individualism and freedom; link between reason and freedom; freedom ‘under the law’ rather than absolute freedom; ‘negative’ freedom (absence of external constraints) versus ‘positive’ freedom (personal growth/fulfilment); implications of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ freedom for the state.
•Classical liberalism — egoistical/atomistic individualism (natural rights theory, utilitarianism, pursuit of self-interest/pleasure etc); ‘negative’ freedom (freedom of choice, privacy, harm principle); minimal/‘nightwatchman’ state (necessary evil, maintenance of domestic order etc); economic liberalism (laissez-faire, self-regulating market etc); individual responsibility/selfhelp (moral and economic case for anti-welfarism).
•Modern liberalism — developmental individualism (human flourishing,heightening of sensibilities, ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ pleasures, etc); ‘positive’ freedom (realisation of individual potential); enabling state (enlarges freedom, does not merely diminish it); social reform and welfare (equality of opportunity, freedom from social evils etc); economic management (state rectifies imbalances of capitalism, Keynesianism etc); tensions within modern liberalism (qualified endorsement of rolled-forward state – intervention can be ‘excessive’).
• Limited government — corrupting nature of power (individualism plus power equals corruption); external/legal checks on government (constitutions, especially ‘written’ ones), bills of rights, rule of law etc); internal/institutional checks on government — fragmentation/dispersal of power creating checks and balances (separation of powers, parliamentary government, cabinet government, bicameralism, territorial divisions etc).
•Liberalism and democracy — liberal arguments in favour of democracy (individualism implies political equality, franchise as protection against tyranny, political participation as means of personal development, constrains pressures of pluralist society); liberal arguments against democracy (democracy as collectivism, tyranny of the majority, political wisdom not equally distributed, democracy results in over-government and economic stultification).
Conservatism • Tradition — conservative arguments in favour of tradition (natural law, accumulated wisdom of the past, stability and rootedness); New Right departures from traditionalism (neo-liberal radicalism based on reasoned analysis, reactionary tendencies); neo-conservatism and traditional values.
•Human imperfection — psychological imperfection (limited, dependent and security-seeking creatures, implications for tradition, authority etc); moral imperfection (base and non-rational urges and instincts, implications for law and order and sentencing policy); intellectually imperfect (world largely beyond human understanding, implications for reason, tradition).
•Property — property supported because: it provides security in an insecure/unstable world; it is the exteriorisation of individual personality; it breeds positive social values (eg respect for law); property traditionally viewed as a duty (to preserve for the benefit of future generations) but New Right advanced a liberal, rights-based justification.
•Organic society — the whole is more than a collection of its individual parts (clash between organicism (organic communitarianism) and individualism); duty and obligation as social cement; hierarchy (rejection of social equality as undesirable and impossible); importance of shared values and a common culture (fear of diversity and pluralism).
• One nation conservatism — Tory origins (neo-feudalism, tradition, hierarchy, organicism etc); reform is preferable to revolution (pragmatism, enlightened self-interest, qualified case for welfare); paternalism — duty as the price of privilege (noblesse oblige, the ‘deserving’ poor); ‘middle way’ stance (pragmatic rejection of free market and state control, cautious social democracy).
• Liberal New Right — classical liberal roots; free market economics (natural dynamism of market, anti-statism, monetarism, rejection of Keynesianism, privatisation, deregulation and tax cuts, supply-side economics, ‘trickle-down’; atomistic individualism as basis for libertarianism (individual/property rights, individual responsibility/self-help, anti-welfarism — dependency culture, impact on taxation, welfare as legalised theft).
• Conservative New Right — roots in pre-Disraelian conservatism; restoration of order and authority (social and state authoritarianism — ‘punishment works’ etc); moral revivalism (antipermissiveness, ‘new’ Puritanism, traditional/family/Christian values); resurgent nationalism (national patriotism as a source of security and stability, insularity and xenophobia).
Socialism •Collectivism — social basis of human nature (common humanity); ‘nurture’ emphasised over ‘nature’ (implications for person/social development, utopianism etc); co-operation (moral and economic benefits); collectivism in practice (statism, common ownership, economic management, welfarism).
•Equality — socialist view of equality (equality of outcome/reward, social equality); divisions over desirable extent of equality (absolute versus relative social equality, common ownership versus redistribution); arguments in favour of social equality (social stability and cohesion, social justice, happiness and personal development — needs-based distribution).
• Revolution versus evolution — revolutionary socialism (theory of class state, rejection of bourgeois parliamentarianism); revolution as a modernisation project (pre-democratic origins, links to under-development, modernisation ‘from above’); implications of revolutionary ‘road’ (violence/force as a political means etc); evolutionary socialism (state neutrality, interventionism as means of social change/reform); socialism and democracy (the inevitability of gradualism); implications of ‘ballot-box’ socialism (electoralism, ‘catch-all’ socialist parties, corruption of power/bourgeois state etc).
•Marxism/communism —historical materialism (‘base/superstructure’ analysis, scientific theory of history/society); dialectical change (change results from internal contradictions in society, ‘laws’ of history, historical inevitability); class analysis (class based on economic power, conflict as motor of history, surplus value, class consciousness); stages of history; collapse of capitalism (proletarian revolution); transition from capitalism to communism (dictatorship of proletariat, ‘withering away’ of state); fundamentalist socialism and politics of ownership (capitalism irredeemably corrupt — should be abolished and replaced, socialism qualitatively different from capitalism).
•Social democracy — revisionist Marxism (failure of Marx’s predictions, resilience of capitalism); ethical socialism (absence of theoretical ‘baggage’); socialist revisionism (socialism equals reformed/‘humanised’capitalism); equality displaces common ownership (politics of social justice); pillars of social democracy (mixed economy, Keynesian economic management, welfare state).
• Neo-revisionist social democracy — retreat from social democracy (globalisation and the end of national Keynesianism, changing class structure and electoral appeal of Thatcherism, collapse of communism etc); Third Way — rejection of ‘top-down’ socialism/social democracy and market individualism, liberal communitarianism; Third Way value framework (opportunity, responsibility, community); Third Way world view (connectedness, consensus model of society, knowledge economy, ‘asset-based egalitarianism’/meritocracy, ‘workfare state’, governing through culture); Third Way and socialism (modernised social democracy or post-socialism?).
Anarchism •Anti-statism — moral dimension of anarchism (absolute freedom, political equality, personal autonomy); state as concentrated evil (absolute corruptibility of human nature); all states are evil (rejection of the proletarian state); government power cannot be tamed (constitutionalism and consent (liberal democracy) as tools used by ruling class to render masses quiescent).
• Stateless society — utopian themes in anarchism (absolute freedom can co-exist with social order/harmony, perfectibility of human nature); collectivist basis for spontaneous social harmony (nurture not nature, sociability and co-operation, role of common ownership); individualist basis for social harmony (individual rationality, self-regulating markets); rival views of future stateless society; rival views of future stateless society (collectivist versus individualist models, eg anarcho-communism versus anarcho-capitalism).
•Political practice — political failure of anarchism; rejection of conventional means of political activism (winning state power is corrupt and corrupting, opposition to hierarchical organisation, eg political parties); spontaneous revolution (popular thirst for freedom/autonomy, viability); terror/violence (‘propaganda of the deed’, revolutionary justice); direct action; moral example and gradualism.
•Individualist anarchism — roots in liberal individualism (parallels with classical liberalism, ‘ultra-liberalism’), egoism (moral autonomy of individual); libertarianism (reconciling individualism with natural order — consistent Manchesterism); anarcho-capitalism (laissez faire economics taken to its extreme, privatising the minimal state); differences between liberalism and anarchism (minimal statism versus statelessness, constitutional government versus anarchy).
•Collectivist anarchism — roots in socialist collectivism (human sociability, mutual aid, ‘ultrasocialism’); self-management and decentralisation (direct/participatory democracy); mutualism (possessions as independence from the state, fair and equitable exchange); anarchosyndicalism (revolutionary trade unionism); anarcho-communism (parallels with Marxism, class system and state as interlocking enemies); differences between anarchism and Marxism (over proletarianism, vanguardism, proletarian dictatorship, ‘withering away’ etc).
Revision and examination practice
Term 2 Unit 4: Topic B, Other Ideological Traditions Focus This topic examines the ideological traditions that have developed out of, or emerged in opposition to, liberalism, conservatism and socialism.
Scheme of work Nationalism •Nations — cultural dimension of national identity (language, religion, traditions etc, organic community, distinction between nations and races); political dimension of national identity (aspiration to statehood, political community, distinction between nations and states); psychological dimension of national identity (national consciousness, patriotism as lower/weaker form of nationalism).
• Liberal nationalism — nations as moral entities (national rights, parallels between nations and individuals); national self-determination (intrinsic link between nationhood and statehood, national sovereignty); nation state ideal (only legitimate basis for political rule, recipe for international peace and order); liberal objections to nationalism (human rights override national sovereignty, fear of international state of nature – hence liberal internationalism).
•Conservative nationalism — national patriotism as basis for political order and stability (psychological tendency to be drawn to one’s own people); nations as historical communities (common heritage, exclusiveness of national identities); insular and inward-looking nationalism (defence of organic unity/identity, implicit racialism/xenophobia).
•Expansionist nationalism — national chauvinism (national superiority/inferiority, explicit racialism); reactionary character (myths of past national greatness); militarism and aggression (conquest and expansion as proof of national greatness, social Darwinian view of international politics); parallels between expansionist nationalism and fascism (integral nationalism, ‘palingenetic ultranationalism’).
•Anticolonial/postcolonial nationalism — nationalism as a vehicle for political liberation and social development (colonialism as cause of under-development); Marxism–Leninism as guide for developing countries’ nationalism movements (revolutionary ‘road’, national liberation as an overthrow of capitalist exploitation); postcolonial nationalism (anti–Westernism, religious fundamentalism); links to conservative nationalism.
Feminism •Sex and gender — biological and social/cultural distinctions between men and women (gender is not destiny, possibility of sexual equality); patriarchy as systematic subordination of women (sexual politics, institutionalised gender oppression); the public/private divide (confinement to domestic/private sphere, exclusion from public/political life and therefore from power).
•Patriarchy — emphasis placed on gender divisions (society characterised by gender
oppression); gender inequalities are rooted in, and reflect, sexual (and generation) division of labour/power within the family; radical feminists’ view of patriarchy (systematic, institutionalised and pervasive oppression); liberal feminism and patriarchy (unequal access to public realm); socialist feminism and patriarchy (links between gender and class oppression).
• Liberal feminism — individualism as basis for gender equality (personhood, gender identity secondary); concern with the equal distribution of rights and entitlements (legal and political equality, no restructuring of society); equal access to the public realm (defence of the public/private divide, ‘private woman’ natural); reformist approach (gender imbalance can be overturned through constitutional and democratic pressure).
•Socialist feminism — economic basis of gender inequality (reserve army of labour,
reproducing next generation of capitalist workers, training and incentivising male workers etc); orthodox Marxism (priority of class over gender, patriarchy is a consequence of private property, socialism/social revolution as a means of bringing about women’s liberation); modern Marxism (patriarchy and capitalism as interlocking systems of oppression, patriarchy can survive the collapse of capitalism).
• Radical feminism — gender as the most politically significant of political divisions (priority over class, race etc); patriarchy as a systematic and pervasive form of oppression (operating in all spheres of society and all societies); ‘the personal is the political’ (gender oppression can be traced back to the structure of domestic/private life); sexual revolution (qualitative social change, not merely redistribution of rights or wealth); pro-woman feminism (essential differences between women and men, feminist separatism, political lesbianism).
•Antifeminism — an organic critique of feminism (sex is destiny – women are naturally designed for domestic, family-based role); traditionalist critique of feminism (patriarchal structures have been tried and tested by history); different but equal (women should be respected in terms of their natural role and position); social cohesion (‘private’ woman as source of nurturing and stability within the family).
Ecologism • Ecology — the relationship between humankind and natural world; anthropocentricism and its implications for nature; ecology (ecosystems and natural equilibrium) and the implications of ecocentrism; differences between ‘shallow’ or humanist ecology and ‘deep’ ecology; holistic perspective on political understanding versus mechanistic world view; holistic theories (eastern religion, quantum mechanics, Gaia etc).
•Sustainability — industrialism and the ecological critique of industrial society (entropy, resource depletion, tragedy of the commons etc); economics of sustainability (‘light’ green economic thinking, government regulation, green taxes etc); radical ecological approaches (‘dark’ green solutions, anti growth, post-industrialism, back-to-nature movements etc).
•Environmental ethics — ecological critique of conventional ethical thinking; ecological ethical theories (future generations, animal rights and animal welfare, biocentric equality, intrinsic value of nature etc); post-materialism and ethical thinking; freedom as self-actualisation; environmental consciousness (no-self, being or having modes of living, etc).
• Right-wing ecologisms — Nazi ‘blood and soil’ doctrines; reactionary pastoralism;
conservatism and conservations (social and natural traditionalism); green capitalism (marketbased environmental solutions); limitations of right-wing ecologism.
•Left-wing ecologisms — ecosocialism; socialist pastoralism (small-scale, egalitarian craft communities etc); ecosocialist critique of market capitalism; conflict between green and red priorities; limitations of ecosocialism (record of communist states and social democracy etc); eco-anarchism; social ecology.
• Ecofeminism — ecofeminist critique of patriarchal society (males divorced from nature and natural instincts); essentialism feminist critique (‘cultured’ males and ‘natural’ females etc); limitations of ecofeminism.
Multiculturalism •Culture — post-colonialism and the recognition of the legitimacy of non-Western political traditions; identity politics (communitarian roots of multiculturalism, cultural embeddedness); particularism (importance of factors such as ethnicity, religion and language in shaping personal and social identity).
•Minority rights — nature of minority/multicultural rights (special rights, positive
discrimination etc); basis for minority rights (including compensation for present or past disadvantage); criticisms of minority rights (drawbacks of positive discrimination, implications for freedom of speech, tensions between group and individual rights).
•Diversity — nature and extent of diversity; compatibility between cultural diversity and political unity; benefits of diversity (for the individual and for society); cultural exchange and cultural mixing (implications for cultural embeddedness and social stability).
• Liberal multiculturalism — toleration and forbearance (restraint from imposing one’s own views upon others); liberal justifications for toleration (individualism, individual freedom (guaranteed by toleration)); social progress (truth prevails in free market of ideas); features of liberal multiculturalism (intolerance of illiberal views, diversity confined to ‘private’ sphere); republican multiculturalism.
•Pluralist multiculturalism — pluralism as post-liberalism; value pluralism and its political implications; pluralist multiculturalism and liberation politics; pluralist multiculturalism as a critique of liberalism (tainted by colonialism, racialism etc); particularist multiculturalism.
•Cosmopolitan multiculturalism — cosmopolitanism and cultural diversity (global
consciousnesses etc); endorsement of cultural mixing (multiple identities and hybridity); contrasts with liberal multiculturalism and pluralist multiculturalism.
•Criticisms of multiculturalism — universalist liberalist critique (threat to individuality, human rights etc); conservative critique (threat to national identity, social cohesion etc); feminist critique (threat to women’s rights, etc); social reformist critique (threat to politics of redistribution, welfare etc).
Term 3 Revision and examination practice
A2 text: N. McNaughton Political Ideologies Philip Allan 2005
Weekly homework: completing class work; extension tasks; exam questions; relevant reading; preparation for class presentions.
Past papers: completing a range of these in preparation for the final examinations.
Examinations: January (internal mock examinations) and June (final external examinations).