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IBDP Global Politics - Perspectives on political issues

Studying different perspectives on political issues is a key element of the Global Politics for the IB Diploma course. Global Politics is a vast and complex subject and looking at different perspectives helps students to see issues from varying angles based on different scenarios, backgrounds or political inclinations.

Throughout the Global Politics for the IB Diploma coursebook, we have featured different political perspectives on key topics to enable students to broaden their understanding of the subject or issue.

We want to avoid a narrative or descriptive approach to the examination of the political issues we discuss in class and the case studies teachers and students examine. Considering different perspectives moves students away from simply describing what happened and more towards analysis and evaluation. This leads to a better understanding of the complexity of the political issue.

For example, from our coursebook we examine the case study of the use of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in Libya.

Activity: In order for students to better understand the complexity of the case study, a focus on different perspectives is essential. They could be asked to complete the following charts:

Actors to consider How are they involved and what evidence can you find of their opinion of the success of R2P in Libya? (you may have to research beyond the textbook)
United Nations Security Council and its member states  
Violent non-state actors  
Any others?  


Theoretical perspectives to consider How can these theories provide a way of looking at what happened in Libya with the use of R2P?
Any others?  

After completing these tasks students could debate or discuss the following question making sure they consider multiple perspectives.

"R2P in Libya was a failure from start to finish." To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Global Politics for the IB Diploma is out now in eBook and paperback.

Jane Hirons is IBDP Global Politics and Geography Teacher at UWC Robert Bosch College in Germany.

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