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Global Politics

Note: This course will be offered as a pilot course from 2012 and it is intended that this course will be available on mainstream offer from September 2015. At this stage only schools authorised to take part in the pilot may offer the course.

The IB Diploma Programme global politics pilot course is an exciting addition to group three. The course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels.  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 is a dynamic and stimulating subject which draws on a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The pilot course has been developed in collaboration with educators and consultants with diverse experience and expertise, and has also drawn inspiration from the success of existing politics focused school based syllabuses.

The global politics course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies. The course also invites comparison between such examples and case studies to ensure a transnational perspective. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims.

All standard level and higher level students complete a common core entitled "People, Power and Politics". This consists of four core units:

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

Higher level students also examine two contemporary global political challenges, through a case studies approach.  

The internal assessment exercise for this course provides an opportunity for students to undertake an engagement activity, and then to submit a written report summarising their investigation. Examples of engagement activities include interviewing a member of a local NGO or community group, conducting an investigation into the food miles of products at a local store, or taking part in an event such as a Model United Nations.


Find out more

Order IB publications relating to group 3.

Read about similar studies in the Middle Years Programme and Primary Years Programme.


"IB history students have jumped at the opportunity to do internal assessment pieces about colonialism, the civil rights movement, and the African-American experience. That their own history and interests are validated in an academic programme has been essential to their success."

Adam Man, Diploma Programme coordinator, Baltimore City College, Maryland