Politics is about disagreement, and the most important political disagreements are about who decides who gets what, where, when, and how often. Politics is also about the formal institutions and arenas in which our national and regional politics is carried out, and the relationships between them. Politics is about power and authority, justice, legitimacy, law and law making.
In short, politics is an intrinsically human activity, because as Aristotle said, 'man is by nature, a political animal.' Human kind is inclined to disagree about almost anything. If so, then everything is political, and history is past politics.
You do not have to be political activist or ideologically committed to study AS or A2 Politics, but an engagement in the subject allows for objective analysis in order to better understand what is happening in Britain, the USA and the world today. But pupils can expect to discover their own ‘inner political compass bearing’ while studying politics.
Generally, the pupil who will find Government and Politics interesting and stimulating will be the one who wants to make sense of current affairs and who also enjoys thinking about and debating controversial issues.
Pupils who study politics will come away with a full insight into the difficulties faced by decision makers who are operating in a plural and democratic environment.
As the subject is topical, pupils can expect to refer to current and ongoing developments on both sides of the Atlantic. Pupils are therefore expected and encouraged to make full and widespread use of a range of media, including the internet.
Most of the difficult problems in Britain, America and the world today are political, and if they are to be solved, the solutions will have to be political. Government is something we all have to engage with as citizens, and there is no opting out; even orders of Trappist monks have to pay taxes! And politicians are always interested in us, even if some of us are not interested in politics.
Pupils who study AS and A2 Politics can expect to analyze and explain the great events of the moment and consider the ideas and forces that shape the political and decision making landscape.