The 7 Areas of Global Politics Explained

Instead of focusing on theories, their application in analysis, and a conclusion based on the results, Global Politics draws insights from seven areas that investigate how things work and why.

This article explains these areas in detail.

Key Takeaways

  • IB Global Politics IA is not a theory-based area of investigation, although you do get some marks from it. 
  • Your Higher Level Presentations, Engagement Activities, and course conversion should likewise focus on 7 key areas, where you draw insights to earn you additional marks.
  • The areas in Global Politics let you construct meaningful explanations that make your paper stand out.

7 Areas of Global Politics

The following is a list and an explanation of the different areas of Global Politics in the IB diploma program:

1. Levels of Analysis 

There are 6 levels of analysis in IB Global Politics. These are Global, International, Regional, National, Community, and Local.

You should tailor your exploration based on the specific question or case at hand based on one or two of these levels.

When addressing your case, consider explaining how the impacts or possibilities at one chosen level diverge from those at another level. This comparative approach can contribute valuable insights into the nuanced dynamics across different scales.

2. Perspective

You should present both sides of the story to enhance our understanding of the case or address the question at hand.

Explore diverse perspectives held by various groups and individuals and include insights from both powerful and less powerful entities. Avoid making assumptions about people’s feelings or viewpoints, as perceptions can diverge from expectations.

Add impactful quotes to highlight differing viewpoints. During case study research, actively seek out perspectives from overlooked groups, such as economically disadvantaged individuals or those from historically marginalized backgrounds.

3. Similar Examples

For this area, your work is to identify a relevant case with similarities to the main case. Compare and explain these similarities. Also, contrast the cases, making sure you highlight the key differences.

You can use insights gained from this comparative analysis to understand the main case, and consider reasons for varying degrees of success.

4. Foundation Theories

The foundation theories taught in the IB Global Politics course are Realism, Liberalism, Relativism, Universalism, and Capitalism.

While the course guide combines Critical Theories and Theoretical Foundations into one group, we’ve separated them here to provide a more straightforward understanding.

5. Course Concepts

Course concepts simply refer to the vocabularies used in the course.

There are 16 concepts in the IB Global Politics course. These are Inequality, Human Rights, Peace, Justice, Legitimacy, Globalization, Violence, Sovereignty, Non-violence, Liberty, Development, Power, Interdependence, Sustainability, Equality, and Conflict.

6. Global Politics Challenges

The Global Politics Challenges in IB are Security, Environment, Borders, Poverty, Health, and Identity.

You don’t need to learn about these if you’re doing Global Politics at SL, as you won’t use them. HL students, on the other hand, should be familiar with these GPC, as they’re the focus of the HL extension in the assignment.  

7. Critical Theories

The foundation theories in the subject are Environmentalism, Communitarianism, Marxism, Post-Colonialism, Feminism, and Constructivism.

You will use these theories to challenge the insights from Foundation Theories. 

These theories aren’t straightforward. So take your time to learn about them before you can use them in your test.

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