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1 Unit HSC Board Endorsed Course

From terrorism to trade and from climate change to war, world politics affects us all. The HSC World Politics course taught by the University of Sydney aims to give students a deep understanding of global events by exploring the major political forces at work in the world and how they shape the decisions of governments and their leaders. We examine the classic and contemporary debates about how the world works, including questions about whether war is natural and inevitable, whether there is any more to international politics than just power, and whether governments and citizens can hope to rectify long-standing problems of injustice and deprivation. This course will teach students how to think critically about the actions of governments and other powerful decision-makers, and how to absorb current events into a broader understanding of the workings of world politics.

In the words of a former student:
“It fulfilled my expectations by a mile.
It was fascinating, in-depth, analytical and extremely interesting”

What does HSC World Politics cover?

Introduction to world politics
What is politics? What tools do we need to study it? What are theories? What are the main theories of world politics?

Realist theories of world politics: selfishness and conflict
What does it mean to be a “realist” in world politics? The realist view of human nature and the state, the different kinds of realism, and how realists explain war.

Liberal theories of world politics: selfishness and cooperation
The philosophical origins of liberalism, the liberal view of international law and order, liberalism in the international political economy, and the neoliberal v neorealist debate.

Marxist and feminist theories of world politics: imperialism, gender and the international economy
Why is Marxism relevant? What does a feminist view of international relations look like? How does power shape economic relations between countries?

Constructivist, post-structural and post-colonial theories of world politic
The world is what we make of it, but who are “we”? The power of ideas, the power of discourse, and the power of the powerless.

International law and order
Is it possible? The idea of anarchy in the international system and how we may overcome it. The development of international law, international regimes, and the United Nations.

National and transnational identities in world politics
Nationalism, culture, and religions as international actors. The development of regional identities and regions as political entities.

Violence in world politics
War is a central concern of world politics. How has it evolved, and what new forms is it taking? What is terrorism, and why does it happen? How can we make the world more secure?

The global environment, human rights, and humanitarian intervention
The global environment and human rights pose two of the greatest challenges for international cooperation. Can countries cooperate to solve humanity’s biggest problems?

How to apply

Students can take World Politics as part of the University of Sydney Summer School program during the January that falls after either their Year 10 or Year 11.

Applications for the 2017 Summer School close on Sunday 27 November 2016. All applications are to be sent to priya.shaw@sydney.edu.au. The cost as at 2016 is $786. The fee is payable once you are accepted into the course.

Please download the HSC World Politics Guide for detailed information on how to enrol. You'll also need to download the Enrolment Form.