Understanding Legitimacy in Global Politics

This week in the Global Politics and Societies class, the students had an engaging discussion on the topic of legitimacy. In the discussion, different types of legitimacy was introduced such as traditional, charismatic, rational-legal, consent, and power legitimacy. Many interesting questions were brought up during the discussion, from a simple definition on the textbook to a broader question, all encouraging students to break ideas down and think critically. Because of this fruitful discussion, every student walked out of class with a thorough understanding of this topic.

Another highlight was the 10th grade carousel which took place in the beginning of this week, where several student volunteers promoted the Global Politics and Societies class to future IB students who might be considering to join this class next year.

We also had multiple unique topics brought up in the Global Politics Institute of Foreign Affairs (GIFA) presentations this week. Child marriage in India, lone wolf terrorism and Japan’s population decline was this week’s topics. Students were able to develop their Personal Political Paradigm (PPP) by thinking about diverse topics introduced by students from different cultural backgrounds.

In Thursday’s class we had our last GIFA rapporteur present in class.

At the end of this week a student-led class picnic took place, where students were able to deepen class spirit as we head into the core, and more difficult topics in the upcoming months.

An Engaging Week of Discussion in IBDP Global Politics

It has been a busy week in IBDP Global Politics, with a variety of interesting GPS Institute of Foreign Affairs (GIFA) presentations and an ongoing discussion of sovereignty.

Two GIFA rapporteurs gave informative presentations related to human rights in China, one being about the one-child policy and the other about the Chinese organ market. Both raised questions about responsible sovereignty and human rights which resulted in lively discussions. Students also participated in discourse following a GIFA presentation about Germany’s role in the Paris Climate Agreement, a relevant topic as 2020 approaches.

Throughout the week, students were engaged in group discussions of sovereignty. With one facilitator moderating each group, students had the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts to their peers. They compared and contrasted the ideas of sovereignty and self-determination, and were able to relate these terms to this week’s fitting GIFA presentations. Students were also able to discuss the results of their research on a particular GPS theorist, including Ernest Gellner and Machiavelli.

In upcoming classes, students will be analysing school constitutions and beginning to look at human rights in more depth.

Sovereignty in Global Politics Class

Last Monday the school celebrated a wonderful UN day full of waving flags and a mixing pot of cultures making for a truly momentous day. But for global politics class  this made for a very insightful and pertinent discussion topic throughout the week. Especially due to how recently in class we have been delving deep into the key topic of sovereignty and what truly makes a country a country. The week started off with an intriguing discussion points focusing on a shift in perspectives while looking at an issue. We used UN Day as a frame in order to peer into the concept of sovereignty in more detail. A very robust conversation was had about many hot button topics in today’s society such as the Kurdish and Hong Kong issue which all relate back to the concept of sovereignty.

By the end of the discussion people all walked away with a different understanding of sovereignty than before. Sovereignty to us is now a lot more complex. The term itself is described as a nation states independence and control over its territory and ability to govern itself and its people. However, there are different forms of sovereignty such as absolute sovereignty or relative sovereignty and sovereignty on different scales such as individual, group, organisation and corporate and although our understanding has been broadened immensely.  We as a class still have much more to learn about this topic in the coming weeks.

Power Discussion in IBDP GPS

This week in IBDP Global Politics, students engaged in a variety of activities such as having interactive discussions on the types of power and how it functions, as well as joining and stay connected through the GPS Facebook forum. Apart from focusing on the concept of power, students also have discussions on state sovereignty and raised the controversial question of whether or not should a region be independent.

According to Eric Liu, power is the ability to make others do what you would have them do. The IB GPS handbook notes that our existence is dominated by “power interactions”. There will be power interactions between friends, colleagues, family, teacher and more. The 4 types of power that have been covered in class include soft power, hard power, sharp power, and smart power. These types of power exist in our everyday life in relationships, family, and society.

There will be more interactive discussions held in upcoming GPS lessons on different concepts!

A Week of Global Politics and Society

During this week, GPS (Global Politics and Society) students have discussed on a variety of topics prior to the student-led presentations such as the Central American Immigration Crisis, how Brexit affects people in the Netherlands as well as the rest of the world and about the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

For each class, there will always be one person being a rapporteur to lead a discussion for the first ten minutes in class. Their job is to deconstruct, assess & evaluate the media’s portrayal of significant events that have a personal connection to them and discuss with the class. Other people would be note-takers of the topic mentioned and will contribute as well by asking “tricky” questions every now and then. After the discussion, the note-takers give feedback to the rapporteur. As the concepts of each person take a role to lead one topic, this is a great opportunity for all the members to be used to the summative tasks and improve their leadership, speaking and improvising skills.

Not only that but they also discuss the concepts of power. Answering the questions, “What is power?” “What are power relationships?” in pairs of two with examples. They defined power as an ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality. There are different types of power included soft (the ability to influence without using the threat of military force), hard (a coercive approach to international political relations, especially one that involves the use of military power), sharp (the use of manipulative diplomatic policies by one country to influence and undermine the political system of a target country) and smart (combination of hard power and soft power strategies).

Well done GPS Scientists!

Written by Phuong Thao Pham

International Relation Discussions Continue…

The first cohort of the IBDP Global Politics class has been exploring different concepts relating to international relations. Through interactive discussions, these political scientists were able to challenge themselves with these concepts that require an abundance of knowledge. The discussions involved concepts of sovereignty and self-help through the lens of power.

In this week’s lessons, these political scientists have demonstrated the skills to reflect upon their own work as well as their peers’. After a successful week of indulging in the “Diplomacy” simulation, these political scientists have utilised their negotiation and critical thinking skills to gain alliances and explore the major basics of Global Politics.

Written by Kiet Nguyen

Simulation Leads to Stimulation about International Relations…

The DP Global Politics (GPS) in a Risk Society Year 1 are busy exploring the nature & behavior of nation-states on the world stage through the international relations simulation “Diplomacy”.

No dice are involved; just focused diplomatic skills, a willingness to collaborate towards achieving a strategic vision & the occasional broken agreement & metaphorical “backstabbing”.

Over the course of the simulation, participants come into contact with, address & discuss fundamental GPS key concepts such as “security dilemma”, “anarchic state system”, “self-help”, “power relations” & “Westphalian State System”.

Even professional gamer Mr. Fleming joined in this “clash of civilisations”.

GPS meets in room B5 G29. Come join us.