Larkhall Academy

Politics

Teacher of Politics: Mr K. Hannah

 

Higher Politics looks at three study areas:

Political Theory, Political Systems and Political Parties and Elections

 

The topics we cover in each of the areas include:

Political Systems

Learners will study two political systems which are –

  • UK political system
  • US political system

Learners will study aspects of the political systems as follows:

  • The nature and status of different constitutional arrangements
  • The advantages and disadvantages of respective legislatures in terms of democratic decision-making, passage of legislation, scrutiny of legislation and government policies
  • Political executives; differences in the distribution of power and how the executive relates to other branches of government
  • The role of the judiciary and its independence within comparative political systems

Political Theory

Learners will study the nature of Power, Authority and Legitimacy referring to the ideas of Steven Lukes and Max Weber.

Learners will study the nature of democracy and will be able to identify the arguments for and against Direct and Representative (indirect) forms of democracy. Learners will be able to refer to a relevant theorist such as Plato, Schumpeter or Dahl.

Learners will study two political ideologies from the list below. Learners must refer to the ideas of political theorists relevant to each ideology.

  • Liberalism
  • Socialism
  • Conservatism
  • Nationalism
  • Fascism

Political Systems

Learners will study two political systems which are –

  • UK political system
  • US political system

Learners will study aspects of the political systems as follows:

  • The nature and status of different constitutional arrangements
  • The advantages and disadvantages of respective legislatures in terms of democratic decision-making, passage of legislation, scrutiny of legislation and government policies
  • Political executives; differences in the distribution of power and how the executive relates to other branches of government
  • The role of the judiciary and its independence within comparative political systems

Political Parties and Elections

Learners will study the impact of the dominant ideas within a UK political party on its electoral performance. Learners will study a political party from the list below:

  • Conservative Party
  • Labour Party
  • Liberal Democrats
  • Scottish National Party

Learners will study aspects of the following:

  • The dominant ideas of the political party studied and the impact of these ideas on the electoral performance of the political party
  • The impact of a range of factors on the electoral performance of the political party
  • The application of theoretical analyses of voting behaviour

Relevant case studies should be used from Scotland, the United Kingdom or both Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The dominant ideas within a party include ideas within the party’s traditions, its ideological perspective and key ideas given prominence in an electoral campaign. Learners may focus on where and how a party chooses to position itself within the political spectrum in order to maximise its electoral performance.

Learners will study the impact of a range of factors on electoral performance such as:

  • Traditional campaign strategies, for example canvassing, leafleting and the ‘ground game’
  • Political campaign management strategies
  • Media strategies, including television, newspapers, radio and new media
  • The use of technology

Learners will study the application of theoretical analyses of voting behaviour.

Theories of voting behaviour should include the rational choice model, the dominant ideology model, the sociological model and the party identification model.

Learners will evaluate a wide range of electoral data, which may include local and national election results, opinion polls, focus group evidence, party canvass returns and exit poll data.

Relevant case studies should be used from Scotland, the United Kingdom or both Scotland and the United Kingdom.

 

Useful Websites for Revision

http://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/findpastpaper.htm?subject=Politics&level=NH

http://alevelpolitics.com/