Politics is essentially a process which seeks to manage or resolve conflicts of interest between people usually in a peaceful fashion.

Politics in the UK (eds Jones and Kavanagh)

Politics Units give us the opportunity to discuss the governing of Scotland both at Holyrood level and UK level plus the impact of the EU on our lives. What powers does the Scottish Parliament have? What powers have been retained by the Westminster parliament? These are a couple of questions we shall ask. Also, we will look at the issues arising from this legislative split including possible conflicts between the two parliaments. A class visit to the Scottish Parliament will be offered and a sitting member of the parliament will be invited to address the class.

Other Politics Units involve the teaching of political theory. The main areas of study will be: political concepts and political ideology. The Collins dictionary defines a concept as “something formed in the mind; a thought; a general idea. Concepts in this sense are therefore the building blocks of political knowledge. The political concepts that we will look at in this Unit are:

  • the state – what is meant by the state?
  • power – different definitions of power.
  • authority – linked to power – legitimate power.
  • legitimacy – linked to authority – rightful power- free elections.
  • democracy – definitions of, different models of democracy.

Political ideologies tend to be described as “a more or less coherent set of ideas that provide the basis for organised political action, whether this is intended to preserve, modify or overthrow existing systems of power relationships.”

Looked at from this point of view, ideologies:

  • offer an account of the existing order.
  • provide a model of a desired future.
  • outline how political change can and should be brought about.

Liberal, socialist and conservative ideologies will be critically examined.

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