Global Politics Units 3 and 4


Students analyse a range of different perspectives on a variety of contemporary global issues. In Unit 3 Area of Study 1, students examine the level of influence different global actors such as the United Nations have in the international political forum and consider the various challenges to modern day state sovereignty. Students examine the key ideas, arguments and debates pertaining to various global issues. The solutions and causes that surround each issue are studied. Students investigate the roles of the UN, Trans National Corporations, intergovernmental and non-government organisations, and the debates surrounding these roles.

In Area of Study 2, students will examine and analyse the way in which a specific Asia-Pacific state (our focus is the United States of America) uses its various forms of power to pursue its national interest objectives.

In Unit 4 Area of Study 1 students evaluate the effectiveness of global actor responses within two global ethical debate issues – the first looks at the universality of human rights. Using their knowledge of the key international laws and treaties associated with each ethical issue, students investigate the ability of institutions of global governance to uphold international laws and indict actors who flout them. The second ethical debate looks at the idea of people movement, focusing on debates about people movement and arguments about the moral obligation to help distant foreigners over a state’s national interests, often presented in the form of border security.

In Area of Study 2 students explore two global crises – we look at various contemporary state and interstate armed conflicts, the forms of global terrorism and the effectiveness of global actor responses.

Who is it for?

This subject is for students who are interested in and enjoy staying abreast of contemporary world events. A high level of written expression is required in order to examine and analyse in detail the various political concepts and ethical debates that are raised in this subject.

Many students who have completed this subject have gone on to do further studies in international relations, law, arts, history, teaching, diplomacy, international aid and journalism at university.

What do you do?

Students will be required to complete a variety of weekly learning tasks. These include, but are not limited to, written responses to set questions and activities on required reading, online quizzes, reports, research assignments, participation in online discussion forums, online lessons, multimedia presentations and essay writing.

We strongly recommend that all students attend our Global Politics day-long seminars that are run each term at the DECV in Thornbury.

What skills do you need?

Units 1 and 2 of Global Politics are not a prerequisite for Units 3 and 4. A very high level of written expression is required for this subject. Students are expected to stay abreast of contemporary world news and current events and be able to articulate and identify various influential international global actors.

A high degree of organisation is required in order for students to keep up with the high demand of reading and independent research that is required. Access to a reliable high bandwidth of internet is essential for all students as a high degree of independent research will be required.

While it is not essential, students should be prepared to share their opinions and ideas with their classmates and be prepared to justify their contentions with specific evidence.

What skills do you develop?

Global Politics is highly regarded as a subject that develops students’ analytical, observation, and critical thinking skills. It allows students to develop their awareness of the nature of power, its influence, and to become informed and active global citizens. This subject will develop the skills and attributes that today’s employers need. They include reading, interpreting and analysis, the ability to evaluate and argue, form independent views, and a high level of written communication.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

The purchase of the following textbooks will also be required: VCE Global Politics Unit 3 & 4 (4th ed.) by Anna-Louise Simpson (Social Education Victoria, 2017)

Things to think about

Students need to come to the subject with a broad understanding of world news and events. A strong grasp of the world’s geopolitical structure and cultural demographics are also highly recommended. Key terminology and subject-specific language is developed during Units 3 and 4, however a familiarity with the language of the global political area will certainly help students to “hit the ground running”.

Past students have remarked in their feedback that they really loved the contemporary nature of the topics discussed and learned a lot about how the political world is connected, but that there is a high demand on students to keep up to date with the required reading and additional resources links provided each week.

A realistic weekly time management plan is paramount for students to achieve good results in this subject.

Things you can do now

Start building a daily diet of global news and current affairs into your life.

Read the world news section from a variety of newspapers. Similarly, start to watch reputable world news and global current affairs programs as often as you can.

Here is a really useful world news website from a variety of global news outlets that helps organise topics into subject areas. The red boxes are for world politics.

Print out a large copy of a political world map and display it in your room or in an area where you study as a source of reference.

Start to familiarise yourself with current world leaders – test yourself. Do some advance reading for the two Unit 3 topics by purchasing the Social Education Victoria (SEV) VCE Global Politics Units 3 & 4 textbook.

There are many documentaries and films that will help students to understand some of our key concept understandings. Some of these include (although certainly not limited to):
Charlie Wilson’s War; The Hurt Locker; Homeland (Series); No End In Sight; Syriana; Zero Dark Thirty; The Honourable Woman (Series); Eye in the Sky; A Mighty Heart; Jarhead; The West Wing (series); The Kite Runner; The Promise (SBS Series); Battle for Haditha; Green Zone; Taxi to the Dark Side; 13 Hours; Grace Is Gone; The Whistle-blower; Four Lions; Heavy Metal in Baghdad (documentary); Iraq in Fragments (documentary); The War Tapes (documentary); Baghdad ER (HBO documentary); VICE Special Report: Fighting ISIS (HBO documentary)

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.





Things to have a look at

Brzezinski On The World: On Global Politics

GR Global Politics

GR Global Politics is a blog set up by one of our teachers that has a good break down of the topics covered, news articles that are worth looking at and video links to help understand different world events.

International Politics

This Spark Notes page has a list of topics and terms that students are expected to know: start on History of the International System and then move on to the other topics listed.

Theories of International Relations, International Agreements and Law, International Organizations, War, Revolution and Terrorism.