How to answer the 12 Mark Analyse Question for Global Politics (Edexcel)

The 12 Mark Analyse is the second of the two 12 Mark questions on Paper 3. For this question there will be no choice and there will be one question that needs to be answered. Like the Examine Question, this question only assesses AO1 and AO2 and not AO2. This has an impact on how the question needs to be structured to ensure the best use of time in order to maximise the marks available.

What will be asked in the 12 Mark Analyse Question?

The 12 Mark Analyse question will ask you to care the view of Liberals and Realists on an issue in global politics. Examples of this might be:

Analyse the divisions between Realists and Liberals on Human Nature (12 Marks)

Analyse the divisions between realists and liberals on Power in global politics (12 Marks)

Analyse the divisions between realists and liberals on the role of IGOs (12 Marks)

In addition, the exam board could ask about the Anarchical States Theory and Society of States Theory. For example, a question might look like:

Analyse the explanations of global politics provided by anarchical society theory (12 Marks)

You must compare to one comparative theory

What should the structure of the 12 Mark Examine Question look like?

The requirement of the question to compare and contrast the theories is an important factor in how it should be structured. It is imperative that you do not simply write about one thing and then the other. If you do this, whilst you may score highly for AO1 it will be hard to comparatively analyse the things to a similar degree. Instead, therefore, you should look to select themes through which to address the question. You should aim to pick three themes through which the two theories can be directly compared and contrasted.

In addition, as there is no AO3 attached to this question, writing an introduction or a conclusion is entirely redundant.

A useful mnemonic that can be used (similar to the Examine Question) in each paragraph is S.E.E.M:

Signpost the point you are making that allows comparison of the two theories

Explain the first thing in relation to the question

Examples can be used to extend your explanation

Make comparison to the other theory

What is the synoptic requirement?

There is a synoptic requirement for this question and that is that ‘in your answer you must discuss any relevant core political ideas’. This means reference must be made to Socialism, Conservatism and/or Liberalism in your answer. This is undoubtedly a strange requirement and feel utterly superficious (the exam board had to include it to try to keep the global paper comparable to the US Paper. This requirement is not burdensome – you simply have to show the examiner that you have done it.

What will the question assess on?

The specification outlines the global issues that will be assessed as part of the global paper. They are:

This means that with preparation, students can cover much of the question planning for this question.

Exemplar Question – Analyse the Realist and Liberal views towards globalisation (12 Marks)

Liberals and Realists have different views on economic globalisation. Liberals are extremely optimistic about globalisation and its potential to create mutual interdependence between states. This will consequently force states to cooperate, creating greater opportunities of peace and security. For example, Bretton Woods organisations like the WTO regulate trade and create economic prosperity. Consequently, Liberals also believe economic globalisation contributes to the Dell Theory of Conflict Resolution. This states that states that countries that dependent on each other for trade are unlikely to go war. They would argue that the trading ties between the US and China stop the tension in the South China Sea developing into war. Conversely, realists are less optimistic about the ability of economic globalisation to create peace and prosperity. Realists believe that states are only concerned with the maximisation of their power relatively to their rivals. They believe that the world is most predictable with a Hobbesian Leviathan. Realists believe in a winner-takes-all belief in Politics which will see powerful countries and TNCs dominating. They are also less committed to free trade, advocating protectionism to protect the economic interests of their own state. For example, the realist policy of Trump’s 25% steel tariffs on China to ‘make America great again’ would be fair to a realist whilst they would recognise even the EU has over 11,000 tariffs on agricultural goods.

There are also differences on political globalisation. Liberals believe that states and Non-State actors will naturally cooperate over political issues to deal with collective dilemmas. This is in line with the classical liberal views on rationalism. As such, they believe IGOs provide a vital mechanism for dealing with collective issues. For example, Liberals would point to the UNFCC and its success in dealing with Climate Change through enabling treaties like the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, Liberals believe that globalisation has helped create an international rules-based order that effectively regulates behaviour without the needs for conflict. For example, a liberal would point to the success of the UN in reducing nuclear arms through agreements such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Contrastingly, realists are convinced of the primacy of nation-states over any international bodies and believe that the continuation of the Westphalian System is beneficial. Realists do not believe that international law has much force and that powerful states can and will act outside of it if it is in their interests. For example, the decision of Britain to defy a ICJ ruling that they should return the Chagos Islands or the US assassination of Qassam Solemeini show the willingness of states to ignore international law when it is in its interests.

Finally, liberals and realists differ on merits of cultural globalisation. Liberals believe that the flow low of ideas is a benefit to global society. Liberals believe that cultural globalisation allow the spread of liberal values like gender equality and free speech. For example, cultural events like the World Cup in Qatar 2022 allowed for international condemnation of anti-LGBT policies to be heard. There is commonality here with the Rawlesian view of the veil of ignorance, with people not being willing to overlook rights abuses elsewhere just because their right are assured. In particular, they believe that it is likely to lead to the growth and strengthening of liberal democracies, which in turn will make the world a safer place. For example, the Arab Spring saw a wave of pro-democracy protests that quickly spread across North Africa and the Middle-East, toppling a number of dictators. Contrastingly, realists are sceptical of the benefits of cultural globalisation. They are concerned that cultural globalisation creates a monoculture that dampens national identity. For example, the Americanisation of culture may lead to the degradation of local cultural and be a form of cultural imperialism. The growth of right-wing populist movements with strong anti-immigration policies in Europe has been a reaction to fears over cultural globalisation.

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