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Politics was an Ancient Greek idea, and they also provided the basis for the modern word we use today - it derives from 'politikos', meaning 'of, for, or relating to citizens'.
Today, politics is the process of gaining and exerting governance - organised control over a state or local community. Studying politics involves looking at how that power is handled, and where the power lies.
Political theory is also vital. Without theory we would not know many of the crucial elements of our own society. Students consider key questions like the nature of freedom and the strengths and limitations of democracy.

Digging deeper into subject interests can help you in a number of ways:

  • Confirm whether this is (or isn't) something you would be interested in enough to want to study it at university either as the focus of your degree or a minor/elective

  • Give you some inspiration to use when creating your questions and topics for IA's (coursework) and your Extended Essay

  • Provide you with content for your university application writing in the future, enabling you to reflect on the things you've been doing to explore your interests in a way that is academically relevant to the course or institution you are applying for.

Useful Resources

Oxford University Research Blog
The University of Oxford's Blog on their current research. It includes articles on a huge range of topics but particularly relevant to the current global challenges.
Click Here >
Political Philosophy: a very short introduction, by David Miller
This work introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy - authority, democracy, freedom and its limits, justice, feminism, multiculturalism, and nationality. Accessibly written and assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, it encourages the reader to think clearly and critically about the leading political questions of our time.
St. Clares Library L25 320.01 MIL
The Evolution of Everything : how new ideas emerge, by Matt Ridley
We are taught that the world is a top-down place. Acclaimed author Matt Ridley shows just how wrong this is in his compelling new book. This is more often wrong than right. 'The Evolution of Everything' is about bottom-up order and its enemy, the top-down twitch, the endless fascination human beings have for design rather than evolution, for direction rather than emergence.
St. Clare's Library at shelf location L 23 500 RID
The Prince, by Machiavello N
The Prince shocked Europe on publication with its ruthless tactics for gaining absolute power and its abandonment of conventional morality. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) came to be regarded as some by an agent of the Devil and his name taken for the intriguer 'Machevill' of Jacobean tragedy. For his treatise on statecraft Machiavelli drew upon his own experience of office under the turbulent Florentine republic, rejecting traditional values of political theory and recognizing the complicated, transient nature of political life. Concerned not with lofty ideals, but with a regime that would last, The Prince has become the Bible of realpolitik, and still retains its power to alarm and to instruct.
St. Clares Library L25 320.01 MAC
Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. In it, Wollstonecraft responds to those educational and political theorists of the eighteenth century who did not believe women should have an education. She argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives. Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men.
St. Clares Library L25 305.4 WOL
Summer Schools in Europe
The most complete directory of summer courses in Europe. It includes courses for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, so ensure you read the descriptions to find options right for you.
Click Here >
Young Political Leader Programmes
Events | Conference
Gain an immersive experience of Politics alongside top professionals. Choose below either our Young Political Leader Weekend or our Young Political Leader Summer Experience.
Click Here >
Research from the University of Bristol
Journal Articles | Website
Explore cutting edge research from the different faculties and departments from the University of Bristol, including free access to their published journal articles.
Click Here >
Online Course
Coursera is an online platform for distance learning. They have a range of free courses delivered by universities. Search in this section to find courses of interest to you, often these are courses you can follow at your own pace.
Click Here >
Online Course
The X Series courses on the EdX platform are free online courses delivered by universities and aimed at helping you explore areas of interest.
Click Here >
Online Course
FutureLearn is a free online platform where universities from around the globe host FREE online courses you can undertake in your areas of interest. Browse courses by categories or use the search bar to find courses relevant to your interests
Click Here >
Middle East Centre
The Middle East Centre, founded in 1957 at St Antony’s College is the centre for the interdisciplinary study of the modern Middle East in the University of Oxford. Centre Fellows teach and conduct research in the humanities and social sciences with direct reference to the Arab world, Iran, Israel and Turkey, with particular emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, during our regular Friday seminar series, attracting a wide audience, our distinguished speakers bring topics to light that touch on contemporary issues.
Click Here >
Oxford Martin School: Public Lectures and Seminars
Podcast | Recorded Lecture
Public Lectures and Seminars from the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. The Oxford Martin School brings together the best minds from different fields to tackle the most pressing issues of the 21st century.
Click Here >
Oxford Transitional Justice Research Seminars
Podcast | Recorded Lecture
Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) is an inter-disciplinary network of more than 100 Oxford staff and students working broadly on issues of transition in societies recovering from mass conflict and/or repressive rule. OTJR is dedicated to producing high-quality scholarship that connects intimately to practical and policy questions in transitional justice, focusing on the following themes: Prosecutions, Truth Commissions, Local and traditional practices, Compensation and reparations, Theoretical and philosophical debates in transitional justice, Institutional reform and Archives of tribunal and other transitional justice materials. The OTJR seminar programme is held weekly and reflects these aims.
Click Here >
TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
Podcast | Recorded Lecture
The University of Oxford is home to an impressive range and depth of research activities in the Humanities. TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is a major new initiative that seeks to build on this heritage and to stimulate and support research that transcends disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Here we feature some of the networks and programmes, as well as recordings of events, and offer insights into the research that they make possible.
Click Here >
University of Southampton Podcast Library
Podcast | Recorded Lecture
A library of the Lifelong Learning Talks and Study Days from the University of Southampton. They cover a wide range of topics but are organised by topic and easy to browse.
Click Here >
Springpod Subject Spotlights
Recorded Lecture
On demand mini-lectures from top UK universities across a range of degree subject areas
Click Here >
The Continuing Windrush Scandal | Talk from March 2021
Talk by journalist and author Amelia Gentleman three years on from the government apology for the Windrush scandal, yet justice remains elusive for so many of those who were affected.
Click Here >
Video | Recorded Lecture
ExeTalks are a chance to discover some of the fascinating research undertaken at the University of Exeter.
Click Here
Royal Society for Asian Affairs You
Video | Webinar | Recorded Lecture
A collection of webinars and recorded lectures from the UK Royal Society for Asian Affairs
Click Here >
21st Century Challenges: Informed discussion from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Website | Blog | Video | Recorded Lecture | Events
21st Century Challenges considers the big social, environmental and economic challenges of our time. Join us at events; read articles and commentary informed by the latest geographical research; watch videos, be inspired, think critically, build your networks and share your ideas.
Click here >
Website | Podcast | Blog | Video
The HE+ website has supercurricular resources created and written by Cambridge students and academics including challenging activities, engaging videos, reflective questions and much more.
Click Here >
LIS Learning Hub
Website | Webinar | Recorded Lecture | Blog | Podcast
This is an open source area full of webinars, articles, videos, short reads, mini-lectures, podcasts and more from the London Interdiscipinary school.
Click Here >
Springpod Virtual Work Experience
Work Experience
Virtual work experience Opportunities across a range of companies and sectors. Most of them are free.
Click Here >
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