VCE Global Politics is a contemporary subject which considers the interactions between states and other global actors, the impact of globalisation and ethical issues in our world today. Students will be able to engage in key political, social and economic issues and will form a critical understanding of the world in which they live and of contemporary global issues. As a result, students will also develop their skills of critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and argument. The course provides knowledge and skills that prepare students for formal study at the tertiary level and leads to opportunities in a range of careers, including academia, management, government, journalism, and law.

Unit 3 Semester 1

Global actors
Students investigate the key global actors in twenty-first century global politics. They use contemporary evidence to analyse the key global actors and their aims, roles and power. This helps them to develop an understanding of the key actors through an in-depth examination of the concepts of national interest and power as they relate to the state, and the way in which one Asia-Pacific state uses power within the region to achieve its objectives.
For the purposes of this study, the term ‘non-state actors’ covers a range of global actors: altruistic non-governments organisations (NGOs), for example Amnesty International and Greenpeace; terrorist movements and organised religions.

Students also examine the way in which a specific Asia-Pacific state uses its power to pursue its national interest and explore the factors that have shaped that state’s national interests in recent years. National interests are used by states to describe, support and inform domestic and foreign policy actions. Students learn that although states vary markedly, they share a common interest in maintaining their sovereignty and national security. They also learn that one state’s national interests can differ from other states’ interests. There are often differing interpretations of a state’s national interests and views about them may depend on factors such as cultural identity, international relationships and state security. To achieve its national interests, a state may use various types of hard and soft power. Students consider the main foreign policy instruments available to the state: diplomacy, trade, aid and military.

Unit 4 Semester 2

Global challenges
In this unit students investigate key global challenges facing the international community in the twenty-first century. They examine and analyse the debates surrounding two ethical issues, which are underpinned by the contested notion of global citizenship. They then evaluate the effectiveness of responses to these issues. Students also explore the context and causes of global crises, and consider the varying effectiveness of responses and challenges to solving them.
This unit is concerned with contemporary issues and events. While these may have antecedents in issues and events before the twenty-first century, that students need to understand to contextualise contemporary global situations, focus needs to be on the twenty-first century when choosing particular examples and case studies.  Two global crises are selected from the following: climate change, armed conflict, terrorism, and economic instability.

1. Coursework – Unit 3 (25%)
2. Coursework – Unit 4 (25%)
3. Examination – (50%)