How to tackle Edexcel Unit 3B

This is the Introduction to Political Ideologies for the old exam.  The Specification (syllabus) says:

Liberalism
Key concepts:

  • individualism
  • freedom
  • justice
  • rationalism
  • equality
  • liberal democracy
  • constitutionalism
  • consent

Content explanation

  • A knowledge of core ideas, doctrines and theories of liberal ideology, particularly as they affect liberal views on human nature, the state, society and the economy.
  • An ability to discuss differing views and tensions within liberal ideology, notably between classical liberalism and modern liberalism

Conservatism
Key concepts:

  • tradition
  • organic society
  • hierarchy
  • authority
  • property
  • paternalism
  • libertarianism
  • authoritarianism
  • neoliberalism
  • neoconservatism

Content explanation

  • A knowledge of core ideas, doctrines and theories of conservative ideology, particularly as they affect conservative views on human nature, the state, society and the economy.
  • A knowledge of differing views and tensions within conservative ideology, particularly related to divisions between traditional conservatism and the ‘New Right’

Socialism
Key concepts:

  • co-operation
  • fraternity
  • collectivism
  • social equality
  • communism
  • social democracy
  • social justice
  • third way

Content explanation

  • A knowledge of core ideas, doctrines and theories, particularly as they affect socialist views on human nature, the state, society and the economy.
  • An awareness of differences within socialism, in particular differences between revolutionary and evolutionary socialism and between fundamentalist and revisionism socialism. (Questions will not be set on the features of 20th-century communism alone.)

Liberalism questions

15-markers

  • Explain the link between liberalism and rationalism (2016)
  • To what extent have liberals disagreed over freedom? (2015)
  • Why and how have liberals supported the fragmentation of government power? (2014)
  • On what grounds have modern liberals defended the principle of social welfare? (2014)

45-markers

  • To what extent have liberals endorsed the principle of equality? (2015)
  • To what extent are liberals divided over the role of the state? (2014)

Socialism questions

15-markers

  • How and why have socialists supported collectivism? (2016)
  • How far do Marxists and anarchists disagree over the role of the state? (2016)
  • Why have some socialists supported an ‘evolutionary road to socialism’? (2016)
  • Why have some socialists supported a revolutionary ‘road’ to socialism? (2015)
  • Why has social class played such an important role in socialist analysis? (2014)

45-markers

  • ‘Socialism is defined by its commitment to collectivism.’ Discuss. (2015)
  • To what extent have socialists disagreed over the means of achieving socialism? (2014)

Conservatism questions

15-markers

  • On what grounds do conservatives justify social hierarchy? (2016)
  • How do traditional conservatives and the liberal New Right differ in their views of society? (2015)
  • On what grounds have conservatives defended authority? (2014)

45-markers

  • There is more that unites the New Right than divides it.’ Discuss. (2016)
  • To what extent is conservatism a philosophy of human imperfection? (2015)
  • Conservatism is defined by its support for free market capitalism.’ Discuss (2014)

 

In dealing with the questions, first group them.  Liberal questions will be about freedom or equality or the differences between classical and modern liberals or the powers of government.  After you have grouped them, answer the questions in bullet-pointed lists, making sure you PEE (Point, Evidence Explanation/ Amplification).

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