Group 3 IAs Subjects

Overview: Global Politics HL Presentations

This is an overview of the extra two video-recorded oral presentations HL Global Politics students must complete. For the presentations, a political issue must be discussed in detail. This is similar to an IA: you can research it, practice it, and perfect it in your own time. However, you will have to present it in front of your teacher or examiner for 10 minutes, and will then be externally moderated by IB examiners. It makes up 20% of your final grade

Don’t confuse this with the Political Engagement Activity, as that is a separate IA that both Standard Level and Higher Level students have to do. For most subjects, there is only one IA. For Global Politics HL students, here are two types—the engagement activity and the presentations.

Choosing your Topic

A key aspect of these presentations is the six “Global Political Challenges”, of which you must choose one for each presentation. These challenges are:

  • Environment
  • Poverty
  • Health
  • Identity
  • Borders
  • Security

The chosen challenge will decide the main theme of your presentation, and you must constantly link your topic to the global challenge. The next step is to choose the topic you want to analyze. I recommend choosing a specific topic that allows for a detailed analysis. Subsequently, to help you focus your analysis, formulate a research question. For example, for my first presentation, I chose poverty as my global challenge and wanted to look at the situation in North Korea. Since this was a broad topic, I decided to narrow my focus. Consequently, I focused on the 2016 “Five-Year Plan” which the North Korean government introduced to help improve the economic situation in the country, and I wanted to analyze the cause of its failure.

My final research question: “To what extent can the North Korean government be blamed for the failure of the 2016 Five-Year Plan?”

When coming up with any essay question, I constantly referred to the IB command terms for some guidance. I would also recommend choosing a topic unrelated to ongoing events. Present-time scenarios make it difficult to draw long-term conclusions. Finally, keep in mind that you can’t choose the same global challenge for both presentations!

Assessment Criteria

Before beginning your presentation, read the Global Politics Guide. Here is the explanation of the top band criteria for an HL presentation:

“The student demonstrates an excellent understanding of a political issue raised by the case study, with a clear and focused analysis and an exploration of different perspectives on the issue. The student analyses the case study within the wider context of global politics, illustrating effectively the significance of the case.”

There are several important elements to be noted from this:

·  Your presentation should be a detailed analysis, based on reliable sources of different types and origins. Therefore, you shouldn’t only describe the political issue, but make different points related to your research question and global political challenge.

·  Remember that this must focus on a contemporary issue. This means historical background information should be kept to a minimum. Only details crucial to understanding the political issue should be mentioned.

·  Your presentation should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments. Make sure to highlight different points of view from different political actors, ethnic groups and gender groups, etc…(this list is not exhaustive!).

·  Levels of analysis (e.g. Local, National, Regional, International, Global) should be an important part of your presentation. Remember, this is IB Global Politics, not IB Local Politics! After covering the main areas of your presentation, you must briefly mention and discuss other places in the world with a similar issue.

·  As with the written work on this subject, the 16 key concepts from the Global Politics syllabus(legitimacy, human rights, sovereignty, etc.) should be used to help your analysis. You should use two to three of them in one presentation.

While presenting, you can have notes with short bullet points to help you remember what you need to cover during the ten minutes. However, you can’t have an entire script to read from; the IB is looking for good communication. They do allow some visual aid, with a maximum of one slide with elements like charts, data, maps and infographics. 

This may seem difficult at first, but it’s better to think of it as an essay to be recited orally. The hardest part is communicating and presenting without being able to read out a script. However, it’s an important skill that many universities value, so make sure you take this opportunity to improve it! Overall, enjoy planning and conductin your presentations; that’s the most important part of the process!


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