Edexcel A2 Topic B _Political Ideologies_ - advice on organisation and delivery

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					Edexcel GCE Government and Politics:

Topic B – Political Ideologies

Andrew Heywood

Advice on A2 assessment

As in the revised AS level (8GP01), marks in the A2 will be awarded separately by
each assessment objective, not holistically as before. This places a greater stress
on the need to understand the various assessment objectives and to be aware of
their implications for particular questions.

Allocation of marks

Assessment objective 1 (AO1)

   Knowledge (suggests breadth)
   Understanding (suggests depth)

    Demonstrated, for example, by:

       Defining concepts
       Describing institutions
       Setting out features/characteristics
       Naming something
       Surveying information
       Describing differences
       Supplying examples

Marks for AO1 are awarded for:

       Relevance
       Accuracy
       Whether the knowledge/understanding is appropriately detailed and developed

Assessment objective 2 (AO2)

2a Analysis (the ability to identify the component features of something and to show how
they relate to one another)

   Demonstrated, for example, by:

      Examining something closely
      Providing explanations (setting out purposes or reasons, or highlighting causal
      Demonstrating interconnections

2b Evaluation (the ability to make judgements about something, either about the about its
importance or its value)

      Assessing extent (judging how far something happens)
      Measuring effectiveness (judging how far something fulfils its purpose)
      Weighing up importance (judging the impact of something)
      Assessing the coherence of an argument (judging the logic of an argument)
      Assessing an argument/viewpoint in the light of available evidence (judging whether
       an argument 'stands up')
      Arguing to a conclusion (judging the respective strengths of competing viewpoints)

2c Identification of parallels, connections, similarities and differences

   Demonstrated, for example , by

      Showing how two or more things can be compared and/or contrasted
      Judging the balance between similarities and differences

Synoptic assessment (AO2)

Awareness of competing viewpoints or perspectives

   Demonstrated, for example by

      Identifying alternative viewpoints or perspectives on a question
      Awareness of the nature and extent of rivalry between these viewpoints
      Awareness of the significance of the viewpoints for an understanding of the issue or

Assessment objective 3 (AO3)

3a Ability to construct and communicate coherent arguments

   Demonstrated, for example , by

      Organising points in a logical sequence
       Having, through the answer, a clear and coherent line of argument
       Having appropriate balance in the argument
       (Where appropriate) reaching a conclusion, clearly linked to the foregoing argument

3b Use of appropriate political vocabulary

    Demonstrated by the use of specialist terminology, relevant to the question

Question types

Short questions (Units 3 and 4)

   AO1 = 5 marks
   AO2 = 7 marks
   AO3 = 3 marks
   Total = 15 marks

    Focus of questions:

     Questions will have an narrower or more specific focus than essay questions.
      Questions will not be open-ended
    Questions will require candidates to do more than describe or just present
      information. The main intellectual skills assessed (AO2) will be analysis, evaluation
      by importance, and the identification of similarities and differences. Debate and
      discussion questions will be rare, but candidates may be asked to explain particular
      political viewpoints or arguments.
    Questions will not require essay-style responses (introduction-argument-conclusion),
      although clarity and coherence in presentation will be rewarded via AO3 marks.

Essay questions (Units 3 and 4)

   AO1 = 12 marks
   AO2 = 24 marks
   Synopticity = 12 marks
   AO3 = 9 marks
   Total = 45 marks

    Focus of questions:

       Questions will have a discursive nature, in that they may permit two or more
        legitimate answers, allowing synopticity to be assessed. As there will be no 'right' or
        'wrong' response, candidates will be rewarded for the knowledge and skills they
        deploy in supporting their chosen conclusion.
   Questions will primarily test the AO2 skill of evaluation. No questions will require only
    analysis or the identification of parallels, similarities and differences.
   Questions will require essay-style responses, which have the following features:

       Answers should have a beginning (introduction), a middle (argument) and an end

       Introductions should:

        o   define key terms used in the question
        o   show an understanding of 'the point' of the question (the issue or issues it
        o   (optional) outline the line of argument to be adopted, possibly indicating the
            conclusion favoured

       Arguments should:

        o   Make points in a logically related order
        o   Consider contrasting viewpoints or positions as appropriate (for/against,
            advantages/disadvantages, benefits/drawbacks, etc)
        o   Support points with appropriate evidence (make a point and prove it)
        o   Qualify points wherever appropriate (make a point and qualify it – 'However
            …' 'On the other hand …')
        o   Argue to a conclusion (do not 'sit on the fence', unless the question invites
            you to)

       Conclusions should:

        o   Be clear and short
        o   Start with a one-sentence answer to the question set ('In conclusion, …')
        o   Briefly summarise the key factors that support this conclusion (new material
            should generally not be introduced at this stage)

Command words

The meaning of common command words (although command words will not always be

Analyse       Break something into its component parts and show how they relate to one
Argue         Present a reasoned case
Assess        'Weigh up' a statement, showing arguments in favour and against
Compare       Identify similarities
Contrast      Identify differences
Criticise     Explain problems, limitations or weaknesses
Define        Say what a word or phrase means
Describe      Set out features or characteristics
Discuss       Examine an issue closely, taking account of differing viewpoints
Distinguish   Describe differences
Evaluate      Make judgments based on evidence
Examine       Investigate closely
Explain       Show how something works, usually by giving a clear and detailed account
              of it



Examination structure:

   Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes)
   Answer 3 short questions out of a choice of 5, and 1 essay out a choice of 3
   Short questions = 15 marks
   Essays = 45 marks
   Total = 90 marks


Key themes:

1. Individualism – Nature of individualism; (separate and unique creatures, not social beings);
    methodological individualism and ethical individualism; egoistical individualism vs developmental
    individualism (pleasure seeking vs human flourishing); implications for equality (foundational
    equality; formal equality; equality of opportunity); implications for the state (state threat to
    individual/individual responsibility/freedom, hence minimal state, but individualism can justify the
    state – social contract theory).

2. Freedom – Link between individualism and freedom; link between reason and freedom; freedom
    'under the law' rather than absolute freedom; 'negative' freedom (absence of external constraints)
    vs 'positive' freedom (personal growth/fulfilment); implications of 'negative' and 'positive' freedom
    for the state.

3. Classical liberalism – Egoistical/atomistic individualism (natural rights theory; utilitarianism; pursuit
    of self-interest/pleasure, etc); 'negative' freedom (freedom of choice, privacy, harm principle);
    minimal/'nightwatchman' state (necessary evil; maintenance of domestic order, etc); economic
    liberalism (laissez-faire, self-regulating market, etc); individual responsibility/self-help (moral and
    economic case for anti-welfarism).

4. Modern liberalism - Developmental individualism (human flourishing; heightening of sensibilities;
    'higher'' and 'lower' pleasures, etc); 'positive' freedom (realisation of individual potential); enabling
    state (enlarges freedom, not merely diminishes it); social reform and welfare (equality of
    opportunity; freedom from social evils, etc); economic management (state rectifies imbalances of
    capitalism; Keynesianism, etc); tensions within modern liberalism (qualified endorsement of
    rolled-forward state – intervention can be ‘excessive’).

5. Power/government – Corrupting nature of power (individualism plus power equals corruption);
    external/legal checks on government (constitutions, especially 'written'; bills of rights, rule of law,
    etc); internal/institutional checks on government – fragmentation/dispersal of power creating
    checks and balances (separation of powers, parliamentary govt, cabinet govt, bicameralism,
    territorial divisions etc).

6. Liberalism and democracy – Liberal arguments in favour of democracy (political equality;
    protection against tyranny; personal development; builds consensus, etc); liberal concerns about
    democracy (collectivism; tyranny of the majority; unequal political wisdom; over-government and
    economic stultification, etc); strengths of liberal democracy (political stability; freedom and
    prosperity; democratization; 'democratic peace' thesis).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   Nature and implications of individualism
   Nature of freedom and differences within liberalism over freedom
   Distinctive theories and ideas of classical liberalism
   Distinctive theories and ideas of modern liberalism
   Similarities and difference between classical and modern liberalism
   Coherence of modern liberalism
   Liberal views on power/government and how government power can be constrained
   Advantages and disadvantages of democracy, from a liberal perspective
   Nature of liberal democracy, and advantages of liberal-democratic rule



Key themes:

1. Tradition – Conservative arguments in favour of tradition (natural law; accumulated wisdom of the
    past; stability and rootedness); New Right departures from traditionalism (neo-liberal radicalism
    based on reasoned analysis; reactionary tendencies); neo-conservatism and traditional values.

2. Human imperfection – Psychological imperfection (limited, dependent and security-seeking
    creatures; implications for tradition, authority etc) moral imperfection (base and non-rational
    urges and instincts; implications for law and order, and sentencing policy); intellectually imperfect
    (world largely beyond human understanding; implications for reason, tradition).

3. Property – Property supported because it provides security in an insecure/unstable world;
    because it is the exteriorisation of individual personality; because it breeds positive social values
    (eg, respect for law); property traditionally viewed as a duty (to preserve for the benefit of future
    generations), but New Right advanced a liberal, rights-based justification.

4. Organic society – The whole is more than a collection of its individual parts (clash between
     organicism (organic communitarianism) and individualism); duty and obligation as social cement;
     hierarchy (rejection of social equality as undesirable and impossible); importance of shared
     values and a common culture (fear of diversity and pluralism).

5. One Nation tradition – Tory origins (neo-feudalism; tradition, hierarchy, organicism etc); reform is
     preferable to revolution (pragmatism; enlightened self-interest; qualified case for welfare);
     paternalism - duty as the price of privilege (noblesse oblige; the 'deserving' poor); 'middle way'
     stance (pragmatic rejection of free market and state control; cautious social democracy).

6.   Liberal New Right – Classical liberal roots; free market economics (natural dynamism of market;
     anti-statism; monetarism; rejection of Keynesianism; privatisation; deregulation and tax cuts;
     supply-side economics; 'trickle- down'); atomistic individualism as basis for libertarianism
     (individual/property rights; individual responsibility/self-help; anti-welfarism – dependency culture,
     impact on taxation, welfare as legalised theft).

7. Conservative New Right – Roots in pre-Disraelian conservatism; restoration of order and
     authority (social and state authoritarianism- punishment works etc); moral revivalism (anti-
     permissiveness; 'new' puritanism; traditional/family/Christian values); resurgent nationalism
     (national patriotism as a source of security and stability; insularity and xenophobia).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

    Nature and implications of tradition, and extent to which conservative support tradition
    Conservatism and human nature, particularly belief in human imperfection
    Conservative opposition to the politics of principle, and extent to which it has revised its
    Conservative view of property, authority and hierarchy
    Conservative view of society and rival organic and mechanical views of society
    Distinctive theories and ideas of traditional conservatism/One Nation tradition
    Distinctive theories and ideas of New Rights
    Similarities and difference between traditional conservatism and the New right
    Coherence of New Right thinking



Key themes:

1. Collectivism – Social basis of human nature (common humanity); 'nurture' emphasised over
     'nature' (implications for person/social development; utopianism, etc); cooperation (moral and

    economic     benefits);   collectivism    in   practice   (statism;   common       ownership;     economic
    management; welfarism); collectivism vs individualism.

2. Equality – Socialist view of equality (equality of outcome/reward; social equality); divisions over
    desirable extent of equality (absolute vs relative social equality; common ownership vs
    redistribution); arguments in favour of social equality (social stability and cohesion; social justice;
    happiness and personal development); liberal equality vs socialist equality (liberal critique of
    socialist view; socialist critique of liberal view).

3. Roads to socialism – Revolutionary socialism (theory of class state; rejection of bourgeois
    parliamentarianism); revolution as modernisation project (pre-democratic origins; links to under-
    development; modernisation 'from above'); implications of revolutionary 'road' (violence/force as
    a political means, etc); evolutionary socialism (state neutrality; interventionism as means of social
    change/reform); socialism and democracy (the inevitability of gradualism); implications of 'ballot-
    box' socialism (electoralism; 'catch-all' socialist parties; corruption of power/bourgeois state, etc).

4. Fundamentalist        socialism      –     Marxist/communist        analysis;     historical     materialism
    ('base/superstructure';    scientific    theory   of   history/society);   dialectical   change    (internal
    contradictions in society; historical inevitability); class analysis (class conflict as motor of history;
    surplus value; class consciousness); stages of history; collapse of capitalism (proletarian
    revolution); transition from capitalism to communism (dictatorship of proletariat; 'withering away'
    of state); nature of communism (politics of ownership; abolition of private property/capitalism;
    absolute equality); 20 -century communism (vanguard party; state collectivisation; central

5. Revisionist socialism – Revisionist Marxism (failure of Marx's predictions; resilience of
    capitalism); ethical socialism (absence of theoretical 'baggage'); Keynesian social democracy
    (politics of social justice; 'humanise' capitalism; mixed economy; Keynesian economic
    management; welfare state and redistributive mechanism; Croslandism); social-democratic
    compromise (tension between equality and efficiency; highlighted during recession of 1970s;
    'collapse' of traditional social democracy in the UK and elsewhere).

6. Neo-revisionist social democracy – Retreat from social democracy (globalization and end of
    national Keynesianism; shrinking working class; collapse of communism); Third Way ((rejection
    of 'top-down' socialism/social democracy and market fundamentalism; liberal communitarianism);
    neo-revisionism and socialism (modernised social democracy or post-socialism?).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   Nature and implications of collectivism
   Socialist view of equality and contrasts between socialism and liberalism over equality
   Socialist view of human nature; contrasts between socialist and conservative views of human
   Socialist support for common ownership and extent to which this defines socialism
   Distinctive theories and ideas of fundamentalist socialism
   Distinctive theories and ideas of revisionist socialism
   Similarities and difference between revolutionary and reformist socialism
   Similarities and difference between fundamentalist and revisionist socialism
   Nature of social democracy and coherence of 'new' social democracy/Third Way


Key themes:

1. Anti-statism – Moral basis of anarchism (absolute freedom, political equality, personal
    autonomy); state as concentrated evil (absolute corruptibility of human nature); all states are evil
    (rejection of the proletarian state); government power cannot be tamed (constitutionalism and
    consent (liberal democracy) as tools used by ruling class to render masses quiescent).

2. Stateless society – Utopian themes in anarchism (absolute freedom can co-exist with social
    order/harmony; perfectibility of human nature); collectivist basis for spontaneous social harmony
    (nurture not nature; sociability and cooperation; role of common ownership); individualist basis for
    social harmony (individual rationality; self-regulating markets); rival views of future stateless
    society; rival views of future stateless society (collectivist versus individualist models, eg,
    anarcho-communism versus anarcho-capitalism).

3. Political practice – Political failure of anarchism; rejection of conventional means of political
    activism (winning state power is corrupt and corrupting; opposition to hierarchical organisation
    (eg, political parties)); spontaneous revolution (popular thirst for freedom/autonomy; viability?);
    terror/violence ('propaganda of the deed'; revolutionary justice); direct action; moral example and

4. Individualist anarchism – Roots in liberal individualism (parallels with classical liberalism; 'ultra-
    liberalism'); egoism (moral autonomy of individual); libertarianism (reconciling individualism with
    natural order - consistent Manchesterism); anarcho-capitalism (laissez-faire economics taken to
    its extreme; privatising the minimal state) differences between liberalism and anarchism (minimal
    statism vs statelessness; constitutional government vs anarchy).

5. Collectivist anarchism – Roots in socialist collectivism (human sociability; mutual aid; 'ultra-
    socialism'); self-management and decentralisation (direct/participatory democracy);mutualism
    (possessions as independence from the state; fair and equitable exchange); anarcho-syndicalism
    (revolutionary trade unionism); anarcho-communism (parallels with Marxism; class system and
    state as interlocking enemies); differences between anarchism and Marxism (over proletarianism,
    vanguardism; proletarian dictatorship, 'withering away', etc).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   Anarchist critique of the state
   Grounds on which anarchists support a stateless society
   The link between anarchism and utopianism
   Anarchism as an extreme form of individualism
   Anarchism as an extreme form of collectivism
   Relationship between anarchism and socialism
   Relationship between anarchism and liberalism
   Similarities and difference within anarchist ideology
   Practical difficulties of achieving anarchism


Examination structure:

   Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes)
   Answer 3 short questions out of a choice of 5, and 1 essay out a choice of 3
   Short questions = 15 marks
   Essays = 45 marks
   Total = 90 marks



Key themes:

1. The nation – Cultural dimension of national identity (language, religion, traditions, etc; organic
    community; distinction between nations and races); political dimension of national identity
    (aspiration to statehood; political community; distinction between nations and states);
    psychological dimension of national identity (national consciousness; patriotism as lower/weaker
    form of nationalism).

2. Civic vs ethnocultural forms of nationalism – Classic political nationalism (national self-
    determination; sovereign independence; inclusive view of the nation); cultural nationalism
    (nationalism as vehicle for cultural regeneration, not necessarily linked to self-government);
    ethnic nationalism (ethnic/religious/racial basis national identity; exclusive from of identity

3. Liberal nationalism – Nations as moral entities (national rights; parallels between nations and
    individuals); national self-determination (intrinsic link between nationhood and statehood;
    national sovereignty); nation-state ideal (only legitimate basis for political rule; recipe for
    international peace and order); liberal objections to nationalism (human rights over-ride national
    sovereignty; fear of international state of nature – hence liberal internationalism).

4. Conservative nationalism – National patriotism as basis for political order and stability
    (psychological tendency to be drawn to one's own people); nations as historical communities
    (common heritage; exclusiveness of national identities); insular and inward-looking nationalism
    (defence of organic unity/identity; implicit racialism/xenophobia).

5. Expansionist nationalism – National chauvinism (national superiority/inferiority; explicit racialism);
    reactionary character (myths of past national greatness); militarism and aggression (conquest
    and expansion as proof national greatness; social Darwinian view of international politics);
    parallels between expansionist nationalism and fascism (integral nationalism; 'palingenetic ultra-

6. Anticolonial/postcolonial nationalism – Nationalism as a vehicle for political liberation and social
    development (colonialism as cause of under-development); Marxism-Leninism as guide for third-
    world nationalism movements (revolutionary 'road'; national liberation as overthrow of capitalist
    exploitation); postcolonial nationalism (anti-Westernism; religious fundamentalism).

7. Objections to nationalism – Liberal internationalism (national interdependence; free trade;
    regional and global governance); socialist internationalism (proletarian internationalism); rise of
    cosmopolitanism (impact of globalization; global citizenship; world ethics).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   The nature of the nation; differences between nations and states
   Differences between nationalism and racialism
   Inclusive/exclusive and civic/ethnocultural nationalisms
   The nation-state and it alleged benefits
   Relationship between nationalism and liberalism
   Relationship between nationalism and conservatism
   Similarities and differences within nationalism
   Expansionist/aggressive forms of nationalism and their ideological origins
   Internationalist objections to nationalism
   Progressive and reactionary forms of nationalism
   Relevance of nationalism to modern world



Key themes:

1. Sex and gender – Biological and social/cultural distinctions between men and women (gender is
    not destiny; possibility of sexual equality); patriarchy as systematic subordination of women
    (sexual politics; institutionalised gender oppression); the public/private divide (confinement to
    domestic/private sphere; exclusion from public/political life, hence from power).

2. Patriarchy – emphasis placed on gender divisions (society characterised by gender oppression);
    gender inequalities are rooted in, and reflect, sexual (and generation) division of labour/power
    within the family); radical feminists view of patriarchy (systematic, institutionalised and pervasive
    oppression); liberal feminism and patriarchy (unequal access to public realm); socialist feminism
    and patriarchy (links between gender and class oppression).

3. Liberalism and feminism – Individualism as basis for liberal feminism (personhood; gender
    identity secondary); concern with the equal distribution of rights and entitlements (legal and
    political equality, no restructuring of society); equal access to the public realm (defence of the

    public/private divide; 'private woman' natural); reformist approach (gender imbalance can be
    overturned through constitutional and democratic pressure).

4. Socialism and feminism – Economic basis of gender inequality (reserve army of labour;
    reproducing next generation of capitalist workers; training and incentivising male workers, etc);
    orthodox Marxism (priority of class over gender; patriarchy a consequence of private property;
    socialism/social revolution as a means of bringing about women's liberation); modern Marxism
    (patriarchy and capitalism as interlocking systems of oppression; patriarchy can survive the
    collapse of capitalism).

5. Radical feminism – Gender as the most politically significant of political divisions (priority over
    class, race etc): patriarchy a systematic and pervasive form of oppression (operates in all
    spheres of society and all societies); 'the personal is the political' (gender oppression can be
    traced back to the structure of domestic/private life); sexual revolution (qualitative social change
    not merely redistribution of rights or wealth); pro-woman feminism (essential differences between
    women and men; feminist separatism; political lesbianism); difference feminism (rejection of
    feminist egalitarianism as form of male identification; feminist form of identity politics).

6. Anti-feminism – Organic critique of feminism (sex is destiny – women are naturally designed for
    domestic, family-based role); traditionalist critique of feminism (patriarchal structures have been
    tried and tested by history); different but equal (women should be respected in terms of their
    natural role and position); social cohesion (‘private’ woman as source of nurturing and stability
    within the family).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   The nature of the political, from a feminist perspective
   Role of sex and gender in feminist analysis
   Nature of patriarchy, and its role in feminist analysis
   Relationship between feminism and liberalism
   Relationship between feminism and socialism
   Nature of radical feminism and how it differs from both liberal and socialist feminism
   Similarities and differences within feminist ideology
   Egalitarian and anti-egalitarian forms of feminism
   New trends in feminist theory


Key themes:

1. Views of non-human nature – Traditional anthropocentric view (nature, and other species, have
    no intrinsic moral value – only a means of fulfilling human ends); critique of anthropocentricism
    (vital balance between humankind and nature destroyed); ecology and intrinsic relationship
    between species and their environment (ecosystems and natural equilibrium); differences
    between 'shallow' or humanist ecology and 'deep' ecology.

2. Sustainability – Industrialism and the ecological critique of industrial society (entropy, resource
    depletion, tragedy of the Commons, etc; economics of sustainability ('light' green economic
    thinking, governmental regulation, global, regional or national; reduce carbon usage; green taxes,
    etc); radical ecologic approaches ('dark' green solutions; post-industrial society; anti-growth, back-
    to-nature movements).

3. Environmental ethics – Ecological critique of conventional ethical thinking; ecological ethical
    theories (future generations; animal rights and animal welfare theories; biocentric equality;
    intrinsic value of nature, etc); Postmaterialism and ethical thinking (freedom as self-actualisation;
    environmental consciousness (rejection of self or ego; being not having, etc).

4. Modernist/reformist ecology – Balance between ecology and capitalist modernity (sustainable
    development); liberalism and ecology (enlightened anthropocentrism, utilitarianism and animal
    rights, etc); conservatism and ecologism (reactionary pastoralism; conservationalism; social and
    natural traditionalism); green capitalism (market-based environmental solutions; carbon trading).

5. Social ecology – Ecology and radical social change; eco-socialism (socialist pastoralism; eco-
    socialist critique of capitalism (nature sacrificed for profit); tensions between red and green
    priorities, etc); eco-anarchism (social ecology, ecological nature of decentralised self-managing
    communities, etc); eco-feminism (eco-feminist critique of patriarchal society; essentialist feminist
    critique ('cultured' males and 'natural' females, etc).

6. Deep ecology – Need for paradigm change (abandonment of anthropocentrism and acceptance
    of ecocentrism); holistic perspectives on political understanding vs mechanical world-views
    (eastern religions, and Buddhism in particular, quantum mechanics, Gaia hypothesis); deep
    ecology and ethical thinking; deep ecology and economic thinking.

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   Concepts of non-human nature
   The philosophical, moral and political basis for anthropocentricism
   The nature of the ecology and its implications for political theory

   Buddhism as an eco-centric philosophy
   Differences between shallow/humanist and deep ecology
   Basis for theories environmental ethics
   Ecological/environmental economic thinking
   Relationship between ecologism and feminism
   Relationship between ecologism and anarchism
   Relationship between ecologism and conservatism
   Relationship between ecologism and liberalism
   Similarities and differences within ecologism
   Difficulties in translating ecological thinking into practical policy



Key themes:

1. Roots of multiculturalism – Rejection of egalitarian roots to social advancement; postcolonialism
    and the recognition of the legitimacy of non-western cultures); identity politics (liberal universalism
    constructed on the basis of norms of dominant groups; liberation gained through cultural
    regeneration); communitarianism (cultural belonging provides basis for authenticity).

2. Minority rights – Nature of minority/multicultural rights (special rights, positive discrimination, etc;
    basis of minority rights (including compensation for present or past disadvantage); criticisms of
    minority rights (drawbacks of positive discrimination; implications for freedom of speech, tensions
    between group and individual rights).

3. Diversity – Need for both diversity and unity (different cultures live within same society); benefits
    of diversity (recognition and respect for all; moral, social and intellectual debates and interaction);
    cultural exchange and cultural mixing (implications for cultural embeddedness; tension at heart of

4. Liberalism and multiculturalism - Forbearance (restraint from imposing one's own views on
    others); liberal justifications for toleration - individualism (implies difference/diversity) individual
    freedom (guaranteed by toleration), social progress (truth prevails in free market of ideas),
    underlying balance/harmony (diversity/pluralism does not result in conflict/disorder); differences
    between universalist liberalism, liberal multiculturalism and post-liberalism.

5. Plural/pluralist multiculturalism – Pluralism as a form of post-liberalism (value pluralism and its
    political implications); pluralist multiculturalism and liberation politics; plural multiculturalism as
    critique of liberal toleration (tainted by colonialism, racialism, etc); particularist multiculturalism as
    plural monoculturalism.

6. Cosmopolitan multiculturalism – Cosmopolitanism and cultural diversity (global consciousness,
    etc); endorsement of cultural mixing (multiple identities and hybridity); contrasts with liberal
    multiculturalism and pluralist multiculturalism.

7. Criticisms of multiculturalism – Universalist liberal critique (threat to individuality, human rights,
    etc); conservative/nationalist critiques (threat to national identity, social cohesion, etc); feminist
    critique (threat to women's rights); social reformist critique (threat to fellow-feeling and to the
    politics of redistribution and welfare).

Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:

   The balance between diversity and unity within multiculturalism
   Multiculturalism as the politics of identity
   Multiculturalism and communitarianism
   Multiculturalism and post-colonialism
   Balance within multiculturalism between cultural embeddedness and cultural mixing
   Relationship between multiculturalism and liberalism
   Relationship between multiculturalism and ethical pluralism
   Relationship between multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism
   Conservative nationalist critique of multiculturalism
   Social reformist critique of multiculturalism
   Feminist critique of multiculturalism
   Similarities and differences within multiculturalism

Dealing with synopticity
Topic B – Political Ideologies

Question 1 – 'Common ownership is the core belief of socialism.' Discuss

   Contrasting viewpoints are provided by fundamentalist socialism and revisionist socialism.

   Fundamentalist socialists (such as Marxists, communists and collectivist anarchists) hold that any
    economic system based on private ownership is bound to be fractured and corrupt. Capitalism is
    therefore structurally defective and must be abolished. The cornerstone of any socialist society
    must be a system of common ownership, however organised. Social democrats thus betray
    socialism in trying to 'tame' capitalism though a system of economic and social reform.

   Revisionist socialists (such as social democrats) regard common ownership as, at best, a means
    not an end of socialism. They define socialism in terms of equality and social justice, and believe
    that western social democracies have often been more effective to building equality than state
    socialist societies. Indeed, common ownership may well be linked to political authoritarianism or
    economic inefficiency.

Question 2 – Is conservatism merely a form of ruling class ideology?

   Contrasting viewpoints are provided by socialists and other radicals and by conservatives

   Socialists, and especially Marxists, have generally portrayed conservatism as an ideological
    instrument for the protection of wealthy or privileged sections of society. It does this in various
    ways: by suggesting that inequality is inevitable; by presenting the status quo as legitimate
    (tradition); by venerating property, and so on.

   Conservatives, however, argue that they have either defended the interests of all members of
    society or shown particular concern about the poor or less well-off. Libertarian conservatives
    embrace a strict individualism that encourages them to support meritocracy rather the interests of
    any ruling class. One Nation conservatives have placed a particular emphasis on the duty of the
    privileged to look after the poor and vulnerable, something particularly emphasised by modern
    compassionate conservatives.

Question 3 – To what extent is multiculturalism compatible with liberalism?

   Contrasting viewpoints are provided by various forms of liberalism and by pluralist

   Universalist liberals reject multiculturalism altogether, on the grounds that it is a form of
    collectivism and also panders to the despotism of custom and conventional wisdom.

   Liberal multiculturalists assert that liberalism provides the soundest basis for multiculturalism,
    through it emphasis on both the vital importance of toleration and diversity and its belief in a
    unifying citizenship

   Pluralist multiculturalists argue that liberalism provides a weak and inadequate basis for
    multiculturalism, in that it 'absolutises' liberal values that are culturally biased and so denies
    legitimacy to many non-western cultural beliefs and practices.


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