Exit Menu

Politics and International Relations

Congratulations on securing your place at Brunel

We’re looking forward to meeting you - either in person or online - and introducing you to life at Brunel. To help us get started, we’ve put together a short activity and some further information to help you prepare for your course - including a snapshot of the topics you’ll cover and useful resources. If you have any questions please email cbass-tpo-gask@brunel.ac.uk.

Your pre-arrival activity

We’d like you to complete a short activity before you join us. We can discuss your answers in one of your first personal tutor sessions. Your work will not be officially assessed however it will allow your tutor to get to know you better.

Is it time for Votes at 16?

We're going to be thinking about 'Votes at 16'. Campaigns to lower the voting age are underway in just about every democracy in the world - and in several cases they've been successful. Here in the UK, 16- and 17-year-olds have been able to vote in Scotland since 2014, and voted for the first time in Wales earlier this year. Is it now time to lower the voting age to 16 for all elections in the UK?

For those doing Politics, Politics and History, International Politics, or Politics and Sociology

  • All 16-year olds should be able to vote in the UK - it shouldn't depend on where you live: Further reading here 
  • The time has come - but not for votes at 16: Further reading here 
  • Votes at 16- READ PAGE 3 ONLY: Further reading here 

You'll be discussing whether you think it is time to lower the voting age to 16 so that the voice of young people is fairly represented, or whether there is no good reason to lower the voting age and we should be focused on other changes to make our political system fairer and more representative? How are other nations addressing voting age, and what are the benefits and drawbacks?

We also advise you to take a look at the information below. Completing wider reading and getting familar with what you'll be learning, will help prepare you for academic life at Brunel.

Reading list 

The following material provides a broad introduction into the study of Politics and Political Science and discusses themes which will be covered throughout your time at Brunel.

  • Heywood, Andrew. 2019. Politics. Abingdon: Red Globe Press, 5th Edition.

Themes Reading:

  • What is Politics? chapter 1
  • The Role of Ideologies, chapter 2
  • Democracy Heywood, chapter 4 & 5
  • Nationalism and Populism, chapter 6
  • Globalisation, chapter 7
  • Politics and Identity, chapter 8
  • Politics and Media, chapter 9
  • Elections and Voting, chapters 10 &11
  • Governments & Institutions, chapters 14 & 15
  • Security, chapter 18
  • World Order, chapter 19

International Politics

While there is no single book that covers all of the themes which we will explore in International Politics at Brunel, the following should give you a good foundation: 

  • Frieden, Jeffry A., David A. Lake, and Kenneth A. Schultz. 2018. World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions. New York: Norton (4th Edition).

Note: there are two versions of this book: a US-version, and an “international student” version. They are fundamentally the same book, except some of the pictures are different.

Theme Content:

  • Foundations of world politics, chapter 1 
  • Understanding the international system, chapter 2
  • Why do we have war? chapters 3-6 
  • International political economy Frieden, 7-10 
  • Human rights Frieden, 12 
  • Environment Frieden, 13 
  • The rise of China Frieden, 14

You might also find it useful to listen to select freely-available podcasts, which discuss current events pertinent to national and international politics.

Such podcasts include: • ‘The Intelligence’ by The Economist • ‘The Daily’ by the New York Times • ‘Global News Podcast’ by the BBC World Service