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VCE Humanities

Global Politics Unit 3: Global Actors


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

This unit considers the key global actors in twenty-first century global politics, including their aims, roles and power. Students develop an understanding of 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. 

Areas of Study

Global Actors

  • Key terms: nation, state, sovereignty, power, global governance, multilateralism, globalisation.
  • Aims, roles and power of states.
  • Impact on state sovereignty of regional groupings, contested borders and issues that require multilateral resolution.
  • Intergovernmental organisations: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the International Criminal Court.
  • Aims, roles and power of two non-state actors chosen from human rights organisations, environmental organisations, organised religions, global terrorist movements.
  • Aims, roles and power of one transnational corporation.

Power in the Asia-Pacific

  • Key terms: sovereignty, national interest, power, security, idealism, pragmatism.
  • Factors shaping China’s national interests.
  • Differing interpretations of China’s national interest.
  • Types of power.
  • The main foreign policy instruments used by China to try and achieve national interests.


Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Evaluate the power of key global actors and assess the extent to which they achieve their aims and are able to challenge state sovereignty.

Short answer test and/or essay.

Analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of the use of various types of power by a specific Asia-Pacific state in the in pursuit of its national interests.

Short answer test and/or essay.

Total Marks 100

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   25
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   25
3 Written Examination November 2 hours 50


Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: