Resources Blog Tutoring Contact About Subscribe Login

The Global Politics HL Extension Task (Oral Presentation) Structure

HL Global Politics students are required to do two oral presentations are (in total) worth 20% of your final mark in the course.  (10% for ET1 and 10% for ET2)

That’s a lot.

And, as you may have noticed, there are quite a lot of boxes you’re trying to tick in this time. This article will help you go step-by-step as you prepare your extension presentation and help you to cover all of your bases, within the tight (10 minute) time limit.

You aren’t required to follow this structure, but it works pretty well.  

How to think about the extension task 

Think of your entire presentation as an explanation of how your particular (small) case is an example of the Global Political Challenge (GPC) you’ve chosen to explore (more on these below).

 For example, if you’ve chosen to look at the GPC “Borders” and your chosen political issue is The Catalan Referendum of 2017, your presentation will use Global Politics ideas (concepts, key terms, perspectives and related cases) to show us how interesting and complicated borders can be.

Ultimately you want to leave your audience feeling that:

  1. You really understand the case you’re discussing (i.e. The Catalan Referendum of 2017),
  2. You really understand the concepts, theories and key terms in the course (more on this below). And that,  
  3. You really understand the GPC (i.e. Borders)

The Extension Task Structure

Introduction (2 mins)

-Explain the issue (or the case) clearly. Keep it very simple at first. Share it to us the way you would explain it to someone who has never heard of this issue before.

-Then explain it in a bit more depth. Tell us a few key facts of the case (ie. statistics or important historical events) to help us understand the case better. Help your audience to appreciate the context around your issue before things get complicated.

-Give us at least one reason why this issue (your case) is important to understand.

-Tell us which (one) Global Political Challenge (GPC) your case is related to and explain this link. (The GPCs in IB Global Politics are Environment, Poverty, Health, Identity, Borders, and Security.)

-Explain why your case study is related to this GPC. For example, convince us that your issue the Catalan referendum is definitely related to your GPC Borders.

-(Remember: If this is your second presentation, please make sure you choose a different GPC than the one you did last time).

-Finally, discuss how your issue can be explored on at least two different levels of analysis. Our “levels of analysis” are Global, Regional, Community, International, National, and Local). For example you could explain some national implications of the issue and some local implications of the Catalan referendum. You can link back to these levels later (in the main body) if you have time.

The Main Body (7 mins)

Your Main Body of your presentation should be organized into 3 aspects. Choosing your 3 aspects is a bit tricky. You won't be able to choose them until you know a fair bit about your topic, so you'll need to do some reading and Youtube-watching before you can settle on these. The point here is to find 3 aspects that are interesting about your case, which relate to global politics. 

(Once you've chosen your aspects, use the 7 areas to develop your  writing about them). 

How to organize the main body part  

These are popular and useful ways that students organize their ET aspects:

  • How the case relates to BIG GLOBAL TRENDS.
    • Share how your case relates to 3 different global trends and use various other areas of the course to explain and explore these. 
    • For example, Catalonian separatism is just one of many separatist movements around the world. And you can then explore and make sense of this. For example you could compare Catalonian separatism to separatism elsewhere (sharing some similarities and differences), and use foundation theories and course concepts to clarify what is going on and why).
  • What the case shows us about THE NATURE OF THIS Global Political Challenge (and why it's hard to manage). 
    • Use your case to explore 3 different aspects of why your chosen GPC is more complicated than it might at first seem and use various other areas of the course to explain and explore these aspects. 
    • For example, The Catalonian independence movement shows us several ways that Borders are not a simple concept. (Multi-nation states, semi-autonomous regions, post-colonialism, etc.). For example, there are differing ways of thinking about legitimacy (and different sources of legitimacy).

Go with the approach that makes the most sense to you, for this case, using the different ways we analyze things in this course to make sense of your case.  

Then build-out your three aspects like this 

Look through your textbook and consider the different foundation and critical theories. Try to develop insights using all of the different 7 areas of the course and then ultimately go with the ones that make the most sense and add the most intellectual value to your presentation.

Your job here is to make sense of the case (using course approaches) and to impress us (make us think that you're the smartest person who's ever taken this course). No pressure. ;) 

Examples of what you could actually say

-Explain how the case relates to a course concept. For example, clarify how Sovereignty is a key issue in the Catalan referendum). Use some key words from that part of the course (i.e. The Sovereignty chapter) in your explanation.

-Explain how your concept relates to one of the main foundation theories of the course --Realism, Liberalism, Relativism, Universalism, or Capitalism.

-Explain a conflicting opinion on the issue. Share a conflict related to political orientations (i.e. stakeholder perspectives), or critical perspectives. For example, you could contrast the views of liberalism and realism in your case.

-Explain a relevant economic, social or political factor and then (if you want to) link it to a level of analysis and/or a course concept to your concept.

For example, how Catalan Sovereignty would have economic implications for Spain (on a National level) because Catalonia is one of the richest and most industrialized regions of the country. 

Or, how Spain recognizing the Legitimacy of Catalan claims could have political implications for the EU (international level).

Or, how the Conflict between the Catalan separatists and non-separatists has had social effects among residents of Catalonia (Local level).

You might be tempted to include as many links as possible (to different levels of analysis, concepts, theories, etc). But actually, less is often more. We appreciate deep explanations, which really dig into what's going on at a particular level of analysis (or 2). Similarly, it's better to take some time to explain how your issue is well-explained by feminism or constructivism, if there are several interesting things to say about it. 

Conclusion (1 min)

-Summarize what you think are the most important insights from your Body Section (your analysis). Try to synthesize these insights, pull together aspects of different aspects of your presentation to create new insights.

-Share a final thought on what your case has shown us about the GPC. For example, what has Catalan separatism taught us about Borders overall? 

-Explain why it is important that we understand both this issue in particular and cases such as this in the future. 

And that's all you have to do. Easy right?! ;) 

Also... practice  

Actually there's one more thing. Please make sure to practice your presentation several times to make sure you are able to make it through everything within 10 minutes and to make sure you can do it just using your bullet point notes.

Of course, you won't be able to read out your perfectly written prose during the presentation, so go easy on yourself. You don't have to be perfect up there. Enjoy yourself and do your best. 

You got this!




Written by Tim Woods

Tim’s passion for supporting students led to him creating IBMastery in 2009. Since then he’s helped many thousands of IB students and teachers around the world. Tim is now available for personal tutoring every day, to help you get your best possible marks in IB. Click here to work with him.


Thanks to Chiel Mooij (Workshop Leader, Examiner in Global Politics and teacher at UWC Maastricht) for his helpful feedback on an earlier version of this article.