CPW4U – Grade 12 Canadian and International Politics – Exam Notes

Thanks, Alexis!



  • Core Beliefs:
    • Supremacy of the state: state holds all power, cannot be questioned
    • Collective society: eliminate social differences, activities are controlled
    • Changing leadership: no procedures for changing leadership
  • Types: dictatorship, oligarchy, tyranny, absolute monarchy, military dictatorship, ideological one-party state, totalitarian dictatorship
  • Social Control:
    • Indoctrination: education-based, blind acceptance, Hitler, propaganda
    • Popular discontent: chooses enemy that become public scapegoat, eg. Jews
    • Controlled participation: able to participate without making an influence, eg. sham election
    • Fear: threat of violence, armed soldiers, secret police, easiest to create but hardest to control, eg. Schutzstaffel


  • Principles of Democracy:
    • Rule of Law and independent courts
    • Freedom of expression & press, free elections
    • Representative and responsible political bodies, respect for minority rights
  • Advantages:
    • Government policies: made for the people to help them
    • Government: of the people for the people, safeguards liberties
    • Democratic process: creates democratic-minded citizenry, instils values &ideals
  • Constitutions: based on a country’s history, ensures that no one can abuse political power


Political Socialization:

  • Family: teaches child how to respond to authority, attitudes towards government and law, how to gather information
  • School: social hierarchy, how material gets taught influences attitude
  • Religion: respect authority, obey rules, tolerance, socially responsible lives
  • Peer groups: same social class (typically), reinforces values of family, religion and school
  • Social Organizations: companionship, obey rules, structural hierarchy
  • The Media: promotes shared ideas, unity; controls news & information flow; reinforces sterotypes



  • Characteristics:
    • Power: influence other entities
    • Critical Mass: big enough to be int’l
    • Size: political geography, more resources, organization, population
    • Location: access to trade routes, security, neighbours, defense, attack
    • Population: both positive and negative, bad for developing nations
    • Natural Resources: wealth, trade
  • Economic Organization: capitalist, socialist, mixed system



  • Types of War:
    • Limited, total, civil, hot, cold (economic or ideological), covert, terrorist, guerrilla
  • Causes of War: rational, instinctual, hybrid of both
  • Why people go to war:
    • Insecurity: threatened, human rights, protect citizens
    • Greed: taking more than what you need
    • Pride: nationalism, forcing your beliefs on others, religious wars
    • Hatred: comes from humiliation or harm, revenge


International Organizations:

  • International Governmental Organizations:
    • United Nations: 190 members, maintains peace, international law, cooperation
    • Organization of American States: strengthens democracy, promotes sustainability, defends human rights
    • OPEC: unifies petroleum policies, stabilizes oil market, enhances producer/buyer relations
  • International Non-Governmental Organizations:
    • Doctors Without Borders: provides medical care to victims of armed violence, natural disasters and extreme poverty
    • War Child: creating a world that has no war, offers education and rehabilitation, defends child rights



  • Negative (absence of war) vs Positive (working relations, friends)
  • Balance of Power: both sides of equal strength, therefore no fighting (military or political)
  • Treaty: formal agreement between governments (commercial (economic), military (end wars, arms control), peace (conditions to end war), regulatory (rules of war), limitation (limits weapons))
  • Disarmament: a government destroys it weapons (may leave them vulnerable)


Political Parties:

  • Strengths: channel of communication, train leaders, educate public, provide alternative choices, change leaders
  • Weaknesses: expensive, one-party vs two-party vs multi-party


Social Institutions:

  • Government: make laws, influence society, change other institutions, legit leader
  • Business: economic power, controls employment, goods/services offered, affects education/political decision making
  • Military: can become most powerful, tied to business and government
  • Labour: unions, forming political parties, economic power
  • Media: filters information, affects flow of information, where people learn about other social institutions