Politics Personal Statement
Politics has always enthused me because it allows an exploration of some of the fundamental values of our society: the principles of democracy, good governance and the relationship between the state and individual. The ubiquity of politics in the modern world makes it a subject that is broad and varied, and one that I never tire of.
Studying Politics A level has developed my analytical and critical skills as well as enabling me to pursue independent research.
I am particularly interested in the European Union and the use of policy initiatives such as EMU, the Schengen Agreement and the Single Market to facilitate further integration of Member States.
Solutions to contemporary problems stemming from European integration such as the sovereign debt crisis and democratic deficits can be found in my winning essay submitted for the Hennessy Prize. I investigated the decision-making process within the current coalition government considering independent commissions on contentious issues, such as banking reforms.
In order to inform myself about contemporary political culture I regularly read The Times and The Economist, and my passion for politics is further reflected by supplementary reading: I found Tocqueville’s Democracy in America informative.
The close examination of both the reasons for the USA's success as a democratic nation and the early society of the country gave me new insight into the workings and inherent strengths and weaknesses of America.
Furthermore, my ambition to have a career in politics is borne out by my choice of work shadowing: in September I shadowed an MP, which gave me insight into the full spectrum of domestic policies at grass roots level.
The multi-disciplinary nature of politics has helped me to find parallels between other subjects. The study of Geography has helped me to examine political issues such as international migration and migration from the EU, and social disputes such as gentrification and counter urbanisation.
Similarly Physics has led me to formulate justifications for contentious developments such as nuclear power stations, incorporating an understanding of both the need for nuclear power and its political ramifications. When viewed holistically, such conflicts lie at the root of a modern functioning society’s attempt to reconcile the needs of both the individual and society’s needs as a whole.
Outside academic study, I enjoy debating, which allows me to challenge myself against others who are equally politically minded. I recently participated in the European Youth Parliament UK National Session as a member of a team selected to represent the UK in the Belgian international forum.
I was additionally pleased with my rank of third out of thirty debaters in a regional competition in March and I also chaired a round of the English Speaking Union’s Mace competition, which helped me to build confidence and organisational skills.
Sports are also a favourite pastime of mine; I participated in races every Sunday as crew on a dinghy for more than a year, and hold a qualification for power boating, which enabled me to help coach younger sailors; I enjoy clay shooting, which I find challenging but rewarding; and I currently coach and play tennis regularly.
I see the acquisition of knowledge as an on-going as opposed to a static process.
My proactive approach to gaining political knowledge, different fields of interest and attaining personal goals has prepared me for the challenges of university life. I am a rounded, hardworking individual who can balance the rigours of academic study with personal interests. I believe I possess the necessary qualities and commitment for my chosen field of study.