PPE/Politics and Economics Personal Statement
I have a strong interest in the close relationship between political events and economic developments, highlighted by a study of Russia in the lead up to the 1917 revolution.
I was grabbed by the film adaptation of Ten Days That Shook the World, with its emphasis on its power of the masses. However a reading of O Figes, A People’s Tragedy 1891-1924 cast doubt on this ‘democratic’ revolution and stressed how one form of autocracy replaced another. Intrigued by this, I looked into other cases in history of “myth versus reality”.
One of the most celebrated cases is the leadership of Winston Churchill. I am currently writing an Extended Project evaluating the leadership skills of the political giant. I was attracted to the figure of Churchill because all too often he is seen as the epitome of political leadership.
Since beginning the project I have become fascinated with the legend surrounding his premiership. A book I especially liked was Finest Years by M Hastings. He highlights the importance of image and propaganda to Churchill’s success but also emphasises the undervalued role of Attlee and others in wartime government.
Moving from a focus on a particular figure I have begun to explore broader issues through a reading of K Minogue’s Politics.
A huge part of politics that I greatly enjoy is that of international relations. Reading P Calvoceressi’s World Politics since 1945 showed me the diversity of international relations and introduced me to political events in previously unconsidered parts of the world, namely Latin America.
My political horizons quickly widened, I no longer had a Euro centric view of the world. I was enthused by learning of developments in India, China, Brazil, key nations now, especially with China’s economy estimated to pass that of the United States in 2016.
Not having the opportunity to study Economics at A Level I was determined to explore independently as much as I could of the subject. Reading T Harford’s The Undercover Economist and the sequel, S D Levitt’s Freakonomics series, and Free Lunch by D Smith persuaded me that economics is not simply a study of the stock market, or the financial policies of a government; rather it is an enticing subject encompassing a multitude of disciplines, ranging from political theory to human geography.
I signed up for a subscription to The Economist and was delighted to find several appealing articles regarding economics on an international scale. An article from this month highlighted the interesting discrepancy between GDP per person and global competitive scores.
Philosophy was perhaps my least explored topic of the three, but I have always been aware of its inherent significance in world affairs. Wishing to extend my knowledge of the subject in Year 13, I took up AS Philosophy, which turned out to be a rewarding decision.
Reading pivotal political texts such as On Liberty, by J S Mill as well as theological arguments like The God Delusion by Dawkins, has unearthed my interest in the subject, allowing me to develop my critical skills as a philosopher.
I have recently been awarded the position of Deputy Head Boy. I am finding it a valuable experience as it has given me the opportunity to build on my public speaking skills and fully appreciate the importance of organisation.
For the previous four years I have represented Cumbria as a member of the track and x-country teams, competing in the Nationals in each of the years.
I hope to bring this sporting enthusiasm and dedication to my university life. I recently completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition, relishing the opportunity to challenge myself physically and to develop my leadership skills. I hope that my work experience at the PR group Bell Pottinger will further develop my independence and readiness for university.
This personal statement was written by samstorey for application in 2013.
samstorey's university choices
The University of Durham
King's College London
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
Final personal statement.
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