The study of Government and Politics is of central importance in aiding younger citizens better to understand the nature and effects of power.
Politics is about who gets what, when and how. The way in which the Prime Minister of the UK, or the President of the US, make decisions - the constraints they face in seeking to tackle problems both domestically (crime; poverty; health, education) and internationally (terrorism; global poverty; trade; climate change). The lives of all of us are shaped by the decisions made by our political leaders and it is therefore crucial that we understand how policies are made, why so many policy decisions are criticised for failing to solve the problems they purport to tackle, and why so many - particularly the young - suggest they have little or no interest in 'politics'.
For anyone interested in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US-led War on Terrorism, and the idea of the US-UK special relationship, and those interested in the role of the EU in British and global policy-making, an understanding of politics and governmental structures is invaluable. At least as important is the need, when studying politics, to develop a sophisticated way of thinking about issues: and it is this ability to critically assess political decisions that proves attractive to so many political scientists.
We are very fortunate to host regular seminars and lectures, with some very exciting speakers, including the Prime Minister, David Cameron. We have also spent a day with the human rights lawyer and OR Clive Stafford-Smith - who was able to tell us what it is like to represent Guantanamo Bay detainees before the US Supreme Court.
In the October Leave Away we were able to take 32 of our 6:2 to Washington, Philadelphia and New York. One treat among many was to tour the White House - made possible through a connection with a senior staffer to President Obama. For reasons of political balance we also spent two wonderful hours with a senior adviser to President Obama.
Politics is an exciting and organic subject: ever-changing and always engaging.