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World Studies Extended Essay: Global Themes

A guide to the research and writing process required for students completing the IB World Studies Extended Essay.

World Studies Global Themes

Globe - Britannica ImageQuestThe WSEE is organized across six global themes. You choose one of these under which to register your essay.  The themes are:

Conflict, peace, and security
Culture, language, and identity
Environment and/or economic sustainability
Equality and inequality
Health and development
Science, technology and society

Conflict, peace, and security

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
The media's role in conflict Israel and Palestine Global politics, geography, history, language and literature
Politics and the arts Post-apartheid South Africa Theatre, global politics
International justice Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone Philosophy, history, global politics
Revolution and social media Arab Spring in Egypt Global politics, ITGS (Information technology in a global society)
Geopolitics and aid in regional conflicts The Georgia conflict post-2008 Geography, global politics, economics
The ethics of intervention in national or regional conflicts by the international community Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan Global politics, philosophy, social and cultural anthropology

Culture, language, and identity

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
Preservation of heritage languages or indigenous languages Specific examples of groups striving to protect their language Language, psychology, social and cultural anthropology
Minority group rights issues Specific examples of groups campaigning for equal rights or recognition of their status Psychology, social and cultural anthropology, visual arts, global politics, literature
Issues around reclaiming cultural heritage Particular indigenous groups or countries wishing the return of cultural artifacts from other countries Visual arts, social and cultural anthropology, global politics, psychology
The onslaught of globalization and the maintenance of national identities Specific examples of the effects of globalization on identities Economics, global politics, social and cultural anthropology, psychology, language
The impact of “street art” in protests against discrimination and persecution Specific examples of where art has been used in relation to civil protest Visual arts, global politics, social and cultural anthropology
Racism: inherent psychological traits or sociopolitical forces Examination of the reasons for racism within a particular cultural/societal context Global politics, psychology

Environment and/or economic sustainability

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
Sustainable wind power as an offshore or onshore project Comparison of the viability of two case studies Business management, physics, economics, ESS (environmental systems and societies), geography
Global warming and the fish industry Local case study of the effects of climate change on the fishing industry ESS, business management, geography
Transit systems and economic/environmental sustainability Case study of the Bandra Worli sea link in Mumbai ESS, economics, geography
Commercialization of heritage sites Comparison of local case studies for and against government intervention in the commercialization of heritage sites Social and cultural anthropology, global politics, business management, ESS, geography
For-profit social ventures Local case studies of the business viability and social responsibility of these ventures within a particular locality Business management, economics, global politics, social and cultural anthropology, philosophy
Governmental and aid agency support for technology in dealing with agricultural issues on particular areas Kenya: the use of technology in coping with draught Geography, ESS, economics, global politics

Equality and inequality

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
Women’s rights and microfinancing Women in Bangladesh Economics, global politics, social and cultural anthropology
Child labor and industry Business in West Africa Global politics, economics, business management
Religion and women’s rights Comparison of women in Yemen and Denmark World religions, social and cultural anthropology, economics
Minority rights Caste in Madras, India History, psychology, global politics
Social entrepreneurship and social change Specific example of where social entrepreneurship has been used as a vehicle for social change Global politics, business management, history
The rights of domestic workers Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong Global politics, history, economics, philosophy

Health and development

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
HIV/AIDS and equitable access to education Specific examples for particular countries Economics, geography, biology, global politics
Climate change, global health and malaria Specific examples for particular countries Environmental systems and society, biology, geography
Population density and levels of cell-tower radiation Specific examples for particular countries Physics, geography
Impact of socio-economic factors on the prevalence of particular infections Specific example of an infection in a particular country or comparison between two countries Biology, geography, economics
Rise of obesity in affluent countries Specific focus on a group in a particular country or comparison between two countries or regions within a country Biology, psychology, global politics, economics
Link between educating females and increased basic health improvements within the family Specific country focus or comparison between two countries or regions within a country Social and cultural anthropology, biology, global politics, psychology

Science, technology and society

Global issues Possible local manifestations Possible subjects
Nuclear power and public perception Nuclear power station in Munro, Michigan Physics, psychology, politics
Language development and new technology Schools in Lyon using Google translate™ translation service Information technology in a global society (ITGS), language acquisition, geography
Internet consumption and education Youth education issues in New Delhi, India ITGS, economics, psychology
Role of social media in civil protests Specific example of where social media has been used in protests and demonstrations within a specific country ITGS, global politics
The use of technology in predicting natural disasters The use of new technologies in predicting earthquakes, floods, etc. within a specific region ITGS, physics, economics, geography, ESS, design technology
The use of new technologies in the learning of languages The effectiveness of new technologies in the mastery of second languages among school children within a specific country ITGS, language, economics

WSEE Documents

WSEE Subject Guide and worksheets

RRS (Researcher's Reflection Space)

RPPF (Researcher's Planning and Progress Form) examples:

IB Extended Essay Guide & Timeline

Check the Extended Essay guide for specific guidance on completing the various steps in the research and writing process of the EE, and these documents:

Quick Links

NoodleTools Links

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