The Sciences Po Bordeaux 2014 exam will take place on April 26th. To practice, here are last year’s correction!
Here are the answer keys for the Sciences Po Bordeaux exams, after the answer keys for Sciences Po Paris 2013.
Answer key for the history/geography subject of Sciences Po Bordeaux in 2013
A choice of two options for history at Sciences Po Bordeaux in 2013:
Topic 1: Berlin from 1945 to 1989
Subject n° 2: The Construction of the Fifth Republic from 1958 to 1962
Germans fleeing their home in East Berlin in August 1961, AFP
The format of the test is particularly short (1 hour), so it was necessary each time to go to the essence by trying to be as complete as possible, but especially to build a reflection and an outline which took into account the specificities of the question.
For the first subject, an example of an efficient outline which has the advantage of being in two parts (II x 3), thus corresponding to the speed imposed by the short format of the test:
I. From the end of the war and the resumption of tensions to a first appeasement
a. The Berlin blockade marks the confrontation between the two blocs
b. Workers’ uprising in East Berlin in June 1953
c. The thaw thanks to the Berlin Conference
II. The confrontation between the blocks leads to the end of the East German regime,
a. Berlin crystallized the tensions between the two blocs
b. Ostpolitik: the opening to the East
c. “Real socialism” in the GDR versus the FRG
For the second topic, the students were asked in particular about the establishment of the Fifth Republic and the institutions that form its basis. They are still relevant today.
There is not just one plan, but for us an excellent Sciences Po outline would look like this (within the major parts, the dash list of what needed to be discussed):
I. The 1958 constitution gives importance to the executive power at the expense of the Parliament
—government of national unity with the socialists
—constitution submitted to vote
—content of the constitution
—legislative elections of Nov. 1958
—de Gaulle’s president and the right-wing government
II. General de Gaulle’s policy to put a definitive end to colonization
—loss of the French empire buried
—will to keep a link with the former colonies and the Community of 1958
—independence in spite of everything and the Algerian problem which ends with the Evian agreements
III. The crisis of 1962 accentuates and forges the role of the president
—de Gaulle recalled to power allows the strengthening of the institutions
—from a parliamentary regime to the role of the president (practice of referendums, article 16, weakness of the prime minister)
—“Jacques Chaban-Delmas’ expression ’reserved domain
—de Gaulle appointed Georges Pompidou as Prime Minister
—desire to elect the president by universal suffrage
—attacks against de Gaulle, notably at Petit-Clamart
—motion of censure and de Gaulle dissolved the Assembly
If you have more or less followed this plan, you have assured yourself a good grade, especially if you have managed to put the knowledge in, which is not easy in a short time.
For geography, the questions are more in line with your senior year courses normally. Concerning the physical spaces, you had to understand the definition. It is about reliefs, climates. The geography of space.
For the cities in France, devoting a good part to Paris was, of course, unavoidable, the only world city in France.
Correction to the question of general knowledge at Sciences Po Bordeaux 2013
This year 2013, war – as confirmed by a reader @Delphine – was indeed the question of general knowledge chosen by Sciences Po Bordeaux. We did not have access to the file of documents that accompanied the question, you can send it to us thanks to the link “contact us” at the bottom of the page. Here are some guidelines for the essay, and some questions that you could have addressed.
The exam question is about the evolution of war in history, so what was war, what form did it take, how did it materialize? And on war and its forms today, what has become of it and how has war been transformed? Is it to define a degree of violence, which could increase or on the contrary reduce, or is it on the level of the ways of making war?
The notion of war is quite vast according to the classical definition: “Conflictual situation between two or more countries, states, social groups, individuals, with or without armed struggle.”
As always, we had to interrogate this concept, and see if we wanted to talk about a military context, or other forms of war, which was guided by the documents with the topic.
You had to draw inspiration from the documents by identifying the main ideas, and reuse them in the assignment if possible, at least once for each document. The documents are there to guide your thinking, and those who produce the exam questions at Sciences Po know that it is good to give students a little guidance.
For the Sciences Po exam, which is focused on politics, Carl Von Clausewitz would have made an excellent reference: “We affirm, on the contrary, that war is only the continuation of political commerce by other means. (…) War has never been anything but a more energetic means of expressing political thought.”
The syllabus you reviewed for history was a good help to fuel your assignment, the notion of a cold war was otherwise interesting. Why a cold war? This expression, first used by George Orwell (author of 1984 with Big Brother, another more contemporary type of war), taken up by Bernard Baruch and then Walter Lippmann, seems paradoxical. And yet it describes this conflict well without generalized armed confrontation. You could have mentioned it.
Can war be regulated by law? Is there the pre-eminence of one over the other? Napoleon Bonaparte said: “My real glory is not in having won forty battles; Waterloo will erase the memory of so many victories; what nothing will erase, what will live forever, is my Civil Code?
But on a question about war, the notion of peace also needed to be explored. Peace (from the Latin pax, rest, tranquility) is defined, in a classical dictionary, by the absence of war. Thus peace is only a period of respite, and is only thought of in relation to war.
The War in Mali in 2013
In today’s societies, war has not disappeared: Syria, Mali, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, etc. The issue of chemical weapons is not insignificant. Can we allow everything in war?
If you had the idea of quoting the Geneva Conventions of 1949, it is a considerable advantage for your copy. Similarly, child soldiers are an issue that continues to raise questions (see image below on youth).
A new form of warfare is being waged through technological means. The internet is nowadays a real battlefield (as it will be developed for the question of youth that follows). Computer attacks are multiplying, especially between governments. There is a war with weapons, but there is also a war with information. Propaganda, control of information on the internet, censorship, information is indeed a 4th power, victim of wars, but also the cause of wars.
If you have succeeded in questioning all these aspects of war, on the form as well as the content, on the means and the consequences, but also on its evolution and if you have tried to describe a horizon for the future, you have produced a relevant copy for Sciences Po and you have every reason to hope for a good grade.
Correction to the question Filière Intégrée at Sciences Po Bordeaux 2013
For the year 2013, Sciences Po Bordeaux decided to reflect on youth, and the new challenges it poses to contemporary societies. A file of documents was provided to guide the reflection, and which it was, of course, necessary to use.
While waiting to get the documents, here are some guidelines for the correction on youth.
What does it mean to be young in France today?
The dramatic issue of child soldiers is still relevant today
Definition of youth
First of all, it was necessary to try to define youth that period of life which extends between childhood and middle age in man. Pre-puberty, puberty, adolescence (post-adolescence?) all these words could be questioned. Have these periods of life always been the same as in France today? Thus, in ancient Rome, one often identified theinfans until the age of 7, the pier until the age of 17, adolescents until the age of 30. Adolescere means growing up in Latin. To be opposed to the adult, who has reached a mature form.
The ideal author for a Sciences Po subject on youth was undoubtedly Finkielkraut. Alain Finkielkraut in The Defeat of Thought explains, “Youth: this people is of recent appearance.” And shows the role of school for everyone: “With mass schooling, adolescence itself has ceased to be a mass privilege to become a universal condition. He tells how before, according to him, one sought to make the most to “rise”, now exists a “hunt for aging”. And he finally shows a form of dictatorship of youthfulness: “Nowadays youth constitutes the categorical imperative of all generations.”
Youth and Action
“They say that the new generations will be difficult to govern. I hope so.” Emile Chartier, known as Alain, Propos sur l’éducation
Youth often carries with it, in the common imagination, the idea of rebellion, agitation, revolution. It is youth that can act. Thus the saying “If youth knew, if old age could.” Henri Estienne, Les Prémices
The youth that spends its life on the computer, consulting Facebook, or reading all the articles of blogs like Academics in Politics;), is it not, however, passivity? Yet some of the latest events, from the role of twitter in the Arab Spring to the actions of Anonymous, show the opposite.
Find all the subjects of Sciences Po Paris 2013.
Find also the answer key of the history subject of Sciences Po Paris 2013.