We invite you to look carefully at the annals of the subjects that have fallen in the Sciences Po Network’s competitive exams.
Indeed, it is with practice and experience that you will be able to better understand the expectations of this very special and new test, the Contemporary Questions.
To help you, we present here a few typical topics that are likely to be encountered during the exam. Ideally, you can write a plan for each of these topics (and not just pick your favorites, you won’t have a choice on D-Day), setting yourself a 15-minute timer for example. This will allow you to be aware of the challenge that awaits you, and to see what points of improvement you can make. Once your work is done, it would obviously be rewarding for you to try to improve it, either by discussing it, for example in the comments of this article, or by doing some additional research.
After these explanations, here are our blank topics for the 2021 theme of Revolutions, paired with the theme of The Secret.
→ Practice topics on the theme of The Secret
White Topics Revolutions
- Are revolutions democratic?
- Is a society without revolutions healthy?
- Should the state prevent revolutions?
- Are revolutions the condition of progress?
- Is there a duty to revolt?
→ Method in Contemporary Issues
Mixed White Topics Revolutions and Fear
- Are revolutions the result of fear?
- Should the state be afraid of revolutions?
- Does fear serve or prevent social revolutions?
Mixed White Topics Revolutions and Secrecy
- Does state secrecy prevent revolutions?
- Do revolutions escape the public?
- Are there secret revolutions?
Is your head bubbling already? Then don’t waste time, and grab a pen while your motivation is still alive. [wpdiscuz-feedback id=”q1gijgyc58″ question=”What topic did you come up with for which plan?” opened=”0″]Ideally, share your ideas in the comments right here[/wpdiscuz-feedback], we’ll respond to as many plans as possible, and the other candidate readers of the site can share their opinions as well.
It is indeed a very useful exercise for yourself to look at all the plans proposed below, and to give your opinion to improve the plan of the others. This sharing of ideas and helping each other out will be extremely beneficial to you on Saturday, as it will help you think on your feet.
If you have trouble coming up with something, try anyway! This is indeed an additional reason, the exercise will be even more useful to you than to those who already have the outline. Indeed, to complete the assignment in time, you should ideally reach a kind of automatism when reading the subjects, in order to reduce the draft part on the day of the exam, and increase the writing part.
This automaticity comes from practice and experience, so take some time to try out the topics. The first few minutes are the hardest, but as you get your ideas down on paper, the rest will come much easier. Good luck!
97 thoughts on “Training topics on the theme of Revolutions”
Hello, I worked on a plan and a problem concerning the subject Are revolutions democratic ? and I wanted to have your opinion on it knowing that I am not entirely satisfied with my problem (I also hesitated between final objective and absolute objective). Thank you very much for your involvement! Teaser: Iranian Revolution of 1979 and transition from a pro-Western authoritarian regime to an Islamist Republic despite the democratic aspirations of part of the population and despite the mobilization of the “people” to overthrow the regime of the Shah (Muhammad Reza Pahlavi). Do revolutions have the ultimate goal of achieving democracy? Or again: Do we make a revolution by aspiring to democracy? I. Certain recurring aspirations of revolutionaries seem to correspond to the ideal of democracy … 1. The struggle for sovereignty and self-determination of the people through the revolution Ex : Cuban Revolution of 1959, 2011 Arab Spring 2. A recurring desire for social progress linked to democratic ideals of freedom and equality (because poverty and ignorance prevent everyone from participating in political power) Ex : Arab Spring (social, economic and political demands that crystallized around a claim for “freedom “), industrial revolutions linked to the idea of enrichment of society and therefore of social progress II. …however, there is no guarantee that revolutions respect the framework of democracy…< /strong> 1. : “ unleashing an endless wave of violence ” according to Hannah Arendt in her Essai sur la Révolution (1963) which takes the example of the French Revolution 2. The danger of the democratic ideal pushed to its extremes (willingness for totally direct democracy can lead to “dictatorship of the people”) Ex: “Dictatorship of the proletariat” in the USSR, the only regime (supposed to be temporary) leading to a “real ” democracy for Bolshevik revolutionaries III. …for the raison d’être of revolutions is not democracy. 1. The natural insubordination of humans, which leads to revolt or even revolution Ex : Albert Camus, Man revolted (1951) 2. Changes in the social order, more or less brutal, are not necessarily linked to a change of political regime Ex : theory of < u>” The Third Industrial Revolution “ by Jérémy Rifkin (2012) i.e. the idea of a necessary revolution (since ” humanity is at a crossroads “) in our ways of living, consuming and working to face global warming: change that is necessary whatever the political regime
Hello, I tried to answer the subject “Should the State prevent revolutions?” I have a lot of trouble with contemporary issues so I hope my approach isn’t too off-topic… would not revolutions engender still more? I] Revolutions aim to replace the established order with a new order: => The State is the cause of revolutions
=> Revolutions are unpredictable and inevitable
II] But revolutions only reach not always what revolutionaries expect, which would legitimize state action => The means used are violent
=> The ends can be even worse than before the revolution
Possible hook: Massacre in Tiananmen Square Thank you in advance!
Hello, I carried out a contemporary question training on the subject: “Are revolutions necessarily violent?” Here is my plan as well as my problem, for the plan I followed the advice found in a preparation book for the competition (2 parts and two sub-parts with two ideas per sub-parts) PBM: How can we characterize a revolution that calls for violence and those that do not? What are the factors that can explain the presence or absence of violence? PLAN: I – Variable violence depending on the area affected by the revolution. A – Violence as a characteristic of political revolutions. –> violence is part of the revolutionary process to change the power in place and the established order (example of May 68 and the “night of the barricades” which later led to the resignation of De Gaulle) –> violence can make it possible to change societies and the social order in depth to put an end to inequalities, for example (cf thought of Marx and Engels in The Manifesto of the Communist Party, illustration with the revolution of October in Russia) B – Revolutions marked by the absence of violence. –> revolution as a sudden change in a certain area, breaking with those that were done before, causing misunderstanding, debate but not violent acts like political revolutions (see artistic revolution linked to contemporary art) –> ; revolution can see protests that can be expressed in a peaceful way, and generate transformations within societies, of these conceptions, within the mentalities of individuals… (cf revolution of morals and American counter-culture movements) II – Violence relating to the divergences between the actors and the models defended. A – Variability of the violence according to the degree of divergence between the individuals. –> a revolution can divide the population under the effects of differences of opinion, which leads to the radicalization of both sides (see J. Ellul in Autopsy of the revolution where he opposes revolt and revolution, the revolt being marked by a union of the population against a common enemy, illustration with the Arab springs and more particularly the case of Yemen where the fall of the president leads to a civil war opposing the rebels who are favorable to the former president, to the new government ) –> a revolution can be seen as the advent of a modernity, coming more or less strongly in rupture with tradition, those which involve more or less violence (cf scientific revolutions based on the definition of T. Kuhn in the Structure of scientific revolutions, illustration with the Copernican revolution and the passage from geocentrism to heliocentrism) B – Variability of violence according to the model followed by the revolutions. –> Thought of H. Arendt in his Essay on the Revolution, where she draws a parallel between the American Revolution, which has freedom as its primacy, and the French Revolution and its economic and social primacy, which leads to the “despotism of freedom” that was the period of terror and its extreme violence. –> liberal revolutions // Marxist revolutions where violence appears to be permanent in the new regimes that have emerged from the revolution (see Mao’s Chinese communist revolution) (opening on the sustainability of violent revolutions which is called into question by the triumph of liberalism in 1991 , year of the fall of the USSR) There you go! Thank you in advance for your answer 🙂
Hello, science po team, I am currently in IEP prep and I have a homework assignment to submit, it’s a general knowledge dissertation on the theme of revolutions and I’ve been struggling a bit for a long time. So here’s my topic: How do revolutions start? I would like you to help me. Thanks in advance.
Hello, the integrating science po team, I know that what I’m going to ask you has nothing to do with it, but so far you’ve always given me good advice, so here’s my situation, I’m in final year in a specialty history and on May 5th I have an essay on heritage, so here are my chapters: chapter 1 » the social and political uses of heritage”, chapter 2 “the preservation of heritage between tensions and competition” and finally chapter 3 is a conclusive work on French heritage » France and its heritage, major actions to promote and protect » So I want to train on many subjects as for the competition so I would like to know if you or someone else in the same specialty as me had some subjects to offer me. Thank you
do you have access to today’s topic or not is it bug?
Hello good evening, I see that everyone is offering their plans so it gives courage for tomorrow and I share mine! Are Revolutions Democratic? (problematization) On the one hand it would seem that Democracy is the main aim of the Revolution. Indeed this one wishes to achieve an ideal of freedom and equality of all in society and its functioning, which Democracy seems to represent But yet on the other hand the Revolution very often fails to achieve this ideal and often lets itself be carried away by violence, thus leading to States opposed to their original ideals of a better society, even totalitarian States as the October revolution in Russia showed for example then: Are the Revolutions Democratic? (plan) I – Democracy, main aim of the Revolution A – By making the revolution, we seek (admittedly in a radical way) to have the power to act for our destiny, which is what democratic national sovereignty represents. equal rights, autonomy, freedom. B – In addition, democratic revolutions throughout history are those that have been repeated the most (in the 19th century with the Spring of the Peoples, for example), and Democracy is the system that has survived the most in the 20th century (unlike the totalitarianisms and monarchies). Given its adoption in such diverse societies, one can legitimately think that Democracy has a universal character (cite Tocqueville and Fukuyama to support the universal and “irresistible” aspect of democracy in revolution) C – Finally, in its construction, the democratic system effectively allows a constant revolution: a permanent improvement of its functioning. This is the notion that Fukuyama calls the “Last Revolution” (quote something and develop it) II – Yet the Revolution is often not very Democratic A – The problem comes from violence: a motor for the revolution, but which , if it persists, prevents any stability in the institutions put in place. (analyze the criteria of a revolution according to Hannah Arendt: the stability of its institutions and the durability of its constitution) B – In this situation of instability, even worse, the revolution only redoubles its violence by hiding behind ideals of justice, and a “revolutionary character”, voluntarily or not (French Revolution, the Terror and all the guillotined people, USSR and Stalinist terror with propaganda in parallel). “Violence can resolve […] but very often only calls for more violence” Hannah Arendt C – Paradoxically, the revolutionary ideal thus finds itself in the will of a few instead of the will of all: the revolution has therefore failed and does not is not democratic (conclusion) Thus, even if the revolution seems to correlate with the democracy, one discovers that this link is perhaps to qualify because of the violence inherent in the man. Possible opening: then should we call for a revolution without violence? I had tried a third part on the search for other ideals like good, but it surely hangs up very badly so I took it out and kept it open, and I find that all my argument is just focusing on violence. And I very frankly doubt my plan which seems to boil down to a “yes but in fact no”, help I think I’m really unprepared
Hello good evening, I see that everyone is proposing their plans so it gives courage for tomorrow and I share mine! Are Revolutions Democratic? < u>(problematization) On the one hand it would seem that Democracy is the main aim of the Revolution. Indeed this one wishes to achieve an ideal of freedom and equality of all in society and its functioning, which Democracy seems to represent But yet on the other hand the Revolution very often fails to achieve this ideal and often lets itself be carried away by violence, thus leading to States opposed to their original ideals of a better society, even totalitarian States as the October revolution in Russia showed for example then: Are the Revolutions Democratic? (plan) I – Democracy, main aim of the Revolution A – In making the revolution, we seek (admittedly in a radical way) to having the power to act for our destiny, which is what democratic national sovereignty represents. Having more equal rights, autonomy, freedom. B – Moreover, the democratic revolutions throughout history are those which have been repeated the most (in the 19th century with the Spring of the Peoples, for example), and Democracy is the system which has survived the most in the 20th century (unlike the totalitarianisms and monarchies). Given its adoption in such diverse societies, one can legitimately think that Democracy has a universal character (cite Tocqueville and Fukuyama to support the universal and “irresistible” aspect of democracy in revolution) C – Finally, in its construction, the democratic system effectively allows a constant revolution: a permanent improvement of its functioning. This is the notion that Fukuyama calls the “Last Revolution” (quote something and develop it) II – Yet the Revolution is often not very Democratic A – The problem comes from violence: a driving force for the revolution, but which, if it persists, prevents any stability in the institutions put in place. (analyze the criteria of a revolution according to Hannah Arendt: the stability of its institutions and the durability of its constitution) B – In this situation of instability, even worse, the revolution only redoubles its violence by hiding behind the ideals of justice, and a “revolutionary character”, voluntarily or not (French Revolution, the Terror and all the people guillotined, USSR and Stalinist terror with propaganda in parallel). “Violence can solve […] but very often only calls for more violence” Hannah Arendt C – Paradoxically, the revolutionary ideal thus finds itself the will of a few instead of the will of all: the revolution has therefore failed and is not democratic (conclusion) Thus, even if the revolution seems to correlate with democracy, we discover that this link is perhaps to be nuanced because of the violence inherent in man. Possible opening: so should we call for a revolution without violence? I had tried a third part on the search for other ideals such as good, but it surely hangs on very badly so I ‘ve taken it out and kept it open, and I realize that my whole argument just focuses on violence. And I very frankly doubt my plan which seems to boil down to a “yes but in fact no”, help I think I’m really unprepared
Hello, I chose the subject Are revolutions the condition of progress and I wanted to know your opinion on my problem and my plan if you don’t mind. For my problem, I chose to put “Are revolutions a compulsory passage in order to establish a profound change? Do these necessarily lead to an evolution, and if so, is it positive or negative? For my plan: i) All revolutions do not necessarily lead to change a) For some revolutions the objective is precisely to return to an old order ( Nazism or the caliphate for example) b) some revolutions are suppressed and therefore do not lead to radical change II) However, it is true that a large number of revolutions lead to change: a) Depending on how the revolution is carried out, how it is countered by the state , this may or may not lead to progress, it must be violent enough. b) A very special climate is needed for revolutions to be carried out. III) The notion of progress is perceived as positive, but this is not in the interest of everyone, the prog rès therefore only works in one direction: a) Revolutions that lead to political, economic or social change are sources of disagreement on the notion of progress since not everyone is of the same opinion and not everyone has not the same interests. this notion is therefore subjective b) This has the consequence that progress is never acquired, everything can change overnight. Thanks in advance, have a nice day.
Excuse me for disturbing you once again but I wrote my introduction and it seems to me that it is clearer like that. I am sending it to you, can you take a look before tomorrow please, because tomorrow is the day of the competition and I would like to have an outside look at my work. The French Revolution, which is an example in terms of revolution, led to a profound political change, France went from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, then a republic, the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen has been established. However, this event brought terror and favored the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte. Here the revolution includes a plurality of progress, of fundamental changes in society even though it has led to appalling consequences. Beforehand, it is important to define the term revolution which designates a radical break which has several objectives such as restoring an old order, or on the contrary establishing a change which breaks with the past, which announces the end of an order, a degradation . In this sense, the revolution can include certain progress, which is defined by a change, a development of society, but depending on our political opinions, or our situation, our vision of progress will change and that is why it is important to understand that this term can be seen as a degradation by some people. We can therefore see that the terms revolution and progress are closely linked, in this way we can raise the following question: Are revolutions a compulsory passage in order to establish a profound change? Do these necessarily lead to a revolution and if so is it positive or negative? Clearly, not all revolutions necessarily lead to change, or progress as as such.(part I) However, many revolutions result in political, economic and social change. ( part II) Ultimately, the vision of progress is different depending on the point of view from which it is approached, this can have a positive or negative connotation. Thank you in advance, have a nice day.
Good morning, We therefore comment on your complete introduction. It would be a real plus if you could in your catchphrase associate the events you mention with a few dated landmarks.Your problem is well aimed at the perimeter given by the subject, but falls into the pitfall of a reformulation, as we explain in more detail in our article on the Method in contemporary questions, in the part entitled “problematic”. Since the test already takes place tomorrow, we advise you to work more specifically on this stage of the problem, because your introduction in general is quite good, and your plan, although very classic, works and is well balanced. Good luck to you ! And good luck, keep trying, it’s almost over!
would advise you to put a “to what extent” in your problematic because at least the readers will know that you are working on the subject as a whole. not just positive or negative. So I suggest you put: Do these necessarily lead to an evolution and if so to what extent? Unless you want to describe the impact of the revolution and not the way it unfolds. Your problem will induce one meaning or another depending on your words. Have a great day or evening ❤️
Hello, first of all thank you for your topics. I wonder about the coherence of my problematic within the framework of the subject: “Are revolutions democratic?” : (there is an introductory piece to make the pbq more digestible) Political revolutions are in the common imagination, and more precisely in the French imagination, inseparable from the idea of freedom. An idea that goes hand in hand with democracy which, in fact, seems to indicate that revolutions are democratic. Only here, it is advisable to look into the reality of the facts before you support such a thesis. Indeed, if all revolutions seem to be based on a desire for democracy, are they democratic for all that? The violence engendered by these, the absence of popular consensus or even their illegal nature appears to be contrary to the very idea of democracy. On the other hand, they can by their undemocratic action in itself lead to a democratic regime, be a vector of freedom, even prove necessary in certain states where human rights are violated. Does revolutionary action have to go beyond the democratic framework to achieve its objective?
Hello, We find your problem excellent. It is well brought, well circumstantiated, and expresses well the problem which hides behind the subject. Thank you for this analysis! A small point of improvement could be to better smooth the transition between the three concepts of revolutions, freedom, and democracy. Why not do it thanks to your hook before that… it reminds us in particular of the painting of Liberty guiding the people by Delacroix, which seems to make the link between these three concepts?
Thanks for your help
Hello again. I would like to ask you a question: Knowing that the 2*2 plane is not recommended, is it better to make a 2*3 with more sub-parts in each plane?
Hello Racim, We answer your questions in our article Method in contemporary issues, in the part entitled Designing your draft dissertation → The plan.If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate. Good evening,
(KIYU is obviously a pseudonym) Hello team integrate sciences po !!!! First of all, thank you for proposing white topics concerning the new theme of “Revolutions” such as these, I only found some here, and I’m sure that analyzing them will be a much better exercise than the analysis of old topics on digital or cities (even if that allowed me to train my methodology!) So, I generated one of these topics at random thanks to a program, and I therefore imposed myself to analyze “Is a society without revolution healthy?”, and to find a problem there, as well as an adapted plan! After 30 minutes of thinking about the draft, here it is! Problem: The revolution is the indicator of the health of a society? (it is obviously planned to specify that this indicator can be positive or negative) Plan (in scales): I/Nation-wide revolutions bear witness to the investment of the population A/A nation without even a minor political revolution, does not exist (example of North Korean and Russian repression and dissimulation) B/Revolutions and revolts, even minor ones, show the involvement of the population (example of the vest movement yellows, or #blacklivesmatter demonstrations) II/The global system, hitherto little revolutionized, is being pushed for change A/Global governance has only been very little changed since 1945, but still has limits (notion of the right of veto which can and has blocked global governance) B/The economic system too often questioned but yet impervious to revolutions (questioned from its creation with “Modern times” by Chaplin, denied by Marx then communism, and pushed to revolution by the climate emergency) Thank you again to propose topics on the theme of revolutions, I immediately start writing this dissertation!
Hello KIYU, Your plan does not really answer your problem, which has the defect of only repeating the subject, by tilting it in a new direction (therefore risk of off-topic). We have just written an entire article on the method for the test of contemporary questions, which we think could benefit you: Method in contemporary issues. good job to you,
I understood well it is that you reproach me… can you thus propose a correction, a problem, on this subject which I did not seize? THANKS
Hello, We have just updated our method article in contemporary questions with a correction of an issue on a subject similar to the one you had chosen. Good luck this afternoon,
Excuse me for disturbing you, the integrating science po team, would you have other subjects to suggest to us?
hello team integrating science po it’s me El boss sorry for my somewhat absurd pseudonym, I saw that you corrected some plan proposals but not mine, so please can give me your opinion and Correct me because I really spent a lot of time there and I would like to know if it’s good or not because the competition is tomorrow. Thank you very much for your precious help in this difficult period and again sorry for my frankly ridiculous pseudonym.
Hello El boss / anonymous, We just came to respond to your proposed plan. Good luck for tomorrow,
Hello thank you for helping me does anyone think that the plan proposed by el boss for his subject is correct?
Hello, I realized the following topic: “Are revolutions democratic?” Here is my problem as well as my plan, hoping that it suits. Are revolutions and democracies contradictory notions? If the democratization of the world seems to mark the end of revolutions (I), it does not put an end to the feeling of revolt that is rumbling (II). I/If the democratization of the world seems to mark the end of revolutions A. Revolutions as catalysts for new democracies B. Democracy as the “end of history” II/ It does not put an end to the feeling of revolt that is rumbling among the people A. A feeling now expressed through the ballot box B. Reforms as a new form of expression of popular revolt
Hello Oriane, Your problem would gain a lot if you dug it, especially if you made it your mission to explain why revolutions and democracy can appear contradictory. Failing that, it may appear to be nothing more than a restatement of the subject. As for your plan, it could also be fleshed out, because it doesn’t say much and doesn’t offer a solution. (Why not a 3rd part?) The reasoning should also be more thorough to reach the Sciences Po level, your IB and II.A. and II.B. express ideas that can be greatly enriched, for example by working on the debate on these points, rather than by reducing them to this simple affirmation. For the competition tomorrow, we therefore advise you to dig as much as possible into the arguments you invoke, that is to say, to analyze them, to develop them, and to explain them in depth, particularly with regard to opposing positions. . Good luck with this job,
Hello, excuse me for disturbing you are you could answer the one who made the subject: “Is the revolution always desirable?” please, his subject interests me and i tried to do it myself so i would like to have a correction please because it would be very useful for me for the contest. His name is “El patron” I think it’s a pseudonym
Hello El boss / anonymous, We just came to respond to your proposed plan. Good luck for tomorrow,
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