20638 - FUNDAMENTALS OF POLITICS - PREPARATORY COURSE
Course taught in English
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
This course aims at preparing the students for the PPA program by introducing often-used theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of political science. The lectures cover both seminal contributions and recent developments in the field.
The course is organized in three parts.
- Part 1 introduces political science as an academic discipline and also introduces Bocconi faculty who are political scientists or work on related subjects. Then we cover a number of covers fundamental subjects (rationality assumption, the spatial model of preferences, the state and its origins)
- Part 2 covers topics related to "Comparative Politics", which focuses on political relations within a state. Lectures will be on the differences between democracy and dictatorship, different types of democracies (two visions of democracy), different electoral systems, different party systems, and veto players.
- Part 3 covers topics related to "International Relations", which focuses on political relations between states and non-state actors. The specific topics we will look at include the main schools of IR thought (e.g. Realism), rationalist explanations for conflict, diplomacy as a two-level game, and international organizations.
- Define fundamental concepts in political science such as "veto players" or a "parliamentary system".
- Recognize different approaches to political phenomena such as conflict between states.
- Summarize explanations for important phenomena such as interstate war.
- Demonstrate familiarity with fundamental concepts in political science.
- Compare the usefulness of different theoretical explanations for important phenomena.
- Prepare for coursework in courses on political science, public policy, and economics.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Online lectures
Online lectures are recordings of the face-to-face lectures.
This course is not mandatory and does not assess students' learning.
The professor will provide all teaching materials (lecture slides and reading material) via Blackboard.