Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEMF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course provides the main analytical tools needed to understand the nature of politics and political behavior in both national and international contexts. In the first part the course addresses issues such as the evolution of political science, the description of the main features of various political regimes (democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian) and the role of power relations in contemporary democracies. Furthermore, public institutions, political actors and decision making processes are discussed using political science methodological tools and analytical approaches. In the second part, the main features of the Italian political system are analyzed.

Course Content Summary

First part

  • What is politics?
  • Analysing power: sources and types of power.
  • Political regimes: democracy, authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
  • The actors of democracy: political parties, interest groups. • The institutions of democracy: executive-legislative power relations.
  • The rules of democracy: decision making and electoral process.
  • The "levels" of democracy: between local and global.

Second part
This second part analyses the main characteristics of the Italian political system: history, empirical evidence and interpretation.

  • Evolution of the Italian political system.
  • Recent trends: change or continuity?


Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

There are only written exams. You have two options:
  • Students may take two partial exams. In this case, the exam is considered as passed only if in both partial exams the grade is at least 18/30.
  • Students may take a general exam.

Oral or written presentations are valid until the end of the AY 2014-2015.



  • R. HAGUE, M. HARROP, Comparative Government and Politics. An introduction, Houndmills-Basingstroke: Macmillan, 2010
  • M. COTTA, L. VERZICHELLI, Political Institutions in Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 23/06/2014 10:44