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Course 2016-2017 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) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEM (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 political phenomena in both national and international contexts through an introduction to the themes and methods of the three fundamental components of political science: political philosophy, international relations, and comparative politics. We survey the most important concepts and problems at the core of the three approaches: the state, citizenship, sovereignty, nationalism, democracy, authoritarianism, civil disobedience. At the end of the course an in-depth analysis of Italian politics is offered.

Course Content Summary

Introduction: what is politics? How to study it? What is its relationship with other disciplines?

Political philosophy:

  • Liberal democracy, socialism, communism, dictatorship and authoritarianism

 International relations and politics:

  • Realism, multilateralism, the United Nations, processes of regional integration, globalization
  • Non-state actors: nongovernmental organizations, terrorist organizations, multinational corporations
  • Human rights, environmentalism, poverty and inequality among nations

 Comparative politics:

  • Political institutions: executive and legislative power, the courts
  • Political parties, the bureaucracy, the media, interest groups
  • The Italian case:
The evolution of the Italian political system.
The recent years: change or continuity?

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
For attending students:
They will be able to choose between two options:
  • a partial written exam at the end of the first part of the course (45 percent of the final grade), and one at the end of the second part (50 percent);
  • or one cumulative written exam at the end of the course (95 percent).
Participation in class discussion and active engagement with the materials will contribute 5 percent of the grade. (Partial exams have to be taken within the same academic year). The students will have the opportunity to gain extra credit with an in class presentation.

For non-attending students:
They will take a comprehensive written exam at the end of the course (100 percent of the final grade).

  • N. REIMER, D.W. SIMON, The Challenge of Politics. An Introduction to Political Science, CQ Press, 2016, 5th edition.
  • M. COTTA, L. VERZICHELLI, Political Institutions in Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Last change 24/05/2016 16:09