The course surveys approaches to and models of politics based on the rational-actor paradigm. The underlying assumption is that politics, like economics, may be described and understood in terms of rational, goal-seeking behaviour by individuals in various institutional contexts . The course's main emphasis is on analysing political phenomena, not judging them. In other terms the course does not deal with the normative attractiveness of alternative political procedures and different policy outcomes . Nevertheless during the course, the clear-cut presentation of the intended and unintended consequences of the individual and collective political behaviours will allow the students to judge and formulate their normative conclusions . The course aims also at improving the students' awareness that politics is mainly about strategic interaction, that institutions matter and that "irrational" and suboptimal collective outcomes are fully compatible with rational individuals. At the end of the course students should be in condition to use the theoretical apparatus they have learned in order to read and interpret the historical and current political events.