Political Science

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
Given the general purposes of the bachelor degree program, this course aims at examining the main paradigms, concepts, methods and research fields in Political Science. The aim of the course is to analyse political systems under a comparative perspective, paying particular attention to both the major contemporary Western democratic polities (from the most important European democracies to the United States of America, and to the European Union as a political and institutional model of compound democracy) and to non democratic polities.
The course is articulated along three units:
- the first unit provides a general introduction to politics and the key concepts and terms of the political theory and the political science (i.e. State, Constitution and Rule of law, liberalism, democratic and not democratic regimes, power);
- the second unit deals with the classical themes of the political science, such as the political participation, political parties and party systems, parliamentary institutions and governments, in the context of contemporary representative democracies; privileged attention will be given to the study of the Italian political system, its origins, its evolution over time and its own fundamental structures;
- the third unit analyses the process of integration of European Union, with regard to its current political and institutional framework, and the global dimension of contemporary political phenomena, paying particular attention on the evolution of the Nation-State in the globalization era and the context of International relations.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding: at the end of the course, students will acquire a set of analytical, methodological and interpretative skills, related to the functioning of the contemporary political systems, within democratic and non-democratic polities, as well as within supranational institutions like the European Union as a compound democracy. These skills will be useful for the analysis of political behavior in several fields (electoral behavior, political representation, representation of business interests, Parliament and Government functioning and relationships, law making and public policy implementation), and within different institutional contexts.
Applying Knowledge and Learning Skills: this toolkit will allow students analyzing autonomously political systems, and their main actors and fundamental processes. The understanding of these processes will be combined with a relatively thorough knowledge of the evolution and functioning of the Italian political system.
Communication Skills: students will learn to communicate the contents and results of the analysis of a given political system to several interlocutors, specialists and non-specialists ones.
Course syllabus and organization

A-K

Responsible
Lesson period
Second trimester
Unità didattica 1
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 2
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 3
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 1002
Lessons: 20 hours

L-Z

Responsible
Lesson period
Second trimester
Delivery
The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously, based on the ordinary lesson schedule, and asynchronously, as they will remain available to students on the same platform. Further teaching materials, to compensate the impossibility of holding lessons in person, will be available on the ARIEL platform.

Program and reference
The program and reference will not change.

Learning evaluation procedures and assessment criteria
The exam will take place in oral form, using the Microsoft Teams platform. if the contagion prevention rules allow it, the exam will be held face-to-face and in writing.
Course syllabus
The program consists of three Teaching Units (1-2-3).

Teaching Program - Unit (1):
Concepts and keywords of Political theory and Political science (Comparative politics). What is science? What is politics? The historical context of modern politics: origin of the state between state of nature and political state, nation-state between evolution and transformation, rule of law and constitutions. Liberalism and democracy. Liberal democracies and democracies: definition, comparison, typologies, development and transformation. Non-democratic regimes (authoritarianisms and totalitarianisms): definitions, comparison, typologies and empirical cases.

Teaching Program - Unit (2):
Section 2a. Socio-economic and socio-political participation and representation
- Socio-economic and socio-political participation and representation: Participation and political representation between loyalty, defection and protest. Relationship between supply and demand politics. Political culture and socio-political cleavages. Trust, security and social capital. Political movements. Political participation: how (mode), why (determinants), when and where (macro level explanation), who (micro level explanation).
- Interest groups: analysis of interest representation in a multilevel perspective. Lobby and focus on the collective action of entrepreneurs and businesses: specific objectives in the political arena and in the market; stakeholder theory and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The unions between the logic of membership and the logic of influence. Interaction models between actors.
- Political parties: definitions, origins and historical evolution, functions, organizational models, parties and democracy.
- Party systems: genealogy, morphology and dynamics of party systems. Evolution of the concepts of right and left in countries with a democratic tradition. Analysis of political cultures and the structuring of the party system: the Italian case in a comparative key.
- Elections, voters and electoral behavior, electoral systems and formulas. Referendums.

Section 2b. Institutional structure and policy making
- Parliaments, legislative assemblies and territorial representation: definitions, role, structure and functions. Power of a legislative assembly;
- Governments and bureaucracies: types of government, functioning, autonomy and political capacity. Presidential, parliamentary, semi-presidential regulations; government morphology, constitutional modeling and party reality. Administrative systems: definitions, role, functions, organizational models of bureaucracies; relationship between political and administrative classes in a complex society;
- Public policies and policy making: what they are, production models of public policies; policy types, phases and actors. Conceptual models of policy making. International factors for domestic policy making.

Section 2c. the Italian political system: origins, evolution, structures
- The Italian case from the perspective of studies on political development: a state without a nation;
- the construction of the nation-state
- the five political systems of recent Italian history: unitary state and limited monarchy, liberal state, republic of parties, Tangentopoli and the infinite transition, unstable tripolarization.
- the seven critical conjunctures: transformism, the advent of fascism, the Republic of parties, the center-left, Tangentopoli and the end of the Republic of parties, Berlusconi and the failure of the liberal democratic project, the failure of the 2016 constitutional reform.

Teaching Program - Unit (3):
- European Union: new political system, how? European integration. Vertical (UE as a regulatory state) and horizontal (UE as a hyper-consensual system) dimension. European Union and democratic politics (which is not there ...);
- Globalization and the nation-state: ongoing debate between advanced, weak post-colonial and modernized capitalist states.
Prerequisites for admission
Taking into account the general aims of the bachelor degree program, this is a primary and basic course aimed at examining the main paradigms, concepts, methods and research fields in Comparative Politics. The aim of the course is the analysis of the political system, in a comparative perspective, paying particular attention on both the major contemporary western democratic polities (from the most important European democracies to the United States of America and the European Union as a new political and institutional model of compound democracy) and other non democratic ones.
The course consists of three Units:
- the first Unit focuses on a general introduction of politics and the comprehension of the key concepts and terms of the political theory and the political science (i.e. State, Constitution and Rule of law, liberalism, democratic and not democratic regimes, power);
- the second Unit deals with the classical themes of the political science, such as the political participation, political parties and party systems, parliamentary institutions and governments, in the context of contemporary representative democracies; privileged attention will be given to the study of the Italian political system, its origins, its evolution over time and its own fundamental structures;
- the third Unit analyses the process of integration of European Union, with regard to its current political and institutional framework, and the global dimension of contemporary political phenomena, paying particular attention on the evolution of the Nation-State in the globalization era and the context of International relation.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons.
The course is integrated with a cycle of seminars. Students who attend the course getting a sufficient evaluation (at least 18/30) in the mid-term test will be able to participate, upon request, to those seminars.
Teaching Resources
Unit (1):
- D. Caramani (a cura di), Scienza politica, Egea Bocconi, Milano 2015 (II edizione), Introduction, chapters 1-2-3.

Unit (2):
Section 2a.
- D. Caramani (a cura di), Scienza politica, Egea Bocconi, Milano 2015 (II edizione), chapters 4-5-6-7-8;
Section 2b.
- D. Caramani (a cura di), Scienza politica, Egea Bocconi, Milano 2015 (II edizione), chapters 9-10-11.
Section 2c.
- N.Addario e L.M.Fasano, Il sistema politico italiano. Origini, evoluzione e struttura, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2019.

Unit (3):
- D. Caramani (a cura di), Scienza politica, Egea Bocconi, Milano 2015 (II edizione), chapters 12-13.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam: multiple choice questions, questions with semi-open and free answers, numerical exercises.
Students who attend the course must take a mid-term written test and a final test, always in written form, at the end of the course on the remaining part of the program.
Students who attend the course getting a sufficient evaluation (at least 18/30) in the mid-term test can apply to attend a seminar, helded by political science experts, whose evaluation (up to a maximum of 2 points) will be an integral part of the overall evaluation of the course. The programs of these seminars will be available on the course website, where all the information (teachers, timetable, topics, bibliography) will be provide.


Students who attend the course with an evaluation of at least 27/30, can improve that evaluation by taking an oral supplementary exam, on all the teaching program of the course. This supplementary exam will not necessarily lead to an improvement in the final evaluation.
Unità didattica 1
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 2
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 3
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 1002
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Students can contact the teacher by e-mail or by chat on Microsoft Teams to arrange for day and reception hours on line. Please indicate as e-mail subject: "Student reception: MEETING REQUEST". Prefer Microsoft Teams chat if my undergraduates or students
Room 313 - SPS Department of Social and Political Science, 3rd Floor. During Covid-19 Emergency only for my undergraduates and by previous appointment.