As part of the interdisciplinary program of the Three-Year Degree, the teaching of History of Political Theories is designed to examine the reflections and the ideas of the major Western thinkers on politics. In particular, we'll focus on the classical roots of political thought (Plato, Aristotle, stoicism) and the birth of the modernstate in the writings of its main theorists (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke). A particular analysis will also be dedicated to the main political traditions: liberalism, democracy and socialism.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: at the end of the teaching the student will have learned the main concepts of the history of political theories and the most influential authors in Western culture. Applying knowledge and understanding: the acquired knowledge will enable the student to understand the concepts and the key terms of the contemporary political debate and to place the current problems within a broad theoretical framework.
History of Political Theories will examine the ideas of the major political thinkers in the history of the West on how to organize a political community. It will start by exploring the ancient roots of modern political reflections - particularly Plato, Aristotle. The focus of the course will be on the emergence of the modern state, as interpreted by authors such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke. The major developments of the great political philosophies of the West - liberalism, democracy, socialism - will also be examined as well as the political ideas of several thinkers, from Rousseau to Marx. A particular attention will be devoted to the analysis of the institutional and political developments of the United States of America from the Revolution to the Civil War.
Prerequisites for admission
The course will be based on a selection of readings and critical writings on Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and other authors. Attendance is highly recommended. All the readings will be available for the students on the Ariel site.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam. The students who attended all the lectures will have a chance to take a written test at the end of the course.