Insegnamento a.a. 2015-2016



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 political phenomena in both national and international contexts. In the first part the course addresses methodological issues pertaining to political analysis, it emphasizes the peculiarity of the political sphere with respect to other dimensions of social reality, and it surveys realities, problems and concepts of great importance in politics: political systems, power, the state, citizenship, sovereignty, nationalism, democracy, ideology, political culture, political participation, the media. In the second part, the main features of the Italian political system are analyzed.

Course Content Summary

First part:

  • What is politics? How to study it?
  • Power: conceptual debates and their political relevance.
  • State and sovereignty: history, contemporary challenges, relationships between the local and the global.
  • Nationalism and citizenship.
  • Democracy as organization of power and as resistance to power.
  • Political participation: political culture, parties, interest groups, social movements.
  • The rules of democracy: decision making, electoral process, laws and constitutions

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

For Attending students :
will be able to choose between two options: a partial 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 (45 percent); or one cumulative exam at the end of the course (90 percent). The students will also choose over the semester one text from a further readings selection to present to their colleagues or to review in a written report (10 percent).
for Non-attending students:
will be taking one more substantial cumulative exam at the end of the course (100 percent of the final grade).


  • R. HAGUE, M. HARROP, Comparative Government and Politics. An introduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 (9th edition)
    M. COTTA, L. VERZICHELLI, Political Institutions in Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Articles for further reading on reserve at the Bocconi Library
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 11/06/2015 12:55