28113 - History of Political Doctrines (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Docente: Paola Rudan
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: SPS/02
  • Language: Italian

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the student - through comparison with the texts of the main authors - fully understands the complexity and inner tensions of the categorical apparatus of modern and contemporary political thought (16th-20th century). At the end of the course he knows in-depth the links between the practices of power and the categorical apparatus of political science. He possesses a critical knowledge of the specific periodizations and can organize in a coherent manner and with appropriate vocabulary the related narrative practices.

Course contents

For a political genealogy of contemporary politics: society, State and the individual from Hobbes to Hayek.

The course examines the long theoretical path that contributes in a contradictory way to the formulation of the contemporary neoliberal political theory. Starting from the problematic picture outlined by Friedrich August von Hayek, some fundamental authors of the Scottish Enlightenment, English utilitarianism and liberalism (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer) will be examined, focusing on the different ways in which they articulate the conception of the State and the individual in relation to the order of society and the tensions that question it. As part of the integrated course in History and Political Theory, this part of the course allows the different approaches and conceptions of power, social order and political institutions addressed in the first part of the course to be put to the test of a historical-critical itinerary among the classics of political thought.



Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

The knowledge of the history of political thought is assumed as an acquisition of the bachelor’s degree. The students who need to integrate their knowledge have to make use of C. Galli (a cura di), Manuale di storia del pensiero politico, Bologna, Il Mulino, 20113.

Students must study all texts listed in Section A and one text or a group of texts listed in SECTION B.


— F.A. von Hayek, Legge, legislazione e liberta: una nuova enunciazione dei principi liberali della giustizia e della economia politica, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1989 [Vol. I, Regole e ordine tutto); Vol. II, cap. 10, L'ordine di mercato o catallassi; Vol. III cap. 12, Principio maggioritario e democrazia contemporanea].

— P. Dardot – Ch. Laval, La nuova ragione del mondo: critica della razionalità neoliberista, Roma, DeriveApprodi, 2013 (introduzione all'edizione italiana, pp. 5-26).

— Maurizio, Ricciardi, L’eterna attualità dell’ideologia tra individuo, storia e società, in: Storia d’Europa e del Mediterraneo, XIV: Culture, ideologie, religioni, Roma, Salerno Editore, 2017, pp. 717 - 747 [da p. 735 a p. 747] (disponibile su IOL)

— Maurizio Ricciardi, Costituzionalismo e crisi. Sulle trasformazioni di un paradigma politico dell’ordine, «GIORNALE DI STORIA COSTITUZIONALE», 2016, 32, pp. 101 - 118 (disponibile su IOL)



— Th. Hobbes, Leviatano; saggio introduttivo di C. Galli, Milano, Rizzoli, 2013 (Introduction, chapters Introduzione, capitoli V, X, XI, XIII, XIV, XVII, XVIII, XXI, XXVI, XXIX).


J. Locke, Il secondo trattato sul governo, Milano, Rizzoli, 2016 (capitoli II, III, V, VII, VIII, XI, XIX)).


D. Hume, Trattato sulla natura umana, in Opere, Bari, Laterza, 1981, vol. I (Libro III, parte seconda: La giustizia e l'ingiustizia).


— A. Smith, Teoria dei sentimenti morali, Milano, Rizzoli, 2001 (o altre edizioni) (Parte I - tutta; Parte II, Sezione I - cap. I, II, IV, V; Sezione II - cap. I, II, III).

— A. Smith, La ricchezza delle nazioni, Milano, ISEDI, 1973 (Libro I - capp. I-V).

— J. Bentham, Principles of the Civil Code (1780 ss.), in The Works of Jeremy Bentham (1838-1843), 11. voll., ed. by J. Bowring, vol. I, pp. 297-364 (parte I, capp. I, II, VII, VIII; Part III, cap. V + Appendix, Of the Levelling System).

— J. Bentham, Introduzione ai principi della morale e della legislazione, Torino, UTET, 1998 (capp. I, II, III, VI).


H. Spencer, L’uomo contro lo Stato, Macerata, Liberilibri, 2016 (ch. I, II, III, IV).



Students who do not attend classes must read the texts listed in Section A in full and choose a text or group of texts from Section B in agreement with the teacher on the parts to be studied. For this purpose, please write to the instructor before the exam to make an appointment.

Teaching methods

Lectures and close readings of texts

Assessment methods

Attending students may write a term paper (minimum 3000, maximum 5000 words, including notes and bibliography) based on the texts in Section A and those chosen in Section B. All texts - compulsory and selected - must be cited in the paper. The paper should be emailed to the lecturer one week before the exam. There is no oral interview; students will be notified of the grade and evaluation of the paper via e-mail. The paper should contain on the front page the name of the student/s, the student's roll number, the email address studio.unibo, and the date of the exam call. Any editorial criteria is valid as long as it is applied evenly and neatly.

Students who do not attend will have to take an oral exam.

The assessment will thus examine the student's:

- factual knowledge of the subject;

- ability to summarise and analyse themes and concepts;

- familiarity with the terminology associated with the course and his ability to use it effectively.

Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an overall understanding of the topics discussed during lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology.

Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete mastership of the appropriate terminology.

A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the course, together with a poor mastership of the appropriate terminology.

For students in the integrated course (History of Political Doctrines LM + Political Theory), the final grade will coincide with the average of the marks achieved for each module.


Teaching tools

Power Point (uploaded on Virtuale)

Office hours

See the website of Paola Rudan


Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.