Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students: - know the fundamental features of the contemporary political thought, - know the main forms of western political discourse and understand the complex relationships between ideas and facts, - know the most important contemporary political doctrines and are able to critically analyze them in connection with the relevant cultural, institutional, historical and social context,- is able to understand the most important political and institutional changes in in the current international context.

Course contents

The course explores what politics is, considered from the point of view both of power, understood as the energy that is the origin of the political form, and of the norms and relationships of command and obedience, which are the real mode of functioning of an order. We will ask ourselves some of the questions that are typical of Western reflection on politics, its domains and its subjects: what is the origin of community and what are its foundations of legitimacy? What is the relationship between the original energy of political forms and their institutional settings? What are the subjects of the action of political power, i.e. who acts, who orders what to whom? And with what limits, through what resources or institutions, to what purposes? To try to provide some answers, we will let ourselves be guided by the reflections of four 'classic' voices of the 20th century: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt and Giovanni Sartori.



C. Galli - E. Greblo - S. Mezzadra, Il pensiero politico contemporaneo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011.

M. Weber, La politica come professione, in M. Weber, La scienza come professione. La politica come professione, Torino, Einaudi, 2004.

C. Schmitt, Il concetto di «politico», in C. Schmitt, Le categorie del 'politico', Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014.

H. Arendt, Che cos'è la politica?, Torino, Einaudi, 2006.

G. Sartori, Politica, in G. Sartori, Elementi di teoria politica, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016.


PAY ATTENTION. Since the bibliography for students not attending the course is partially different from that of the attending ones, not attending students are kindly requested to meet the teacher at least once before the exam to get in touch with the program.

Teaching methods

30 lectures of 2 hours each

Assessment methods


- 2 short written examinations with open questions will be held during classes in order to understand how familiar the students have become with taught matters.

- The final evaluation will be an average of written examinations.


- A written examination with 15 open questions about the textbooks will be held at the end of the course

- An oral examination after a satisfactory written examination should be attended on the monographic part (previously agreed with the teacher) in order to demonstrate how confident the students are with the analysis and criticism of the history of modern and contemporary political thought

- The final evaluation will be an average of the written and oral examination

Teaching tools

Paintings, films and media, novels

Office hours

See the website of Maria Laura Lanzillo


Quality education Gender equality

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