Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in International relations and diplomatic affairs (cod. 8048)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with the necessary tools for analysing the relationship between culture and society in a "long-term" perspective and according to a comparative methodology that focuses on the globality of geopolitical problems and relationships. At the end of the course the students are expected to know the different paradigms that the historical-cultural sociology has elaborated on the relations between society, state and civilization, and they will be able to identify and analyse the conceptual semantics underlying different cultural areas as well as transformations taking place today.

Course contents

The course will have the following thematic development:

1. Introduction to historical sociology and the comparative method; 2. Comte, Tocqueville, Marx; 3. E. Durkheim and the elementary forms of religious life; M. Weber: the method of historical-social sciences; historical causality and sociological causality; 4. M. Scheler and the law of the causal order of real and ideal factors; the era of the harmonization of cultures; the idea of perpetual peace and pacifism; 5. PA Sorokin: historical-comparative sociology and social philosophies in an age of crisis; socio-cultural causality, space, time; 6. Alfred Weber: the history of culture as a sociology of culture; 7. R.M. MacIver: social movement, civilization, culture; social change and the causal -significant method; 8. Karl Jaspers: origin and sense of history; 9.K. Lowith, Meaning and End of History; 10. Ortega y Gasset and historical sociology; 11. F. Braudel: history and sociology; 12. J. Le Goff and the new story (story and long duration); 13. R. Aron: sociology: determining factors and regularity (peace and war between nations); 14. R. Nisbet: history and social change; 15. Norbert Elias and the civilization process; 16. The End of History Debate: F. Fukuyama, S. Huntington; 17. R. Boudon: the place of disorder and theories of social change; 18. R. Scruton: culture matters; the West and the others; 19-25: The debate on the axial age: Alfred Weber, Karl Jaspers, S. Eisenstadt, R. Bellah, C. Taylor, J. Habermas; 26. A polemic on civilization and barbarism: R. Caillois and C. Levi-Strauss; 27. E. Voegelin: Order and History; the myth of the new world; 28. J. Assmann: cultural memory; 29. R. Spaemann: universalism and Eurocentrism; history and rediscovery of teleological thought; 30. Twilight of Universalism? The analysis of C. Del Sol; History universal and "pathology of the spirit". Still on culture, civilization and society.


Recommended text for all students:

Sociologia comparata delle civiltà, a cura di L. Allodi, Rubbettino, 2024

At the beginning of the course, a list of classical authors will be made available. Each student will have to choose an author and deepen him. Teaching takes place according to the above-indicated methods.

Teaching methods

Teaching takes place according to the mixed above-detailed teaching methods

Assessment methods

Lectures and debate

The verification of learning takes place through two mid-term written tests (one in the middle, the second at the end of the course). The topics to be explored in view of such tests, also in the light of the adjustments which will be communicated in advance, are the following:

first mid-term test: topics 1-15 (as indicated in the thematic development scheme of the Course shown in the previous paragraph: "contents") + handbook (first 15 chapters)

second mid-term test: topics 16-30 + handbook (remaining 12 chapters)

In both the mid-term written tests, knowledge (also of a comparative nature) that the student have acquired on the authors, on the sociological paradigms and on the topics presented in the course, will be verified.

Oral examen: on the basic text and on the chisen and indept author 

Vote rejection:

Those who have taken and passed both the mid-term tests can refuse the grade obtained in a single intermediate test. In this case student will prepare again the relevant part of the program. Student who intends to refuse the grade of a test must notify the teacher by email within 3 days since the publication of the results of the last intermediate test. He has also the right to refuse the final grade (including written and oral grade) proposed by the teacher. In this case, he will have to take a written exam on the whole program (see above) and then the oral exam.

Exam for non-attending students

A written exam on the course program and on the indicated reference text is foreseen. The written and oral exams take place in one session of the winter session or in the September 2024 session. Non-attending students must contact prof. Allodi to define texts and integrative materials. The written exam will take place in the manner that will be indicated at the time. Those who do not take the mid-term tests or those who are absent from the two mid-term tests, or even those who do not pass them, are considered not attending students.

Teaching tools


Use of slides 

Office hours

See the website of Leonardo Allodi


Peace, justice and strong institutions

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