73281 - Political Philosophy (Advanced)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with the conceptual tools required to analyze questions of effectiveness and fairness in public policies, citizenship rights, (universal) human rights as well as global justice.

Course contents

The course aims at providing students with an outline of the main contemporary debates surrounding the topic of power. It will particularly focus on the work of Michel Foucault during the 1970s, introducing such concepts as discipline, biopolitics, governmentality, subjection, subjectivation. Discipline and Punish will be the main reference for the course


Suggested bibliographical references for the exam:

A. Michel Foucault, Poteri e strategie , Milano, Mimesis, 2014.

B. Michel Foucault, Sorvegliare e punire. Nascita della prigione , Torino, Einaudi, 1976.

This book can be substituted with one among the following:

Gilles Deleuze, Il potere. Corso su Michel Foucault (1985-1986), Verona, ombre corte, 2017.

Michel Foucault, La società punitiva, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2016.
Michel Foucault, Il discorso, la storia, la verità. Interventi 1969-1984, Torino, Einaudi, 2001.
Michel Foucault, Bisogna difendere la società, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2009.
Michel Foucault, Sicurezza, territorio, popolazione, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2007.
Michel Foucault, Nascita della biopolitica, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2012.

Further bibliographical references will be suggested during the course. Students who are not going to attend classes may contact the professor to propose and discuss changes to the suggested reading list.

Teaching methods

Lectures will be combined with seminars, with direct involvement of students and possible participation of external guests.

Assessment methods

The exam will be oral. Students attending classes are encouraged although not required to present a paper, to be discussed during the exam.

Teaching tools

The course presupposes a basic knowledge of the history of modern and contemporary political philosophy. Students who do not have such knowledge in their curriculum can refer to one of the following texts:

S.S. Wolin, Politics and Vision. Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2006
C. Galli (ed), Manuale di storia del pensiero politico, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011
A. Pandolfi (ed), Nel pensiero politico moderno, Roma, Manifestolibri, 2004

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Sandro Mezzadra