84698 - Institutional Adaptation and Evolution

Course Unit Page


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

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course focuses on political institutions and their effects, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of their persistence and change. A special attention is devoted to democracy in the digital age. At the end of the course the students a) is capable of analyzing and interpreting trajectories and pace of institutional change b) has a deep knowledge of the main approaches to institutional change c) he is able to discuss the relationship among technology and democracy.

Course contents

The course is divided into three parts. In the first one we will deal with the most important theoretical perspectives on institutions and institutional change in a very broad sense. In the second one we will focus on democratic institutions. In the third one we will address some contemporary issues such as the trasformation of democracy in the digital age. Digital innovation from its origins has been closely tied to a democratic imaginary advocating an increase of citizens' participation and empowerment. Are participatory digital tools an effective way of regenerating democracy? What are the possibilities, challenges and pitfalls facing the transformation of democratic politics in our times? The course aims at providing tools to deal with these questions.


A reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course

Teaching methods

This course is organized as a seminar. The basic format will be classroom lectures and students' presentations.

Assessment methods

Class attendance: 25%

Oral presentation: 25%

Written paper: 50%

Teaching tools

Powerpoint slides, articles and other materials will be available on line at the following website https://IOL.unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Daniela Giannetti