00983 - History of Political Thought (A-L)

Course Unit Page


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

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents

The course adopts a teaching method that involves a division into two different sections. One section consists of lectures (16 lectures for a total of 32 hours) and aims to introduce students to the acquisition of basic conceptual and theoretical tools. Another 14-hour section, organized in a seminar modality, aims at delving into specific topics and presupposes a previous reading of texts by students, as well as their active participation in the lesson. The division into lectures and seminars is specified in the following program. The course deals with the history of political doctrines as a field of Western knowledge handed down by the texts of the main political thinkers. Between caesura and continuity, each historical context offers doctrines aimed at understanding the internal life of political units and their external relations. The lectures will address the thinking of the main Western political thinkers (Machiavelli, Lutero and Calvino, Bodin and Althusius, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Constant, Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Schmitt, Arendt). For the section organized according to seminar modalities, students will be divided into 4 groups of 14 hours each: three groups will carry out the seminar in person and one group will carry out the seminar remotely on MS TEAMS. In due time, however, after the start of the courses, students must register on the various lists. For each student, therefore, a total of 46 classroom hours are provided, plus at least 14 hours of individual work in preparation for the seminar activity. The seminar partrequires students to come to class having already read the assigned material and actively participate in the lesson, starting with the use of the knowledge acquired with individual readings for the creation of thematic insights. The 4 separate groups will explore one of the following crucial themes, problems and doctrines: Liberalism (group 1, presence); War (group 2, presence); Forms of government (group 4, presence); democracy (group 3, remote).


R. Gherardi (a cura di), La politica e gli Stati, Roma, Carocci, 2011(seconda edizione);

C. Galli (a cura di), Il pensiero politico moderno, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017;

The texts for the seminar groups will be communicated by the teacher after the start of the lessons. Here are just some general contributions to the theme of the different groups.

Liberalismo (Group one):

  1. G. Bedeschi, Liberalismo, in Enciclopedia delle scienze sociali, Treccani (http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/liberalismo_%28Enciclopedia-delle-scienze-sociali%29/ )

Guerra (Group two):

  1. A. Panebianco, Guerra, in Enciclopedia delle scieze sociali, Treccani. (https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/guerra_%28Enciclopedia-delle-scienze-sociali%29/

Forme di governo (Group three, online):

  1. N. Matteucci,Le forme di governo, ‘Enciclopedia delle scienze sociali”, Treccani;

(https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/forme-di-governo_%28Enciclopedia-delle-scienze-sociali%29/ )

Democrazia (Grop four):

  1. G. Sartori, Democrazia, Enciclopedia delle scienze sociali”, Treccani;

(https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/democrazia_%28Enciclopedia-delle-scienze-sociali%29/ )

One text chosen from the following for the final exam:

M. L. Lanzillo, Tolleranza, Mulino, 2002;

Nicola Matteucci, Organizzazione del potere e libertà, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016;

Nicola Matteucci, Lo Stato moderno, Il Mulino, 2011;

Norberto Bobbio, Mutamento politico e rivoluzione, Donzelli, 2021.

NON ATTENDING STUDENTS The program is the same. However, non-attending students are advised to meet with the teacher - even online - to get to know the program.

Teaching methods

The teaching is divided into sections. One section consists of lectures (32 hours) and aims to introduce students to the acquisition of basic conceptual and theoretical tools through the reading and conceptual analysis of classical texts by political authors, aimed at providing the conceptual and the lexicon proper to the history of modern and contemporary political thought. The other section, the seminar section - made up of 4 thematic groups - is divided into introductory lectures, individual readings of articles or essays and presentations and class discussions by students and groups of students on specific in-depth topics. agreed with the teacher.

Assessment methods

During the course there will be two written tests on the institutional program. And a test on the specific monographic topic (which may consist either in the elaboration of a paper or in a presentation to the class: in both cases the topic is agreed with the teacher and the paper will be evaluated out of thirty). These tests will have an evaluative character and will serve as an instrument for controlling individual learning with respect to the path taken. Particular weight may have the evaluation of participation in the seminar. The two tests on the institutional part will be divided into five open-ended questions; the time available for each verification will be 40 minutes. Participation in the tests is reserved for students who have actually attended the lessons (the teacher reserves the right to collect students' signatures to verify their participation). Students who have passed and passed the written tests (2 in total) and the verification of the seminar channel with a positive vote, will take a supplementary final test on a monograph chosen by the student from the list shown above. Students who have not passed a test (due to failure or absence) will have to recover it. There is also a remedial test - on one of the tests whose evaluation does not satisfy the student. The recovery tests will be taken during the official exam sessions.

To access the final exam: sufficient weighted average of the two written tests + the test on the seminar part. In the case of insufficient average, attending students will again have to take a written paper on the overall program during the exam sessions. The final exam is aimed at testing also and above all the analytical, critical and overall control skills of the discipline, as well as the learning of any parts of the program not yet evaluated in the intermediate tests. The final evaluation is given by the overall evaluation achieved in the two written tests, in the evaluation of the seminar part and that reported in the final test, taking into account the amount of the program verified through both. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics addressed together with their critical use, the demonstration of the possession of an expressive mastery and specific language will be evaluated with a grade of excellence. Any lack of one or more of these aspects will determine a gradation in the vote, up to a negative evaluation where insufficient preparation and training gaps are found.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Raschi

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