00895 - Political Science (O-Z)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luca Pinto

  • Learning modules Luca Pinto (Modulo O-Z )
    Luca Pinto (Modulo Gr1-2)
    Chiara Fiorelli (Modulo Gr 3)
    (Modulo D.Ass)

  • Credits 10

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo O-Z )
    Traditional lectures (Modulo Gr1-2)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo Gr 3)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo D.Ass)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)


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

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will gain a basic knowledge of the main approaches and methods developed within political science; will be able to analyze political actors, processes and institutions; will be able to understand similarities and differences between political systems in a comparative perspective.

Course contents

The course is divided into two parts: the first one based on lectures, the second one is organized as a seminar.

The first part is composed of 16 frontal lectures of two hours each (32 hours) and is aimed at introducing students to the basic conceptual and methodological tools of the discipline.

The second part is organized as a seminar and is aimed at the application of the knowledge acquired in the first part. The students will be divided into three groups and will have one lesson per week for a total of seven lessons of two hours each

For each student, therefore, there will be a total of 46 classroom hours (32+14).

The first part of the course (frontal) is introduction to the main themes studied by Political Science, paying particular attention to the theoretical and and methodological aspects that have become central to the study of politics. The syllabus of the first part is structured as follows:

  • Lesson 1 Introduction to the course
  • Lesson 2 The Scientific study of politics
  • Lesson 3 The Game Exit, Voice and Loyalty
  • Lesson 4 The State
  • Lesson 5 The dilemma of the state of nature
  • Lesson 6 Democracy and dictatorship
  • Lesson 7 Social Choice Theory, Part 1
  • Lesson 8 Social Choice Theory Part 2
  • Lesson 9 Parliamentary, presidential, and mixed democracies, part 1
  • Lesson 10 Parliamentary, presidential and mixed democracies, part 2
  • Lesson 11 Elections and electoral systems, part 1
  • Lesson 12 Elections and electoral systems, part 2
  • Lesson 13 Parties and party systems, part 1
  • Lesson 14 Parties and party Systems, Part 2
  • Lesson 15 Veto-players
  • Lesson 16 Intermediate test

The second part of the course (seminar) is divided into two different thematic seminars, whose title and contents will be communicated shortly before the beginning of the course. The students of the first two groups will participate in the activities of the first seminar, while the students of the third group will participate in those of the second seminar. The distribution of students in the three groups will try to take into account as much as possible the interest in the proposed topics. However, groups should be approximately of equal size.

The seminar activity is an integral part of the course. As part of it, students are expected to read the assigned material prior to class and actively participate in the discussion through questions, comments and presentations.


Clark, William Roberts, Golder Matt; Golder Nadenichek Sona, Principles of Comparative Politics, Sage, third edition, 2017 [2009] (selected chapters).

Other materials will be specified at the beginning of the course.

Foreign students are invited to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in lectures and seminars. Lectures aim to introduce students to the core tenets of the discipline. Seminars aim to provide occasions for in-depth discussions of class materials and exercises. Students are required to carefully read the assigned material before the seminar sessions.

Attendance is strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

At the end of the first part of the course, there will be an intermediate test consisting of multiple-choice and open questions which will weigh 40/100 of the final mark. At the end of the seminar part, an exercise will take place, which will weigh 30/100. Assiduous attendance of lectures, active participation in class during the seminar, and presentations will count for the remaining 30/100 of the final grade.

A low mark in the intermediate test does not prevent the participation in the seminar, as long as it is between 15 and 17. In the last week of May there will be the opportunity of repeating the intermediate test on the first part of the programme, reserved for those who have successfully passed the seminar. On the contrary, those who have not successfully completed the seminar part of the course will have to take the exam in the ordinary sessions (appelli), studying the textbook of Clark, Golder and Golder (chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 (only 10.1), 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

Students who are unable to attend the lectures and/or seminars will have to take the exam in the ordinary sessions (appelli) and prepare the textbook of Clark, Golder and Golder (chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 (only 10.1), 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

Student can reject only the final grade. In this event, students will have to take the exam in the ordinary sessions (appelli) and prepare the textbook of Clark, Golder and Golder (chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 (only 10.1), 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). In general, the final grade can be rejected only once.

Teaching tools

Slides and other course materials will be available on line, at the web site Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Pinto

See the website of Chiara Fiorelli

See the website of