00983 - History of Political Doctrines (A-E)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Maria Laura Lanzillo

  • Credits 10

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

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

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students: - know the fundamental features of the modern and contemporary History of Political Thought, - know the main forms of political communication and understand the complex relationships between ideas and facts, - know the most important political doctrines and are able to critically analyze them in connection with the relevant cultural, institutional, historical and social context,- is able to understand the most important political and institutional changes in Western history.

Course contents

The course will be based on the analysis of history of modern and contemporary political thought from the point of view of the concept of power.
Through the analysis of the power's modern dialectic, we will investigate some of the milestone concepts of modern and contemporary political thought - natural right, State, political subject, pact, sovereignty, representation, citizenship, rights, civil society, constitution, democracy. The course will not only focus on the texts based on the concept of power written by the main thinkers (from Machiavelli to Hobbes, from Locke to Rousseau, from Kant to Hegel, from Marx to Weber, from Nietzsche to Benjamin, from Schmitt to Kelsen, from Arendt to Foucault), but also on the conceptual analysis of the classical texts about the concept of freedom, from Greek to us, in order to investigate the contradictory relationship between power and freedom in the western political theory.



- Il pensiero politico moderno, a cura di C. Galli, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017.

- C. Galli - E. Greblo - S. Mezzadra, Il pensiero politico contemporaneo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011

- Potere, a cura di G. Preterossi, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2018 (VI ed.)

- Libertà, a cura di M.L. Lanzillo, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2019 (VI ed.)


PAY ATTENTION. Since the bibliography for students not attending the course is partially different from that of the attending ones, not attending students are kindly requested to meet the teacher at least once before the exam to get in touch with the program.

Teaching methods

30 lectures of 2 hours each

Assessment methods


- 2 short written examinations with open questions (7) will be held during classes in order to understand how familiar the students have become with taught matters.

- The final evaluation will be an average of written examinations.


- A written examination with 15 open questions about the textbooks will be held at the end of the course

- An oral examination after a satisfactory written examination should be attended on the monographic part (previously agreed with the teacher) in order to demonstrate how confident the students are with the analysis and criticism of the history of modern and contemporary political thought

- The final evaluation will be an average of the written and oral examination

Teaching tools

Paintings, films and media, novels

Office hours

See the website of Maria Laura Lanzillo