cod. 01949

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Storia delle dottrine politiche (SPS/02)
Discipline storico-sociali, giuridico-economiche, politologiche e delle relazioni internazionali
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims to provide students with a critical awareness of the origin and development of the fundamental concepts of ancient and modern western political thought.


Prerequisites are not required

Course unit content

The course will focus on an analysis of the origin and development of the main concepts in the ancient and modern Western political thought, by the study of the most significant authors and with particular regard to reflections on democracy, representation and freedom.

Full programme

The origins of political thought in ancient Greece; the political thought of the main Greek philosphers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; political thought and law in the Roman Republic; Roman thought: Polybius and Cicero; the coming of Christianity: Augustine and Aquinas; Machiavelli; More and the utopical thought; State and sovereignty: Bodin; State of nature, civil society, authority and liberty in Hobbes; Locke’s political thought; Constitution, powers and liberty in Montesquieu; liberty and equality in Rousseau; David Hume; Adam Smith; the American Revolution and “the Federalist”; Sieyes and the French Revolution; representation, parties and revolution in Burke; Kant’s political thought; liberalism: B. Constant; democracy and liberty in Tocqueville; socialist currents in the early 19th century and the communist doctrine of K. Marx; liberty and representation in John Stuart Mill; twentieth century political thought: the elitist school (Mosca, Pareto, Michels); Carl Schmitt; Max Weber; totalitarianism.


1) L.M. Bassani, A. Mingardi, Dalla Polis allo Stato. Introduzione alla Storia del pensiero politico, Giappichelli, Torino 2022.
2) J.-J. Chevallier, Le grandi opere del pensiero politico, il Mulino, Bologna 1998.
3) E. Greblo, Democrazia, Il Mulino, Bologna 2000..
4) M.L. Lanzillo, (a cura), LibertภLaterza, Roma-Bari 2008.
5) G. Bedeschi, Opinione pubblica, in Enciclopedia delle Scienze Sociali, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana Giovanni Treccani, Rome 1998, pp. 359-367 (http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/rappresentanza_%28Enciclopedia-delle-scienze-sociali%29/).
the bibliography is the same for non-attending students

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, during which will be analysed parts of the main classic texts of the political thought.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam with 4 multiple choice items (each item values 1/30) and open-ended questions on the main arguments (each item values 5/30).

Other information

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