cod. 1012350

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Storia delle dottrine politiche (SPS/02)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
36 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course's overarching goal is to foster a deeper comprehension and a more nuanced critical consciousness of the underpinnings and evolution of international political theory, tracing from the works of Leibniz, Rousseau, and Kant to modern-day thinkers.
- Specifically, in terms of knowledge and understanding, emphasis will be placed on cultivating an appreciation for the principal tenets of international political theory. By the course's conclusion, students will have gained essential insights into the authors and topics that have shaped the diverse political traditions emblematic of modern international theory, contextualizing them within the various historical periods of their development.
- Competency in applying knowledge and understanding: Examining the complex, diverse, and sometimes contradictory tradition of Western political thought, spanning from the seventeenth century to today, will equip students with the skills to analyze and critically assess both national and international political landscapes, aiming to form a more informed and, to the greatest extent possible, objective evaluation of the current state of international relations.
- Autonomy of Judgment: By the end of the course, students will have enhanced their ability to critically interpret texts and contextualize various authors and schools of political thought, drawing on both theoretical knowledge and historical analysis.
- Communication Skills: Students are expected to develop the ability to articulate and succinctly express the core concepts of modern and contemporary politics by the course's conclusion, through the examination of seminal thinkers who have shaped international political theory.
- Learning Skills: The commitment to theoretical and disciplinary rigor will equip students with robust methodological skills and an advanced approach to learning, which will be invaluable for future careers in political process management.


Understanding the key themes and authors in the History of Political Doctrines can greatly enhance one's engagement with the course.

Course unit content

The course offers insights into the latest developments in international relations and the significant theoretical contributions they have inspired. Specifically, it will address themes of war and peace, tracing their evolution from the works of Leibniz, Kant, and Rousseau to their influence on contemporary international political theory.

Full programme

The course will kick off with an exploration of peace through the political theories of Leibniz, Rousseau, and Kant. This will set the stage for a dive into the major traditions of international thought. We'll trace their evolution through the nineteenth century and, more significantly, the twentieth century—from the First World War to the century's close, including the discourse surrounding the September 11 attacks. Following this, we'll tackle the principal currents of modern international political theory, picking out essential themes that shed light on today's global dynamics.


M. Wight, Teoria internazionale. Le tre tradizioni, edizione italiana a cura di Michele Chiaruzzi, traduzione di Alessandro Zago, saggio introduttivo di Hedley Bull, Il Ponte, Bologna, 2011.

Teaching methods

Frontal teaching

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is carried out orally.

During the examination, the final grade will be determined by assessing, through three questions:

a) the understanding of fundamental information and concepts related to the exam syllabus;

b) the ability to contextualize works and authors within their historical framework;

c) the employment of suitable and accurate language when explaining the content of the texts selected for exam preparation;

d) ultimately, the capacity for a critical approach (rather than just rote learning) to the application of the knowledge gained will be valued.

Intermediate assessments may be arranged with students.

Other information

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