History of political thought
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Acquire a deep knowledge of the origins and the historical development of the western political thought both in ancient and modern times
- This class will help the students to understand the main themes and authors of the western political thought in relation to the historical contexts.
- Pupils are expected to be able to analyze and interpret past and present national and international political scenarios.
- Students are supposed to elaborate an independent critical textual analysis, and to associate different authors and their political thoughts.
- By analyzing the main authors’ thoughts, students will be able to elaborate clearly and correctly synthetic ideas on the main questions related to modern and contemporary politics.
Course contents summary
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.
The origins of the political thought in the ancient Greece; the political thought of the main greek authors: Socrate, Platone, Aristotele; political thought and right in the roman republic; the roman thought: Polibio and Cicerone; the coming of Christianity; politics and common-wealth in S. Tommaso; Machiavelli; 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; the American Revolution and “the Federalist”; representation, parties and revolution in Burke; Kant’s political thought; the liberalism: Constant; democracy and liberty in Tocqueville; the communist doctrine of Marx, liberty and representation in Stuart Mill.
M. D’Addio, Storia delle dottrine politiche, Genova, ECIG, 2002, the chpters:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 31, 32.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written exam with open-ended questions on the main arguments. It’s possible to take oral examination.