Political philosophy and journalism (m) (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Massimo Prearo
Massimo Prearo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Second half of Semester 2 dal Apr 23, 2018 al Jun 9, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims at introducing and discussing some of the major issues concerning political philosophy, especcially those related to the contemporary global challenges that interest this field of research. The question of democracy, and the problems of democracy will be more specifically focused.


Political conditions of contemporary democracy

The course offers a thorough analysis of the concept of democracy, from a historical-political exploration of the consolidation of the democratic regime in Europe (Petrucciani), to a political-theoretical understanding of the specificity of contemporary democracies, based on the “principle of autonomy” (Held and Gauchet).
Classes will also deal with the issue of collective action in democratic contexts, and therefore, of the tensions between projects of freedom, equality and social justice, from the point of view of the relations with the State (Della Porta).
Through a study of “populism” in democracy (Dal Lago), the dynamics of protest and crisis that characterize democracies will finally be discussed in order to understand how the extension of the field of conflict is one of the fundamental conditions on which both the potential and the critical aspects of contemporary democratic model are rooted.

For a better understanding of the study path, it is recommended to read the texts in the following order:
1. Petrucciani / 2. Held / 3. Gauchet / 4. Della Porta / 5. Dal Lago

In addition to the discussion of the texts in the bibliography, the study will be inspired by the current political events.

The teacher receives students by pre-fixed appointment.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stefano Petrucciani Democrazia Einaudi 2014 9788806195922 Solo la parte prima "Verso la democrazia: modelli e percorsi" (dal capitolo I al capitolo V incluso).
Marcel Gauchet La democrazia da una crisi all'altra Ipermedium libri 2009 978-88-86908-88-7
Alessandro Pizzorno (a cura di) La democrazia di fronte allo stato. Una discussione sulle difficoltà della politica moderna Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli 2010 978-88-07-99065-6 Solo il capitolo "Movimenti sociali e stato democratico" di Donatella Della Porta (disponibile in formato pdf sulla piattaforma moodle).
David Held Modelli di democrazia Il Mulino 2007 88-15-09841-0 Solo il capitolo nono "Autonomia democratica" (disponibile in formato pdf sulla piattaforma moodle)
Alessandro Dal Lago Populismo digitale. La crisi, la rete e la nuova destra Raffaello Cortina Editore 2017 978-88-6030-942-6

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam.

The discussion will start with a presentation (8 min.) of a case study (concept, event, fact, phenomenon, etc.) each student had previously choosen and prepared.

• The program and the conditions of the exam are the same for both attending and non-attending students.
• The oral presentation (8 min.) for attending students may also be inspired by the discussions that will have emerged during the lessons and by further documents.
• Participation to class discussions can positively affect the final grade.