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Regular version of the site

Categories of Political Science

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
1 year, 1-3 module


Course Syllabus


The Categories of Political Science is an introductory course, aimed at providing students with basic knowledge on politics as the sphere of social activity and as an academic discipline. It aims at discussing the evolution of Political Science; the key political concepts, theories, institutions and processes are discussed in the global comparative perspective.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To give students a comprehensive overview of the basic scientific approaches to Political Science, its main theories and concepts
  • To develop the basic skills of describing and interpreting political and social processes in terms of Political Science concepts and theories
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Applies the basic concepts and assumptions of the Political Science theories to describe political phenomena
  • Defines basic characteristics of Political Science as a social science
  • Enumerates and describes the main stages of Political Science development
  • Identifies and defines the basic concepts of Political Science
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Topic 1. What is Politics?
  • Topic 2. What is Political Science?
  • Topic 3. Modern Political Science: The Origins
  • Topic 4. Political Systems and System Approach
  • Topic 5. Rational Choice in Political Science
  • Topic 6. Political Institutions and New Institutionalism
  • Topic 7. The State and Political Power
  • Topic 8. Political Regimes: Democracies and Democratization
  • Topic 9. Political Regimes: Non-Democracies
  • Topic 10: Institutional Designs of Democracies
  • Topic 11. Division of Power and Systems of Government
  • Topic 12. Branches of Government
  • Topic 13. Unitary and Federal Systems
  • Topic 14. Political Ideologies
  • Topic 15. Civil Soicety and Political Culture
  • Topic 16. Interest Groups
  • Topic 18. Elections and Electoral Systems
  • Topic 17. Political Parties
  • Topic 19. The Media and Public Opinion
  • Topic 20. Public Participation and Electoral Behavior
  • Topic 21. Public Policy
  • Topic 22. Governance
  • Topic 23. Bureaucracy
  • Topic 24. International Relations and World Politics
  • Topic 25. Globalization
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Quiz
    Each seminar (except the first one) students are to do the quiz on the topic of the previous seminar. The quizzes contain 10 questions of various kinds: multiple choice, fill in the gaps, matching, open questions requiring short answers, aiming at assesing the students progress. The quiz is to be done within 10 minutes. The grade for this component is calculated as a rounded average for all the quizes (including the ones the student was absent, except for valid and documented reasons).
  • non-blocking Midterm Test
    The Midterm Test is organized during the last seminar of Module 2 in a test form, including open questions. The duration of the test is 80 minutes. Each part of the test contains the tasks of extra difficulty. The test covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of the course content discussed in Modules 1-2, and contains: - part A with 10 multiple choice questions 1 point each, 10 points in total - part B with 5 questions of other types (fill in the gaps, ordering, matching), 2 points each, 10 points in total. - part C with 2 open questions, requiring short answers, 5 points each, 10 points in total.
  • non-blocking Written Assignment
    Each student is supposed to submit an essay on one of the given topic. The essay should provide a detailed reflection to the given statement, supported by the arguments from the PS theories. The volume of the essay is 500 - 600 words. The essay is to be submitted no later than Seminar 23.
  • non-blocking Final Test
    The final test is organized at Seminar 23 and is conducted in a test form, including open questions. Each part of the test has questions of extra difficulty. The duration of the test is 60 minutes. The final test covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of all the course content, contains: - part A with 10 multiple choice questions 1 point each, 10 points in total - part B with 5 questions of other types (fill in the gaps, ordering, matching), 2 points each, 10 points in total. - part C with 2 open questions, requiring short answers, 5 points each, 10 points in total.
  • non-blocking Exam
    Examination is carried out in written form and last for 2 academic hours. Students are informed about the final list of questions well in advance. At the exam a student receives a question card with two questions, and is to write down a small essay (narration) based on these questions. The students may be exempted from the exam, upon the decision of the lecturer, announced at the final class.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 3rd module
    0.2 * Midterm Test + 0.2 * Exam + 0.2 * Written Assignment + 0.2 * Final Test + 0.2 * Quiz


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Amadae, S. M., & Bueno de Mesquita, B. (1999). THE ROCHESTER SCHOOL: The Origins of Positive Political Theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 2(1), 269. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.269
  • Andreas Bågenholm, Monika Bauhr, Marcia Grimes, & Bo Rothstein. (2021). The Oxford Handbook of the Quality of Government. OUP Oxford.
  • Brady, H. E., Verba, S., & Schlozman, K. L. (1995). Beyond SES: A Resource Model of Political Participation. American Political Science Review, 2, 271.
  • Christian Reus-Smit, & Duncan Snidal. (2010). The Oxford Handbook of International Relations: Vol. [Paperback edition.]. OUP Oxford.
  • Dahl, R. A. (1961). The Behavioral Approach in Political Science: Epitaph for a Monument to a Successful Protest. American Political Science Review, (04), 763. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v55y1961i04p763.772.12
  • Dietram A. Scheufele, & David Tewksbury. (n.d.). ORIGINAL ARTICLE Framing, Agenda Setting, and Priming: The Evolution of Three Media Effects Models. Http://Www.Facoltaspes.Unimi.It/Files/_ITA_/COM/3-Framing-AgendaSetting.Pdf.
  • Easton, D. (1969). The New Revolution in Political Science. American Political Science Review, (04), 1051. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v63y1969i04p1051.1061.26
  • Fukuyama, F. (DE-588)119203685, (DE-576)168597780. (2013). What is governance? / Francis Fukuyama. Washington/D.C: Center for Global Development. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.40721349X
  • Gerschewski, J. (2019). The three pillars of stability: legitimation, repression, and co-optation in autocratic regimes. Democratization ; 20 ; 1 ; 13-38. https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2013.738860
  • Hall, P. A., & Taylor, R. C. R. (1996). Political science and the three new institutionalisms. MPIfG Discussion Paper.
  • Lijphart, A. (2012). Patterns of Democracy: Vol. 2nd ed. Yale University Press.
  • Mann, M. (2017). El poder autónomo del Estado: Sus orígenes, mecanismos y resultados ; The autonomous power of the state: Its origins, mechanisms, and results.
  • Michael Freeden, Lyman Tower Sargent, & Marc Stears. (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies. OUP Oxford.
  • Political science: an introduction, , 2017
  • Robert A. Dahl, Ian Shapiro, & José Antonio Cheibub. (2003). The Democracy Sourcebook. The MIT Press.
  • The Oxford handbook of comparative politics / ed. by Carles Boix . (2007). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.253058961
  • Weible, C. M., & Sabatier, P. A. (2017). Theories of the Policy Process (Vol. Fourth edition). Boulder, CO: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1451128

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Heywood, A. (2012). Political Ideologies : An Introduction (Vol. 5th ed). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522818
  • Robert E. Goodin, & Hans-Dieter Klingemann. (1996). A New Handbook of Political Science. OUP Oxford.
  • Saadia M. Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, & Rosemary Foot. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia. Oxford University Press.