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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, 2 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

  • Identifies and defines the basic concepts of Politics
  • Enumerates and describes the main stages in the development of Political Science
  • Applies the basic concepts and assumptions of Political Science to describe political phenomena
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The Science of Politics
  • The Origins of Political Science. Behavioral Revolution.
  • The System Approach and the Rational Choice Theory
  • New Institutionalism
  • State and Political Power
  • Political Regimes: Democracies
  • Political Regimes: Non-Democracies
  • Institutional Designs of Democracies
  • Division of Power and Systems of Government
  • Unitary and Federal Systems
  • Interest Groups and Political Parties
  • Elections and Electoral Systems
  • The Media and Public Opinion
  • Public Participation and Electoral Behavior
  • Public Policy and Governance
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Quizzes
    Each seminar (except seminars 1, 14, 15) students are to do the quiz on the topic of the current seminar. The quizzes consist of 8 multiple choice questions and 2 open questions, which require short answers (1 point for each question, 10 points maximum). The quizzes are based on the relevant lecture and the material, recommended for the seminar. Students have 10 minutes to complete the quiz. The rounded average of all grades is the final grade for this element of assessment (including zeros if a student has missed the quizzes without valid reasons).
  • non-blocking In-Class Essay
    The essay is a short (350 – 450 words) reflection on a given statement, resembling the “Agree or Disagree” type of essays. The essay is conducted in class for 80 minutes at Seminar 14. During the seminar students are allowed to use paper-based dictionaries or online dictionaries, as well as paper-based worksheets they fill in during the seminars. The assignment can be paper-based or conducted in a computer class via SmartLMS. Introduction: The statement and the thesis statement. What is the statement, and to what extent do you agree or disagree with it? Main Part: Provide three detailed arguments (reasons), why you agree or disagree with the statement. The arguments should be based on the literature (materials, concepts) that you’ve read during the course or other academic articles, and supported by empirical exaples, relevant to the topic. Conclusion: Summarize your arguments. The use of notes and other materials is prohibited during the essay.
  • non-blocking Final Test
    The final test consists of two parts: Part A with 10 multiple choice questions (1 point per each question, 10 points maximum) and Part B with 10 questions of other types (fill-in the gaps, matching etc.), with 10 points maximum (20 points in total). The test is conducted at Seminar 15 and lasts for 80 minutes. The test may be paper-based or conducted in a computer class via SmartLMS.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is conducted during the session in a written form. Each student is given a card with two questions to be answered within 60 minutes. Students may be exempted from the exam, based on the decision of the lecturer. In this case their final grade is the average of the grades for the quizzes, the essay and the final test.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.25 * Exam + 0.25 * Final Test + 0.25 * In-Class Essay + 0.25 * Quizzes


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • 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
  • 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., & Taylor, R. (1996). Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.45428ED0
  • Lijphart, A. (2012). Patterns of Democracy (Vol. 2nd ed). New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=474918
  • Mann, M. (2017). El poder autónomo del Estado: Sus orígenes, mecanismos y resultados ; The autonomous power of the state: Its origins, mechanisms, and results.
  • Political science an introduction, Roskin, M. G., 2012
  • Robert A. Dahl, Ian Shapiro, & José Antonio Cheibub. (2003). The Democracy Sourcebook. The MIT Press.
  • 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

  • Lijphart, A. (2012). Patterns of Democracy: Vol. 2nd ed. Yale University Press.