Political Philosophy - 1st semester


1. First aim consists in giving to the students a network of fundamental concepts in the area of political philosophy.
2. Second, to familiarize the students with some relevant classical texts and authors in the tradition of political philosophy.
3.Third, to stimulate the discussion on contemporary questions in political philosophy.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Giovanni Damele


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Not applicable


Bellamy, R. (1987). Modern Italian Social Theory. Oxford: Blackwell (Chaps.: 2. \"Vilfredo Pareto\", 3. \"Gaetano Mosca\", 7. \"Antonio Gramsci\")
Burnham, J. (1943). The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. New York: The John Day Company.
Schumpeter, J.A. (2003 [1943]). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. London & New York: Routledge. (Part IV: \"Socialism and Democracy\")

Os textos analisados nas aulas serão indicados pelo docente, quando possível em versão portuguesa.

Só para os alunos participantes no seminário:
Maquiavel, N. (2008 [1532]). O Príncipe. Lisboa: Temas e Debates

Teaching method

Teaching - Lectures introducing the major themes of the course (75%), and discussions of selected texts (25%).
In class teaching.

Evaluation method

Evaluation - Final test (50%), individual written assignment (30%), mid-course test (20%).
Depending on students´ interest (min. 3) a seminar on Machiavelli´s The Prince will be held. Participation in the seminar substitutes the written assignment.

Subject matter

«The machiavellians»: elite, mass and power in contemporary political philosophy.
1. Prelude: \"grandi\" and \"popolo\", \"palazzo\" and \"piazza\"; mass and elites in Machiavelli
2. Classical elitists (Mosca, Pareto, Michels)
3. Intermezzo I: group psychology (Le Bon,Tarde, Freud)
4. Elite theory and revolutionary praxis (Lenin, Gramsci)
5. Intermezzo II: crowds and power (Canetti, Ortega y Gasset)
6. Elite theory and democracy (Salvemini, Schumpeter)
7. Critiques to the elite theory
8. Contemporary interpretations and challenges