Political Science



1-The focus will be placed on both themes and concepts developed by contemporary Political Science - namely, ones related to the hybrid national and international conjunctures in which we find ourselves. The points of application are the modern States (whether democratic or not) and their many ongoing reconfigurations. 


2-To increase knowledge of diverse political systems, including empirical area-based knowledge, broader theoretical understanding of different political systems, institutions, and processes. 


3-Account for basic concepts, theories and methods concerning democratization processes and political culture.


4-Apply central theories and concepts related to the main topics of the course to concrete empirical cases.


5-Formulate relevant research questions based on the main topics of the course. Develop short analytical written texts with an independently chosen focus.


6-Critically review and evaluate academic texts. Formulate constructive critique of fellow students' written assignments.


7-To provide opportunities to undergraduate law students to link theory and practice and to apply political science knowledge and skills to actual problem-solvin

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Felipe Pathé Duarte


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


Almond, Grabriel A. (1996) , Political Science:  The History of the Discipline; in Goodin, Robert and Klingenmann, Hans-Dieta (eds); A New Handbook of Political Science; Oxford: Oxford University Press; pp. 50-95.

Berlin, Isaiah (2002), Two Concepts of Liberty; in Hardy, Henry (Ed.) Liberty: Incorporating Four Essays on Liberty; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

Berlin, Isaiah (1998), A Teoria Política Ainda Existe; in A Busca do Ideal, Uma Antologia de Ensaios; Lisboa: Bizâncio, 105-137.

Bigo, Didier et al. (2020); Data Politics: Worlds, Subject and Rights; New York: Routledge

Cooper, Robert (2004), The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the 21st Century; Atlantic Books.

Diamond, Larry, Plattner et al. (2016), Authoritarianism Goes Global. The Challenge to Democracy, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Fukuyama, Francis (2004), State-Building, Governance and World Order in the 21st Century, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Fukuyama, Francis (2011), The Origins of Political Order, Profile Books.

Fukuyama, Francis (2014), Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Huntington, Samuel (1991), Democracys Third Wave: Journal of Democracy; Spring 1991; pp. 12-34. 

Mabon, Simon (2019), The World is a Garden: Nomos, sovereignty, and the (contested) ordering of life. Review of International Studies, pp.1-21, 

Pathé Duarte (2012); Violência Política: Do Estado à Subversão do Estado. Análise Sobre um Modelo Conceptual; Perspectivas: Journal of Political Science; Nr. 8, October; NICPRI.

Swift, Adam (2019); Political Philosophy A Beginners Guide for Students and Politicians; UK: Polity Books.

Walzer, Michael (2007); Thinking Politically; Yale University Press.

Zippelius, Reinhold (1997); Teoria Geral do Estado; Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

NOTE: A complete version of the program, session by session and will a more detailed set of bibliographical reference for each and all of them will be made available to all. Moreover, a fuller set of Additional Readings will be included in that document.

Teaching method


  • Each session has a title, a summary and a bibliography. Sessions are also clustered into sets, which in turn 'narratively' follow each other. The aim is to make the student cognizant with much of the scope of what has been produced in the last few years that may be of interest to his or her understanding of both law and politics. 
  • We always try to do so by digging deep into basic political categories and concepts - and always dwelling into how these get tweaked by global processes of ever more robust interdependence. 
  • An interdisciplinary streak thus unavoidably permeates an effort such as this one. Understandably, particular care is taken with methodological and theoretical aspects of the discipline.
  • For each session a bibliography is provided. Most texts listed are either available at the links provided below references, in the library, or free for download at the sites indicated. A few are not, but they are easy to find both on the internet or at neighbouring academic libraries.

Evaluation method


  1. Ongoing assessment
    1. An individually written course paper in which the student chooses an issue related to one of the specific themes of the course and analyses it using one or more theoretical perspectives (about 3500/4000 words, - excluding footnotes and bibliography). It must have a cover, include title and author identification on the first page, uniform footnotes and final bibliography).
    2. written assignment submitted in connection with the seminars and oral presentation

(Final grade: 70% written course paper + 20% written assignment + overall performance in class as well as participation 10%)




  1. Written exam

Subject matter


1: Operational concepts and definitions - What is Political Science?

- The epistemology of Political Science - moving circumscription of objects in Political Science.

- Political power and legitimacy - The State and social contract: definitions and Theories.

- Paradigms and categories of Political Science - a comparative perspective.


2: Political Regimes and Political Systems - The political process and the institutional design

- Societies, political forms, and political regimes.

- Democracies and totalitarian regimes.

- Forms of regime change.


3: Political Theory - Central problems in political theory and the meaning of politics.

- The various concepts of liberty - distinctions between the concepts of liberty.

- Social justice and «global» justice - concept and conceptions.

- Democracy and equality - degrees of democracy.


4: Contemporary political debates - Theoretical issues raised by contemporary politics

- Reconstructing democracy by means of a new social contract?

- States and their sovereignty, nowadays 

- New media technologies and data politics 


Programs where the course is taught: