Checking date: 21/06/2022

Course: 2022/2023

Foundations of Politics
International Foundation Program in Social Sciences and Humanities (Plan: 488 - Estudio: 84)

Coordinating teacher: LORENZO RODRIGUEZ, JAVIER

Department assigned to the subject:

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
No previous knowledge required
To understand the basic concepts and categories of analysis of political science. - To become familiar with political reality from a scientific perspective. - Knowledge of the different models of the state and its institutional structures - Critical thinking with respect to the functioning of social institutions. - Develop the ability to relate complex concepts and apply them to today's global political reality. - Mastery of the language faculty for the expression of their ideas - Ability to analyse and synthesise - Ability to relate to other people - Logical reasoning
Description of contents: programme
Unit 1. Politics: Setting the Stage - What is politics? - What is it that makes an act political? - Politics as Making Common Decisions - Politics as the exercise of power - Power and Choice - Politics, policy, polity - Political Science Unit 2. The State and Modern Policy - The Modern State - Policies of the State - Economic Policy - Justice and Effectiveness of public policies Unit 3. The Citizens and the Regime - Democracies and non-Democracies - The coming and going of Democracy - Democracy and Freedom - Democracy and Capitalism - Authoritarian Systems - Military Governments - One-party States - Monarchies and Theocracies Unit 4. Political Culture and Political Behaviour - Analysing Political Cultures - Religion and Political Culture - Political Socialization - Media as Agents of Political Socialization - Social Media and Political Socialization Unit 5. Political Institutions - Government - Parliaments - Political parties - Elections - Interest Groups and Politics - Social Movements Unit 6. Globalisation and International Politics - State-Nation sovereignty - International Institutions - The European Union - UN, NATO, WB, IMF, G-8 - Globalization Unit 7. Principles of Political Analysis - Falsifiability - What makes a statement interesting? - Causation and Explanation - Historical explanation - Empirical analysis
Learning activities and methodology
- Class participation: Each student is expected to attend class, and significantly contribute to the seminar discussion each week. Participation in class discussion (oral or written) is an essential part of the class. - News Workshop: Each week, a group of students (3-5 members), will present a news report related to the topics explained during the theoretical sessions. This report will consist in a short written report and a 15 min presentation during seminar sessions. For this purpose the report should be argumentative (make a point) and should answer the following questions: - Brief summary of the news - Why do you think is the news related to the topic - What is the main subject of the highlight - Who is involved in the issue - Identify and define main political actors - Principal actors¿ statements/positions - 2-3 final conclusions - Sources used - Prepare one question to be discussed by his/her classmates in class. Experiential activity: In collaboration with the subject Introduction to Economics: Visit to the plenary budget session/ parliamentary control session presenting a final reflection on what they have seen. Competences that the student will acquire with this experiential session: analytical thinking skills, public speaking, reflection on the political culture of the country, cultural immersion.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
  • Clark, W. R., Golder, M., & Golder, S. N. . Principles of comparative politics. CQ Press. 2012
  • Donovan, John., Morgan, R., Potholm, C., Weigle, M People. Power & Politics: An Introduction to Political Science. (Third Ed),. Auflage: Littlefield Adams Quaterly Paperback. 1993

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.