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About this course
This course is designed as a vocabulary of the main terms used by all of us when talking about local as well as world politics; terms which we often use without a proper awareness of their meanings and connections, a circumstance not exactly helpful to any attempt at understanding how politics really works, regardless of our wishful thinking or simplistic morality or easy cynicism.
Now, if we want to get deeper into the workings of politics - the only serious starting point for those who want to reform it - we must agree to begin with very abstract notions, that is with the general definitions of what politics, conflict, power (incl. force/violence), and what legitimate power mean (Part 1: What is Politics?). On these premises we will then explain the still main political institution, the state, and peer into the dynamics of war and peace that has dominated the relationships between the states (Part 2: How Does Politics Work?). Since with economic globalization, which has restricted the room for political action, things are getting much more complicated on the planet, and more challenging outside of it (man-made climate change starts in the atmosphere), classical notions have to be rethought. The very nature of the threats endangering our global commons does not leave the definition of politics (Part 3: World Politics and the Future). This course does not aim at communicating any 'message' as to how politics ought to be, but it will obviously try to clarify the main concepts - freedom, equality, justice - we make use of while talking about values and principles in politics; this is what is called 'normative political philosophy' and is regarded here as an important chapter of political philosophy, not the whole of it (Part 4: Ethics and Politics).
What will I learn?
At the end of the course you may have achieved a clearer and less confused awareness of the political vocabulary, thus gaining a more complex, more autonomous and more critical understanding of political processes. If you are a student of political science, law, sociology and economics you may get better tools for catching the overarching sense of processes that you do otherwise approach in a fragmented perspective.
What do I have to know?
Due to my conceptual approach, to follow this course you do not need a prior knowledge of philosophy or political science, just the degree of general culture needed to pass the final high school exam, be it Abitur, maturità, baccalauréat or 高考(gao kao).
|Chapter 1||Aim and method of the course. General information. Two definitions of politics.|
|Chapter 2||Disassembling the classical definition, and its components: Conflict, (Legitimate) Power, Force.|
|Chapter 3||Questions about power. A word on political philosophy.|
|Chapter 4||The subjective side of politics, legitimacy, political identity and political obligation.|
|Chapter 5||Political order, political institutions, models of order: From Aristotle to Hegel.|
|Chapter 6||The (modern) state. Basic thoughts on democracy.|
|Chapter 7||The states: Power, peace, and war in the anarchical society.|
|Chapter 8||Globalization and global governance.|
|Chapter 9||Global challenges and politics after modernity.|
|Chapter 10||Liberty and equality.|
|Chapter 12||Ethics and politics in modernity.|
My teaching method aims primarily at defining and discussing concepts, not at illustrating authors or providing historical narratives; needless to say, there will be enough reference to authors, books, events and processes, in particular with regard to the evolution of political modernity. For each of the twelve lectures of about 30-40', which will be presented in shorter units, you may need three more hours of homework to do additional readings and - more importantly - to perform additional reflection.
Audit the course
With the Audit Track, you get free access to all the course materials, including lecture videos, assignments, and more! it is possible to download the lecture materials so you can browse the content at your own convenience, without having to worry about falling behind.
In addition, you also get access to the course forum. The forum is a thriving, global community of learners, where you can get peer-to-peer assistance from other students, and discuss the course content with the professors themselves!
Once you have started your course, you may decide to increase your learning recognition. Our tracks offer you the option to upgrade to a higher certification level up to 2 weeks into the course. Just click on the Certificate tab in the course overview and choose a new track. It’s as easy as that!
Statement of Participation
Once you have completed 80% of the course material (video lectures and quizzes) you receive a free Statement of Participation. This confirms your active involvement throughout the course. The Statement of Participation will include your name, the instructors name, a description of the course and its duration.
All you need to participate is a stable internet connection! You can study anywhere, at anytime, at your own pace.
Certify your learning!
Want something more substantial? Want your work to be recognised as yours? Then the Certificate Track is made for you.
As with the Audit Track, you get access to all the course materials, lecture videos, assignments, and more. However, unlike the audit-only option, the Certificate Track also gives you access to an online course project at the end of the course. This project will be professionally graded by the course instructor or one of his teaching assistants. This gives you a chance to showcase the skills you’ve acquired.
Certificate of Accomplishment
After successfully completing the course, you receive an identity-verified Certificate of Accomplishment with your final grade, signed by the instructor. If you achieve a top 10% grade, this will be noted on your certificate. You can be sure your achievements are truly marked as yours as our certificates are all identity verified.
In addition to your Certificate of Accomplishment, you will receive a Certificate Supplement. This contains detailed information about the course content and your learning achievements, backing up your hard work with the details employers may ask for.
All you need to participate is a laptop/desktop computer with a stable internet connection!
This track is no longer available for purchase.
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