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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

Political Science

Type: Bridging course (Politics. Economics. Philosophy)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 1 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Ilya Gorelskiy
Master’s programme: Политика. Экономика. Философия
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3
Contact hours: 28

Course Syllabus


The goal of this bridging course is to familiarize students with the basic concepts of political science. As part of the course, attention will be paid to: (1) the nature of politics and the concept of “political”; (2) the basic interpretations of power, legitimacy and authority; (3) the paradigms of political science, the methodological features of institutionalism and the approaches to the definition of institutions; (4-5) the states and the parties as one of the main units of political science analysis; (6) the consideration of typologies of political regimes; (7) the concepts of political culture and political modernization. The work of students during the course is focused on their independent acquaintance with the proposed reading, which is the starting point for their active participation in seminar discussions.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • This bridging course is aimed at gaining the basic knowledge in the field of political science by students.
  • The result of mastering the course should be, among other things, the development of critical thinking skills among students, as well as the formation of their standards of research work in this field.
  • The proposed forms of knowledge control are also aimed at developing the skill of writing brief reviews of academic articles in terms of their key ideas and main results.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Know: (1) The basic concepts of political science; (2) The logic of the development of political science and its main methodological approaches.
  • Be able to: (1) Use the acquired knowledge in a comparative analysis of political processes; (2) Establish the relationship between the theories of political science and the actual functioning of political institutions and processes.
  • Have: (1) Working skills with political science literature in English; (2) Critical thinking skills to analyze political processes based on theories and concepts considered during the course.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • What are Politics, Political and Political Science?
    The nature of politics. The concept of political. Political science: its history, functions and evolution of ideas.
  • The Concepts of Power, Legitimacy and Authority
    The evolution of ideas about power. Its interpretation and formulas. Types of authority and legitimacy. How can one rule?
  • The Main Paradigms in Political Science. Political Institutions
    The basic principles of behaviouralism in psychology and political science. Rational choice theory in political science. Political institutions: classical and modern approaches to the definition. Functions of political institutions. “Old” and “New” institutionalism(-s).
  • The Modern State and Its Evolution
    The reasons for the approval of a national state: the possibility of an alternative path. Stateness and state capacity: the field of comparative politics. Forms of government: key actors.
  • Electoral Systems and Political Parties
    Political parties: its functions and types. Types of party systems. Advantages and disadvantages of various types of electoral systems. Duverger’s laws.
  • Political Regimes and Their Typologies
    Political system: black box concept. Typologies of political regimes. Democracy and Autocracy. Waves of democratization.
  • Political Culture, Political Development and Political Modernization
    The evolution of the political culture’s concept, its structure and functions. Max Weber’s ideal type of bureaucracy as the basis of the political order. Political modernization: aspects and types. Crises of political development: concept, causes, threats.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation
  • non-blocking Summaries (2)
  • non-blocking Test
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.4 * Participation + 0.3 * Summaries (2) + 0.3 * Test


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Andris, C., Lee, D., Hamilton, M. J., Martino, M., Gunning, C. E., & Selden, J. A. (2015). The Rise of Partisanship and Super-Cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.1642A58C
  • Bachrach, P., & Baratz, M. S. (1962). Two Faces of Power. American Political Science Review, (04), 947. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v56y1962i04p947.952.00
  • Bueno de Mesquita, B., & Smith, A. (2011). The Dictator’s Handbook : Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics (Vol. 1st ed). New York: PublicAffairs. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=591672
  • Douglass C. North. (1991). Institutions. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F9F5C9D3
  • 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
  • James G. March, & Johan P. Olsen. (2005). Elaborating the “New Institutionalism.” ARENA Working Papers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.erp.arenax.p0011
  • Johnson, C. H. (1995). Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990-1990. By Charles Tilly (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, 1990. xi plus 269pp.). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B3B6287
  • Lukes, S. (2005). Power : A Radical View (Vol. 2nd ed). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=197447
  • Political science research methods, Johnson, J. B., 2012
  • Schmitt, C. (2007). The Concept of the Political : Expanded Edition (Vol. Expanded ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=332203
  • Spruyt, H. (2002). The Origins, Development, and Possible Decline of the Modern State. Annual Review of Political Science, 5(1), 127. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.5.101501.145837
  • Weber, M., Livingstone, R., Owen, D. S., & Strong, T. B. (2004). The Vocation Lectures : ’science As a Vocation, “politics As a Vocation.” Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=526579

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Arendt, H. (1973). The Origins of Totalitarianism. [Place of publication not identified]: Mariner Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1871784
  • Callander, S., & Wilson, C. H. (2007). Turnout, Polarization, and Duverger’s Law. Journal of Politics, 69(4), 1047–1056. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00606.x
  • Coercion and Capital revisited. Recent trends in the historiography of state-formation. (2015). Brepols Publishers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsnar&AN=edsnar.oai.pure.knaw.nl.publications.d450b478.47b0.4b02.8a0d.4ffdc43655d0
  • Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline and Punish : The Birth of the Prison (Vol. 2nd Vintage books ed). New York: Vintage. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=733102
  • Geddes, B. (1994). Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics. By Matthew Soberg Shugart and John M. Carey. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. 316p. $54.95 cloth, $16.95 paper. American Political Science Review, (01), 244. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v88y1994i01p244.245.09
  • Geddes, B. (1999). What Do We Know about Democratization After Twenty Years? Annual Review of Political Science, 2(1), 115. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.115
  • Hanson, J. K., & Sigman, R. (2011). Leviathan’s Latent Dimensions: Measuring State Capacity for Comparative Political Research. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–42. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=94858929
  • Hay, C. (2006). Constructivist Institutionalism: Or, Why Interests into Ideas Don’t Go. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–26. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=26943681
  • Jessop, B. V. (DE-588)118961292, (DE-627)079740987, (DE-576)16158991X, aut. (2016). The state past, present, future Bob Jessop. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.392363534
  • Lecours, A. (2005). New Institutionalism : Theory and Analysis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=469149
  • Levitsky, S., & Way, L. (2010). Competitive Authoritarianism : Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=331320
  • Mark E. Warren. (1999). What is Political? Journal of Theoretical Politics, (2), 207. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.jothpo.v11y1999i2p207.231
  • Masters, R. D. (2001). BIOLOGY AND POLITICS: Linking Nature and Nurture. Annual Review of Political Science, 4(1), 345. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.4.1.345
  • Morlino, L. (DE-588)141182482, (DE-576)170296024. (2008). Hybrid regimes or regimes in transition? / Leonardo Morlino. Madrid: Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.389545449
  • Pye, L. W., Verba, S., & Social Science Research Council (U.S.). (1969). Political Culture and Political Development. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1078360
  • Weisberg, H. F., & American Political Science Association. (1986). Political Science : The Science of Politics. New York: Algora Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=98698