Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Political Philosophy
Second semester
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

By attending the lectures and by studying the textbooks, the students shall be able to:

1. Know and understand the basic concepts of the theory of democracy, capability approach and ethics of care;

2. Apply the acquired knowledge to the main problems addressed in the current practice of democracy, especially as far as the relationship between people and institutions;

3. Understand and master the special vocabulary of political theory;

4. Improve their language skills and expressive abiliy;

Course contents summary

This course addresses three main subjects, concerning the relationship between people and political institutions:

1. Critical analysis of some main issues concerning contemporary democracy (e.g.: common good, citizenship, community, rights, globalization, pluralism, tolerance);

2. A focus on how the consciousness of human vulnerability (especially as far as the people with disabilities) challenges the traditional frame of modern political thought, as well as the ideas of justice, equality, autonomy, independence and human dignity.

3. The role of law in the society with regard to bioethics, education, communication, environment.

Recommended readings

R. Gatti, L. Alici, I. Vellani (ed.), Vademecum della democrazia. Un dizionario per tutti, Editrice AVE, Roma 2020 or 2013, only entries Ambiente, Bene comune, Città, Cittadinanza, Comunità, Diritti e doveri, Dono, Educazione civica, Europeismo/Europa, Famiglia e mezzi di comunicazione, Globalizzazione, Lavoro, Partiti e movimenti politici, Pluralismo, Relazione, Responsabilità politica, Tolleranza.
M. Zanichelli, Persone prima che disabili. Una riflessione sull'handicap tra giustizia ed etica, Queriniana, Brescia 2012, pp. 7-86.
- M. Zanichelli (ed.), Il diritto visto da fuori, FrancoAngeli, Milano 2020, only p. 7-37, 71-82, 95-104, 167-172, 195-203.

Teaching methods

Lectures are basically intended to help the students
- to master the topics addressed in the textbooks;
- to develop an autonomous learning method;
- to acquire critical abilities in relation to the topics studied.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination, consisting of some questions concerning the issues addressed in the lectures and textbooks.
Evaluation criteria:
- broadness and depth of the acquired knowledge;
- adequate competence in order to understand the mentioned topics;
- thoughtful exposition of the subjects, beyond a mechanical repetition;
- language skills and expressive ability.