Political Science

Academic year
Subject Area
Political Science – International Relations
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Not applicable.

Teaching Methods

The learning process in this unit is based on a differentiation between lectures and seminar sessions. The first privilege the definition of conceptual frameworks and the second privilege debates on texts previously selected which problematize or concretize the concepts worked in the lectures.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives:

Familiarizing students with crucial references of the political analysis, both conceptual (politics, power, sovereignty, democracy) and operational (political parties, electoral systems, social movements).

Specific objectives:

• Identification of processes of evolution of the modern state

• Analysis of the dynamics of globalization of political models

• Identification of crucial features of representative democracy and of their limits according to a culture of participation.

Generic competencies:

• Cognitive competences: understanding and interpretation of political phenomena; contextualization of new problems and of new references of the political debate by the historical process

• Methodological competences: bibliographic research and literature review; contents analysis; identification of complex arguments

• Social competences: sustaining positions in public debates; rigorous written communication; capacity of selecting real relevant information.

Work Placement(s)



1. Power, politics and legitimacy

a. Politics and technocracy

b. Theories of politics: functionalism, Marxism and public choice

2. The modern state and its transformations

a. The modern rupture

b. The liberal state

c. Reactions to the failure of liberalism: communism, fascism and the welfare state

3. Ideological matrixes

a. Conservatism

b. Liberalism

c. Socialism

4. Democracy and its actual contents

a. Representative democracy

a.1. The organized representation through political parties

a.1.1. Cadre parties, mass parties and catch-all parties

a.1.2. Parties systems

a.2. Government systems: parliamentarism, presidentialism and their nuanced forms

b. The limits of representative democracy and participative democracy

c. Democracy and neoliberal globalization

Head Lecturer(s)

Pascoal Santos Pereira

Assessment Methods

Continuous evaluation
Intermediate test and participation in class: 100.0%

General regime
Exam: 100.0%


1. Aulas teóricas / Lectures:

- Heywood, A. (2002), Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave: pp. 3-23; 41-66; 85-102; 125-166

- Porta, D. (2003), Introdução à Ciência Política, Lisboa: Estampa: pp. 149-225

- Águila, R. (1997), Manual de Ciencia Política: pp. 35-52; 53-105; 370-389

- Pasquino, G. (2002), Curso de Ciência Política: pp. 117-181

- Canas, V. (1992), Preliminares do estudo da Ciência Política: pp. 131-201

- Santos, B. e Nunes, J. A. (2004), “Introduction: Democracy, Participation and Grassroots Movements in Contemporary Portugal”, South European Society and Politics, 9:2, pp. 1-15

2. Aulas práticas / Seminar sessions:

- Excertos de obras de Andrew Leftwich, Andrew Heywood, Judith Squires, Robert Cox e Gianfranco Pasquino