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CODE 106700
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR SPS/01
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

Democracy: minorities and majorities

This course aims to give participants a conceptual toolbox to master contemporary debates about the tyranny of majorities and minorities. The course will examine the consequences and responses to forms of political, social, and economic domination from a democratic point of view. We will go on to read and discuss key authors in democratic theory (J. Dewey, J. Habermas, J.S. Mill, A. de Tocqueville, W. Lippmann) to identify the philosophical foundations of ongoing disputes about oppression, elite capture, knowledgeable and lay citizens in societies marked by pluralism and severe inequalities of wealth and power. This course will therefore provide students with the vocabulary and conceptual tools to navigate public and scholarly debates about oppression, democratic decision-making, inclusion, as well as foundational discussions about the meaning of democracy.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Develop capacities in critical reading, and thinking;

Develop a vocabulary to study and assess different works in contemporary political theory;

Acquire knowledge of foundational concepts in political theory;

Develop capacities in critical reading, thinking, writing and public speaking;

Cultivate collaborative learning, reasoning, and writing skills; 

Gain control of concepts such as "oppression", "tyranny of majority", “democratic agency”, and “democratic deliberation”.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Develop capacities in critical reading, and thinking;

Develop a vocabulary to study and assess different works in contemporary social and political philosophy;

Acquire knowledge of foundational concepts in social and political theory;

Develop capacities in critical reading, thinking, writing and public speaking;

Cultivate collaborative learning, reasoning, and writing skills; 

Gain control of concepts such as "emancipation" and "collective action".

PREREQUISITES

The course will be held in English. Students are expected to read books and comment on selected passages in English. 

TEACHING METHODS

  • Seminars, classroom discussions, and active learning. 
  • Seminars will be held in person.
  • Some readings are difficult in that they involve mastering several concepts. Participation is therefore strongly recommended.

**Upon request, recordings will be made available to studenti non frequentanti at the end of the term. 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

 

Democracy: minorities and majorities

Part 1. Minorities and majorities: philosophical issues in democratic theory

A. de Toqueville, Democracy in America (passi scelti)

J.S Mill, On Liberty (passi scelti)

J.S Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (passi scelti)

J. Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (passi scelti)

W. Lippmann, Public Opinion (passi scelti)

Part 2. The tyranny of the majorities / the tyranny of the minorities

E. Anderson, The Imperative of Integration (passi scelti)

A. Cudd, Analyzing Oppression (passi scelti)

I.M. Young, Responsibility for Justice (passi scelti)

C. Vergara, Systemic Corruption (passi scelti)

T. Shelby, Dark Ghettoes: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform (passi scelti)

F. Wilderson, Afropessimism (passi scelti)

Part 3. Democracy, an ideal

J. Habermas, Between Facts and Norms (passi scelti) 

C. Lafont, Democracy without Shortcuts (passi scelti)

 

**A detailed syllabus will be uploaded to AulaWeb before Week 1.

***The final reading list will be uploaded to AulaWeb before the start of semester

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

A. de Toqueville, Democracy in America (selected chapters)

J.S Mill, On Liberty (selected chapters)

J.S Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (selected chapters)

J. Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (selected chapters)

W. Lippmann, Public Opinion (selectec chapters)

E. Anderson, The Imperative of Integration (selected chaptersi)

A. Cudd, Analyzing Oppression (selected chapters)

I.M. Young, Responsibility for Justice (selected chapters)

C. Vergara, Systemic Corruption (selected chapters)

T. Shelby, Dark Ghettoes: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform (selected chapters)

F. Wilderson, Afropessimism (selected chapters)

J. Habermas, Between Facts and Norms (selected chapters) 

C. Lafont, Democracy without Shortcuts (selected chapters)

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

CORRADO FUMAGALLI (President)

FEDERICO ZUOLO

VALERIA OTTONELLI (Substitute)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

27/09/22

Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

"Studenti frequentanti"

(1) Regular participation in class discussion including in-class dialogue and collaboration; (2) a term paper of max 3500 words (including footnotes and references).

** *Students are required to email the term paper at least 7 days prior to the date of exam.

"Studenti non frequentanti"

An oral exam on 3 of the following books.

One of the following readings:

J.S Mill, On Liberty

J.S Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (selected passages, please email me @ corrado.fumagalli@unige.it

One of the following readings:

J. Dewey, The Public and Its Problems

J. Habermas, Between Facts and Norms (selected passages, please email me @ corrado.fumagalli@unige.it)

One of the following readings:

A. Cudd, Analyzing Oppression

I.M. Young, Responsibility for Justice

C. Lafont, Democracy without Shortcuts

C. Vergara, Systemic Corruption

T. Shelby, Dark Ghettoes: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform

ASSESSMENT METHODS

FREQUENTANTI

  • Constructive participation in class discussion and in-class dialogue
  • A term paper of max 3500 words (including footnotes and references).

The paper should

  • Identify a key problem;
  • Provide a summary of the argument and its main steps;
  • Engage with the argument supporting the claim;
  • Provide a critical analysis of possible objections;
  • Conclude with a clear reply to the research question;
  • Have a bibliography and references throughout.

 

NON FREQUENTANTI

During the oral exam the student should: display a good knowledge of the literature; compare reading; assess and discuss readings; display a critical attitude.

 

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
14/12/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale
18/01/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
01/02/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
10/05/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
24/05/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
07/06/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
05/07/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale
06/09/2023 14:00 GENOVA Orale

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 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A