Advanced Introduction to Theories in the Social Sciences I. Democracy and Society

Periodo di svolgimento
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Info sul corso
Ore del corso
20
Ore dei docenti responsabili
20
Ore di didattica integrativa
0
CFU 3
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Modalità esame

Relazione di seminario

Lecturer

Donatella Alessandra Della Porta

Prerequisiti

Compulsory for the 1st year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Compulsory for the 1st year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"

Programma

The course aims at presenting different conceptions of democracy as they have emerged in theories and in practices. As such, it introduces some main topics in political sociology, bridging concerns with theoretical approaches as well as empirical research on democracy within and beyond institutions.

Session 1. Liberal democracy and its discontent

7 November, 2-5pm

This session introduces various conceptualization of democracy, singling out the development of conceptions and practices of liberal democracy and its challenges.

Readings:

Donatella della Porta, Can Democracy be Saved?, Polity, 2013, chapter 1

Donatella della Porta, Where did the revolution go?, Cambridge University Press, 2016, chapter 1.

Session 2. Participatory and deliberative conceptions of democracy

14 November, 2-5pm

This session discusses alternative visions of democracy with particular attention to participatory and deliberative conceptions and practices, in civil society and public institutions.

Readings:

Della Porta, Donatella, Can democracy be saved?, Oxford, Polity Press, 2013, Chaps. 3 and 4

Della Porta, Donatella, Social Movements in times of austerity, Oxford, Polity Press, 2015, chap. 1 & 4.

 Session 3. Democratization and democratic deepening

21 November, 2-5pm

This session looks at recent innovations in democracy, with particular attention to constitutional processes and direct democracy.

Readings:

Della Porta, Donatella, How social movements can save democracy, Polity, 2020, chapter 1 and 2.

Smith, Graham, 2010, Democratic InnovationDesigning Institutions for Citizens’ Participation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, chaps. 1 and 5.

 Session 4.  Critical junctures: contingency and changes in democracy

28 November, 2-5pm

This session will look at transformations in democracies, discussing path-dependency  and critical junctures

Readings:

Donatella della Porta, Where did the revolution go?, Cambridge University Press, 2016, chapter 1.

Kenneth Roberts, Changing Courses, Cambridge University Press, 2015, chapter 1.

Session 5: Contemporary Challenges to Democracy 1: New Media and the transformation of the public sphere

05 December 14-17pm

This session will discuss the particular challenges of new media and the internet for established forms of political participation and representation. We will identify opportunities and risks of the digital transformation of the public sphere for democracy.

Readings:

Habermas, J. (2022). Reflections and Hypotheses on a Further Structural Transformation of the Political Public Sphere. Theory, Culture & Society39(4), 145–171.

Hans-Jörg Trenz, Democracy in the digital public sphere: disruptive or self-corrective?, Communication Theory, Volume 33, Issue 2-3, May-August 2023, Pages 143–152, https://doi.org/10.1093/ct/qtad009

Fuchs, C., (2021) “The Digital Commons and the Digital Public Sphere: How to Advance Digital Democracy Today”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 16(1), p.9-26. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.917

Session 6: Contemporary Challenges to Democracy 2: Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy

12 December 14-17pm

This session will discuss the relationship between truth and democracy and selected evidence of whether contemporary societies are entering an era of post-truth

Readings:

  1.       Trenz, Hans Joerg (2024). Democracy and the Public Sphere: From Dystopia back to Utopia, chapter 5
  2.       Farkas, J. and Schou, J. (2020) Post-truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood, London: Routledge, chapter 2 and 3)
  3.       Waisbord, S. (2018) ‘Truth Is What Happens to News’. Journalism Studies, Vol. 19, No. 13, pp. 1866–1878.

Session 7: Do we enter the new age of ‘post-democracy’?(

19 December 14-16pm

This session will wrap up the debate on democracy and its future.

Readings:

  1.       Trenz, Hans Joerg (2024). Democracy and the Public Sphere: From Dystopia back to Utopia, conclusion
  2.       Crouch, C. (2020) Post-Democracy After the Crises, Oxford: Wiley, chapter 1 and 7

Obiettivi formativi

The course has a seminar format. Participants are asked to read the assigned readings and discuss them in the class. Positional papers on one (or more) of the topics addressed in the seminar will be  required.

Session 1 to 4 will be led by Donatella della Porta; session 5 to 7 will be led by Hans Jorg Trenz