Content and Structure

What is Political Sociology?

The task of political sociology is to explore and explain the relationship between politics and society, between social and political institutions, and between social and political behaviour.

Contemporary political sociology also “concerns cultural politics, which is the interpretation of social meanings that support, challenge, or change the definitions, perspectives and identities of social actors, to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others, across state and society” (Nash 2010).

This course aims to explore some of the great debates about the relationship between politics and society. In particular, it explores the challenges faced by nation-state as a result of social movements, new conceptions of democracy and globalization.



1. Politics and Society

  • Key concepts in political sociology
  • Political sociology as a connective social science
  • Power and Legitimacy
  • The distribution of power

2.Globalization and Ideologies

  • Ideologies
  • Ideology and Hegemony
  • Hegemonic culture
  • The Cultural Studies
  • Global world, globalization and ideologies


– The quality of democracy
– Representative and direct democracy
– Deliberative democracy
– Participatory democracy


Focus 1: Globalization, the pandemic and the ecological approaches


4. Representation

  • The transformation of political representation
  • Political Parties
  • Elections and voting
  • Post-representative politics

5. Political Participation

  • Critic citizens and the new forms of participation
  • Social conflict and urban practices of participation
  • Social Movements
  • Movement Parties

6. Democratic Innovations and Citizenship

  • Social Cleavages
  • Civic engagement and political behaviour
  • Active citizenship and quality of democracy
  • Forms and tools of democratic innovations
  • Gender, Ethnicity and post-national citizenship

Focus 2: Online participation


7. Populism and authoritarianism

  • Nation, nationalism, populism: definitions
  • Nationalism and fascism
  • Post-colonial approaches
  • Populism and neoliberal ideology
  • Technocracy, the post-political and the technopopulism
  • The rising of the new populisms between hyper-representation and “direct representation”

8. Media, Politics and Society

  • Basic concepts
  • Models and theories of communication
  • Political Communication

9. Depoliticisation and the Post-Political

  • Depoliticisation: basic concepts
  • Governance vs Government
  • Post-democracy and post-representative politics


Focus 3: Post-colonialism and populisms