History of Contemporary Political Thought

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
As part of the interdisciplinary program of the Master's Degree, the teaching of History of Contemporary Political Thought aims to illustrate some lines of development of political thought in the last two centuries, focusing in particular on changes in the historical understanding of market economy.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: At the end of the teaching the student will have acquired the knowledge to understand the main political, institutional and economic dynamics that led to the birth of modern capitalism.
Applying knowledge and understanding: The acquired knowledge will enable the student to analyze the peculiarity of modern capitalism and its relationship with contemporary political institutions.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Microsoft teams
Course syllabus
The course aims to illustrate some currents of contemporary political thought, with particular reference to the past two centuries. The changes in the historical understanding of the market economy will be the guiding thread of our theoretical analysis. In fact, the industrial revolution constitutes the crucial moment in the emergence of modernity: the attitude towards the economic dynamism it ensures is a decisive factor of differentiation between the various political doctrines.
To this end, the main hypotheses on the emergence of the modern capitalist economy will be taken into consideration, from the classical interpretations of Karl Marx and Max Weber, and the thesis of the historian Jean Baechler. The discoveries of the so-called Austrian School will then be analyzed, from the solution to the problem of value, provided by Carl Menger, to the theory of capital by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, to the debate on socialist calculation, started by Ludwig von Mises in 1920, which will become a crucial moment of reflection on innovation and economic and social structures in a modern economy.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Lectures, works by the students on selected readings
Teaching Resources
a) Birth of Capitalism

1. Jean Baechler, Le origini del capitalismo, Prefazione di Luigi Marco Bassani e Alberto Mingardi, Torino, IBL libri, 2015 (1971).
2. Karl Marx: Accumulazione originaria, Il Capitale, 1867, XXIV (Ariel)
3. Max Weber: L'Etica protestante e lo spirito del capitalismo (1905) qualunque edizione

b) Scuola austriaca
1. Friedrich A. von Hayek, La presunzione del sapere (Ariel)
2. L'uso della conoscenza nella società (1945) (Ariel)
3. Ludwig von Mises, Il calcolo economico nello Stato socialista (1920) (Ariel)
4. Alberto Mingardi, Contro la tribu': Hayek, la giustizia sociale e i sentieri di montagna, Venezia, Marsili, 2020
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam. The students who will attend the lectures will ha the chance to take a written test at the end of the course.
Unità didattica 1
SPS/02 - HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 2
SPS/02 - HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours