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Understanding Political Concepts

University of Naples Federico II via Federica

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Overview

In political science discourse we are confronted with many important concepts like authority, democracy, and power, all of them being used differently in different contexts, and referring to contending theories in which they have their particular meanings.

There is no way around such puzzling diversity. Students of political science simply have to accept this challenge. Yet, the diversity of political science concepts can be used as a powerful resource for learning, through intellectual techniques for stirring personal creativity.

This MOOC teaches conceptual thinking and elementary theory-building through Hyperpolitics, an interactive dictionary for understanding and working with the most central concepts in political science. Its aim is to provide students with fresh critical insights about key political concepts, offering a methodology by which users can unpack and recontruct them on their own. Its companion open-access website serves as a powerful tool for students' practice in forging their own vocabulary, while learning how to make professional use of authoritative PS internet resources. Throughout its 10 lessons, this MOOC comprises lecture sections, based on visualizations of the arguments presented; reading assignments; and practical exercises.

Taught by

Mauro Calise & Werner Patzelt

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