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STUDENTS: Katharine N. Farrell
Politics Seminar January 2010, Barcelona, Spain
Approach:
The idea behind this seminar is to provide a very general introduction to political studies,
including basic principles about forms of government, types and manifestations of power and
oppression and tools for conducting analysis of political systems. We will begin with a
discussion on forms of government, on the 19th, and for that I request you familiarise yourself
with the two foundation texts of western political theory listed below, under First Reading
Assignment.
Course Structure:

Seminar Session 1 (19. Jan., 2010): forms of government This session will begin with a
lecture format and will move on to close with an interactive format, with approximately
one hour of lecturing and one and a half hours of discussion and debate. You are invited
to bring brief interventions, if you wish, of 2-5 minutes (words only - no powerpoint),
describing what you understand to be the basic forms of government that come into play
in the situations you are (or are planning to study). Interventions need not be
statements; they can also be in the form of questions or speculations that you would
like to explore during the seminar. If you would like to make an intervention, please
notify me no later than Monday, 18. Jan., midday, so that I can adjust the timings of the
lecture components accordingly.

Seminar 2 (26. Jan., 2010): types and manifestations of power and oppression This
session will begin with a demonstration presentation, illustrating various historic and
contemporary manifestations of power and oppression deriving from both within and
outside of political and state authorities, including illustrations of power giving rise to
liberation.
After this one-way illustration part of the session, we will move to an open discussion
format, reflecting on the histroical and contemporary examples, in their own right, and
exploring the question of how power and oppression come to pass and what they may
bring into being. Finally, we will move to a semi-structure format, at the close of the
session, with participants presenting, for discussion, problematiques of power and
oppression arising in their areas of study (or study interest).

Seminar 3 (02. Feb., 2010): tools for conducting analysis of political systems This
session will follow on from the discussions taking place at the close of session 2. It
will begin with a lecture format reviewing general mainstream methods for political
studies empirical research, peppered with a few more risky approaches, including a
discussion of the origins and intended function of Action Research. After this
presentation section, participants will prepare (either individually or in small groups),
rough sketch research plans for conducting empirical study of political situations of
interest to them in their areas of study (or intended study).
Readings:
Seminar 1 Reading:

1. The Social Contract, by Jean Jacques Roussaeu
(you can access it in english, online, at http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon.htm)
(you can access in french at, online, at
http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/Rousseau_jj/contrat_social/Contrat_social.pdf
)
2. Machiavelli´s Discourse from Livy
(you can access it in english online, at
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10827/10827-8.txt or in html at
http://www.constitution.org/mac/disclivy_.htm)
(you can access in italian at, online, at
http://www.bibliotecaitaliana.it/xtf/view?docId=bibit000747/bibit000747.xml)

Seminar 2 Reading (copiies will be provided in class)

1. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire

2. What is Enlightenment, by Imannuel Kant

3. What is Enlightenment, by Michel Foucault
Convened at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA),
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain