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This seminar compares key elements of the American political life to their equivalent in major European countries.


This seminar is shaped for beginners in political science (and for experienced students who need a "refresh"). Its aim is to make such beginners able to understand both American and European politics, thanks to a comparative approach.


  1. Political cleavages: Class cleavage, religious cleavage, territorial cleavage, new cleavages.
  2. Political parties: Party institutionalization, party functions, party systems.
  3. Interest groups: lobbying, unions, corporatism, networks.
  4. Vote: Voting process, electoral process, selection of the candidates, direct democracy.
  5. Parliaments: Representative function, decision-making function, function of oversight.
  6. Governments: Monist system vs. dualist system, governmental hierarchy, government management.
  7. State power vs. local powers: Centralized State, decentralized State, federal State, territorial political dynamics.
  8. Supreme Courts: Recruitment process, method of referral, proceedings, judgments, missions.