Introduction to Political Science


The concepts of "political sciences" (plural) or "political studies" refer to a loosely defined body of "government-related knowledge" (law, economics, history, etc.) supposedly essential for all those training for careers in politics or administration. In this course, political science (singular) refers to the academic discipline that examines political phenomena using social science tools. This discipline investigates and analyses seemingly obvious phenomena. Why is the territorial State the most widespread form of political organization? Why are some social groups granted legitimacy to govern others? Why is voting associated with democracy? This course therefore aims to address these fundamental questions, to help students to better understand what the social science approach applied to political phenomena is, but also to present some of the most controversial questions in political science.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Students must keep informed on current political affairs and political history, be sensitive to the importance of the research-based  and social science approaches and are expected to have a high level of reading habit because the course requires that students read prescribed political science textbooks and  landmark publications in the field.


  • Dormagen, J. & Mouchard, D., 2015. Introduction à la sociologie politique, Bruxelles : De Boeck.
  • Braud Ph., 2016. Sociologie politique, Paris : LGDJ.
  • Cohen A., Lacroix B., Riutort Ph. (dir.), 2015. Nouveau manuel de science politique, Paris : La Découverte.
  • Hermet G., Badie B., Birnbaum P., Braud Ph. (dir.), 2015. Dictionnaire de la science politique et des institutions politiques, Paris : Armand Colin.
  • Lagroye J., François B., Sawicki F., 2012. Sociologie politique, Paris : Dalloz et Presses de la FNSP.

Educational formula

The course is primarily delivered in the form of lectures in amphitheatres but does not exclude productive exchanges with students. To succeed in the final exam, regular attendance is, of course, essential, but students should also endeavour to read at least one of the textbooks and some essential books included in the bibliography of each chapter provided on the Moodle educational platform.

In brief

Year First year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 36.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Houdayer Corinne

Educational manager :
Pinson Gilles [+]