Political theory


The course in political theory is considered as a course to develop further the knowledge in political science acquired by students since their first year at Sciences Po Bordeaux -- or in their home institution for international students. The course is structured into several sections. First, it outlines the epistemological status of the theoretical approach to knowledge production in the humanities and social sciences, and more specifically in political science. Secondly, by way of illustration, it discusses the main schools of thought that shape the contemporary theory of democracy. This knowledge will, in the third part of the course,  help the students to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills, through the problematization of aspects of political representation, democratic deliberation and political participation.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

For this course, a good knowledge of the history of political ideas and political philosophy is desirable. Students must be eager to read the literature in political theory. They will need to agree to read specific texts that will be discussed as part of the lecture.


  • Dupuis-Deri (Francis), La peur du peuple. Agoraphobie et agoraphilie politiques, Montréal, Lux, 2016.
  • Girard (Charles), Le Goff (Alice), recueil édité par, La démocratie délibérative : anthologie des textes fondamentaux, Paris, Hermann/L’avocat du diable, 2010.
  • Holeindre (Jean-Vincent), Richard (Benoît), coordonné par, La démocratie. Histoire, théories, pratiques, Auxerre, Sciences humaines Editions, 2010.
  • Schumaker (Paul), ed. The Political Theory Reader, Oxford, Willey-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Trois revues spécialisée : Participation ; Raisons politiques ; Political Theory.

Educational formula

Each session is divided into two pedagogical sections: the first hour is devoted to the presentation of the theme selected for the session by the lecturer in charge of the class, followed by a thirty-minute workshop discussion with the students.  The students will prepare this discussion by reading a short text (if possible around twenty pages) in French or English which will provide further insight into the topic discussed during the session, thus contributing to a co-production of learning.  The list of texts will be provided at the beginning of each semester.

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Optional teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Déloye Yves [+]