Risk, crisis, conflict: political analysis of emergencies (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Olivia Guaraldo
Olivia Guaraldo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1° periodo di lezioni - 1° anno (1B) dal Nov 10, 2016 al Dec 17, 2016.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course aims at introducing and discussing some of the major issues concerning political philosophy, especially those related to the contemporary global challenges that interest this field of research. What are the main political challenges of our present? What are the conceptual tools at our disposal to understand and possibly solve new and unprecedented emergency crises, conflicts, global risks? The course will tackle these themes by using both philosophical texts and literary, cinematic tools in order to broaden the political and cultural comprehension of phenomena


Revolution, public happiness and the “Arab springs”: towards a rethinking of political agency.
What is – and what has been – Revolution? Is it still possible today to speak of a revolutionary political change? The course aims at analysing the historical and conceptual origin of the term ‘Revolution’, moving from the political experiences of modern revolutions (in particular the American and French ones) and verify its possible validity in interpreting recent contemporary experiences. In particular, the course will examine the political phenomena that have recently been called “Arab springs”, by focusing on two case-studies:Tunisia and Egypt. By relying on analyses of direct witnesses, protagonists and analysts, we will investigate if and how a “Revolution” has taken place, form which causes, according to which modalities, with which effects.
According to Hannah Arendt what is at stake in revolutionary political action is “the cause of liberty against tyranny”, which carries with it a surprising experience of “public happiness”. Following this interpretative thread, the course intends to problematize the relation among radical political transformation, political participation and happiness, especially in relationto the “Arab springs” in order to understand wether it is possible to interpret these recent participatory movements of 2010-2011 as a viable alternative to autocracy and terrosim.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Soueif, Ahdaf Il Cairo. La mia città, la nostra rivoluzione Donzelli 2013
Campanini, Massimo Le rivolte arabe e l'Isalm Il mulino 2013
Arendt, Hannah Sulla rivoluzione Einaudi 2009 9788806200305

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral or written examination

Teaching aids