Risk, crisis, conflict: political analysis of emergencies (2017/2018)

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, 2017 al Dec 23, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

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.


Violence and radicalization: contemporary transformations of political conflict.
How is contemporary violence to be understood? How can we decodify its metamorphoses in light of both a growing radicalism that shapes itself according to religious fundamentalism and an indiscriminate use – by statal and non-statal actors – of violence on harmless poepole? Is violence today still a strategic means for politics or has it become a global production of death as an end in itself? In the first part of the course we will analyze the above mentioned questions in light of the so-called “global war” post 9/11. Who are the protagonists of contemporary global violence? Who are the regular combatants and who are the irregular ones? Who are the victims? What are the differences between the traditional figure of the partisan who irregularly fights for their land and today’s irregular warrior who fights, in the name of God, a spaceless and timeless conflict?
In the second part of the course we will analyze, within the mentioned frame, the features of contemporary radical political subjectivation as it presents itself in the so-called jihadism. We will investigate who are the young people that today convincingly fight – according to an absolute ideology – a war in the name of a transcendent entity. By using the interpretive frame of some of the most influential experts in the field (Roy, Guolo, Khosrokhavar) we will try to comprehend the social causes and the political effects of what has been defined “the islamization of radicalism”.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Olivier Roy Generazione Isis: chi sono i giovani che scelgono il califfato e perché combattono l’occidente Feltrinelli 2017 Testo in programma d'esame
Olivier Roy La santa ignoranza. Religioni senza cultura Feltrinelli 2009 Testo suggerito fra le letture ulteriori di approfondimento
Renzo Guolo L’ultima utopia. Gli Jihadisti europei Guerini e Associati 2015 Testo in programma d'esame
MARIO GIRO Noi terroristi. Storie vere dal Nordafrica a Charlie Hebdo Guerini e Associati 2015 Testo suggerito fra le letture ulteriori di approfondimento
Adriana Cavarero Orrorismo, ovvero della violenza sull’inerme Feltrinelli 2007 testo in programma d'esame
F. Khosrokhavar Radicalization: Why Some People Choose the Path of Violence The New Press 2017 Testo suggerito fra le letture ulteriori di approfondimento
Carlo Galli Spazi politici. L'età moderna e l'età globale il mulino 2001 Testo suggerito fra le letture ulteriori di approfondimento
Carl Schmitt Teoria del partigiano. Integrazione al concetto del politico Adelphi 2005 Testo in programma d'esame

Assessment methods and criteria

The teaching method will be based on the reading and interpretation of the texts, class discussion, analysis of speficic case-studies and students’ active participation through oral presentations. Further material will be given and analysed during classes. Final oral examination will focus on both text analyses and class discussion. For students attending regularly the course there will be also the possibility to work on a specific case and provide an in-depth analysis of a specific issue related to the course. This will give attending students the possibility to apply analytical tools acquired during the course.

Teaching aids