The course program is divided into three parts. The first part addresses, with the necessary theoretical-conceptual insights and with the appropriate methodological references, some fundamental themes of political science: which is the definition of politics, policy and polity, what is a democracy, and what are non-democratic regimes. In the second part, the course focuses on the in-depth analysis of contemporary democracies. More specifically, on the one hand, it focuses on the actors of political representation and participation (parties, groups, collective movements); on the other hand, it outlines the relations between parliamentary institutions, governments and public bureaucracies. The third part of the course focuses on debates and theories of International Relations, with particular reference to realism, liberalism and systemic theories. The specific object of the program, in this third part, will be some classic subjects of the discipline, such as the dynamics of conflict and cooperation between states, the interactions between the domestic political system and the international system, changes in the international system and security policies after the World War II, the advent of the European Community and the processes of Europeanization of public policies.