Introduction to Political Sociology

Master seminar, Lucerne University, 2017

This seminar focuses on the fundamental socio-economic conflicts affecting the development of political systems, encouraging students to reflect on the most salient factors of political change in order to foster their understanding of contemporary social and political divisions. A key concept in the seminar’s discussion is represented by social cleavages. Students are guided through the classic account of cleavage politics (Lipset and Rokkan 1967), in order to understand the fundamental social cleavages in industrial societies, before moving on to the more recent research on political change in post-industrial societies. The last part of the seminar digs into the erosion of the representative function of European party systems and the recent populist uprising.