The Political - Discussing the Essence of Politics with Professor Stefano Bartolini, European University Institute

September 29, 2017

The Political


Contents: The goal of this daylong event is to reflect on the fundamental nature of politics and on the discipline of political science. With Stefano Bartolini’s latest manuscript, we are provided with the opportunity to step back and think about the broadest meaning of politics, power and compliance. What are the ultimate and distinctive features of political science, a discipline closely related to other paradigms – economics and psychology more recently? To what extent are rational choice and political eco- nomy approaches, or behavioural and experimental methods overlapping with, or in contrast to, the core nature of “the political”? The Department of Political Science (IPZ) of the University of Zurich, with its pluralism of methods and theories, is honoured to host such a discussion together with colleagues from other Swiss institutions.

Morning Session: public lecture Guest lecture by Prof. Stefano Bartolini of the European University Institute, Florence, based on his new book on The Political, followed by Q&A.

Afternoon Session: workshop In-depth discussion of the manuscript available in advance to all interested. The author will introduce this session. The discussion is structured in three theoretical perspectives and sub-disciplines introduced by discussants.

Initiators: Chair of Comparative Politics, Department of Political Science (UZH).


Location University of Zurich Zentrum
Rämistrasse 59
Room: RAA-G-01
Directions From Zurich HB use Tram 3 or Bus 31 to “Kunsthaus” and then Tram 7 or 9 to “Kantonsschule”
09:30 Welcome coffee and introduction
10:15 Guest Lecture:
What Is “Political Action”?
Prof. Stefano Bartolini, European
University Institute, Florence
11:00 Questions and debate
12:00 Lunch
Transfer Tram 10 to Zurich-Oerlikon


Location Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56, Zurich-Oerlikon
Room: AFL-F-172/173
14:00 The book project: context, contribution and goals ‒ Opening input by Stefano Bartolini
14:30 Discussion item 1:
Rational choice perspective ‒ Input by
Anita Gohdes, Department of Political Science, UZH
15:45 Discussion item 2:
Behavioural perspective ‒ Input by Marco Steenbergen, Department of Political Science, UZH
17:00 Discussion item 3:
Normative perspective ‒ Input by Francis Cheneval, Department of Philosophy, UZH
18:00 Apéro


Book: The book manuscript is available to all those participating to the afternoon workshop and can be requested by writing to

Registration: No registration needed for the morning session. Please write to to confirm your attendance to the afternoon session (places available for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers).

Overnight accommodation can be arranged on request but costs are to be covered individually.

Information University of Zurich
Department of Political Science
Prof. Daniele Caramani
Affolternstrasse 56 8050 Zurich
Phone +41 44 634 40 10

Click here (PDF, 221 KB)to download this event's poster.