Core courses in the social sciences

Pre-College Programme
  • Sciences PoSciences Po

As part of their core courses in the social sciences, Pre-College Programme students will attend a series of 2.5-hour Master Classes, taught by different guest speakers coming from Sciences Po's faculties. The first week will be dedicated to European issues, the second week will address current transnational challenges, and the last two Master Classes will delve into international governance

In preparation for Master Classes, students will participate in interactive, small-group tutorials. Tutorials will allow them to develop their understanding of the material and themes addressed during Master Classes. They will also prepare students for university studies in France and elsewhere by introducing them to academic exercises that they will encounter at the university level. 

Week 1: European Issues

A Common Narrative for Europe

  • Professor: Christophe de Voogd
  • Master Class Overview: This Master Class will delve into Europe's long-term heritage – from images and ideas of Europe since ancient Greece up until today's situation. In order to shed light on the challenges surrounding the creation of a new European narrative, this Master Class will draw on issues such as past and current nationalism, multiculturalism and globalization.
  • More information: Download the Master Class Overview for "A Common Narrative for Europe" (PDF, 256 KB).

European Integration: Calming a Conflicted Continent

  • Professor: Jan Rovny
  • Master Class Overview: Jan Rovny will speak about European integration and its goal of bringing peace to a conflicted continent. This Master Class recounts the construction of the European Union, from the European Coal and Steel Community to the Union that we know nowadays and attempts to grasp the complexities behind such an important and unique project.
  • More information: Download the Master Class Overview for "European Integration" (PDF, 259 KB).

Week 2: Global Governance 

Coercion in International Law: Who is the World Police?

  • Professor: Martina Smuclerova
  • Master Class Overview: In today’s globalized world, we face a great array of challenges to international peace and security. What tools do we have at our disposal to eliminate violations of international law? How do we legally and efficiently put pressure on wrongdoers? This Master Class aims to explain the international legal framework of coercive measures that can be taken within the United Nations, regional organizations, or by individual States.
  • More informationDownload the Master Class Overview for "International Law" (PDF, 348 KB).

The Concept of Human Security and its Application to Building Peace

  • Professor: Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh
  • Master Class Overview: Why does peace fail and conflicts and insecurities abate? Is the problem the conceptualization of the ultimate goal of “peace” or the way that peacebuilding is conducted in practice? This Master Class will encourage students to reflect critically on the meanings that have been attached to the concept of peace from different perspectives. 
  • More informationDownload the Master Class Overview for "Peacebuilding" (PDF, 287 KB).

Week 3: Transnational Challenges

Challenges and Opportunities on a Finite Planet

  • Professor: Tancrède Voituriez
  • Master Class Overview: Sustainable development can seem to be a fantasy because it combines economic development, social progress and environmental stewardship. Yet it is not (only) a dream: it is both a necessity and an extraordinary opportunity to fix the problems inherited from more than 100 years of fossil-fuel intensive economic growth. How exactly? In this Master Class, Tancrède Voituriez will shed light on the promising avenues to make sustainable development the “new normal” of modern societies.
  • More informationDownload the Master Class Overview for "Sustainable Development" (PDF, 475 KB).

Populism versus Democracy

  • Professor: Cristobal Kaltwasser
  • Master Class Overview: Many authors and commentators maintain that populist forces should be seen as a democratic disease or pathology, but the truth is that populism maintains an ambivalent relationship with democracy. To better understand this, in this course we will not only discuss the concept of populism, but also gain new insights about the conditions that may determine when, why and how populism works as a threat to or a corrective for democracy. 
  • More information: Download the Master Class Overview for "Populism vs. Democracy" (PDF, 166 KB).
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