Core courses in the social sciences

Pre-College Programme
  • Master Class topicsMaster Class topics

Due to the suspension of residential summer camps in France, the Summer School has decided to move the Pre-College Programme online. 

The overall structure (tutorials, Master Classes and elective) and content of the programme have been maintained and classes will be held in a live, synchronous format to allow for maximum interaction among students and their professors. Courses are scheduled to accommodate various time zones,  to allow students to participate throughout the world.

As part of their core courses in the social sciences, Pre-College students attend a series of 2.5-hour Master Classes, taught by different guest speakers from Sciences Po's faculties. As Master Classes are different from one session to the other, students can participate in both sessions and select two elective courses (one for each session). 

All students attend online Master Classes, which are structured into an interactive lecture and a question-and-answer period, to encourage lively discussions among students and renowned professors. 

In preparation, students participate in interactive, small-group tutorials, which develop their understanding of the material and themes addressed in the Master Classes, including key concepts and required readings. Tutorials also prepare students for university studies in France and abroad by introducing them to the academic methodology that they will encounter in higher education. 

All Master Classes and tutorials are taught from 14:00 to 16:30 (Paris time, CET). 

The 2021 academic programme includes the following Master Classes:

session 1

Facing a Decade of Polycrisis: The European Union and its Institutions

Policies and Politics: Understanding Disruptions through the Lens of Political Economy

  • Professor: Julia Cagé
  • Master Class Overview: The Master Class provides students a first insight into political economy using events such as the US elections or the COVID-19 pandemic, reviewing the determinants of political participation and investigating to which extent economic inequalities are transformed by political inequalities. Download the Master Class Overview for Policies and Politics (PDF, 101 Kb)

Voiceless and Invisible Citizens:  A New Social Divide?

  • Professor: Emanuele Ferragina
  • Master Class Overview: This Master Class provides students with a clear understanding of the economic and social dynamics that influence the labour market and the capacity of citizens to participate in social and political life. Throughout the Master Class, students learn how protests and social movements, particularly involving young people, seem to be increasingly related to these dynamics. Download the Master Class Overview for Voiceless and Invisible Citizens (PDF, 69 Kb)

Populism versus Democracy

  • Professor: Nonna Mayer
  • Master Class Overview: This Master Class is an introduction to the study of contemporary populisms with social science tools. After defining the concept of populism and the diversity of parties it applies to, the Master Class focuses on the electoral rise of populist radical right parties in France and Europe since the 1990's, its causes and its consequences for democracy. Download the Master Class Overview for Populism vs. Democracy (PDF, 165 Kb)

session 2

Contemporary European Issues: Calming a Conflicted Continent

  • Professor: Jan Rovny
  • Master Class Overview: Jan Rovny speaks 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 today. The class attempts to grasp the complexities behind such an important and unique project and addresses some of the major contemporary issues faced by Europe. Download the Master Class Overview for Contemporary European Issues (PDF, 96 KB)

Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities on a Finite Planet

  • Professor: Tancrède Voituriez
  • Master Class Overview: This Master Class provides intellectual material for students to understand the rationale for and challenges behind sustainable development and climate action. It engages students to develop a critical sense of the drivers of actions and the factors of inaction, and explores with them options to make sustainable development the "new normal" of modern societies. Download the Master Class Overview for Sustainable Development (PDF, 529 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 encourages students to reflect critically on the meanings that have been attached to the concept of peace from different perspectives. Download the Master Class Overview for Peacebuilding (PDF, 82 Kb).

Facing Nuclear Weapons Challenges in 2021

  • Professor: Benoît Pelopidas
  • Master Class Overview: This Master Class provides students with tools to assess the validity of claims regarding nuclear weapons to which they may be exposed. The lecture offers a framework for projecting the scope of possible nuclear futures, which are illustrated with untapped primary sources from global nuclear history. Download the Master Class Overview for Nuclear Weapons Challenges (PDF, 115 Kb)

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