A word from the Director
The Prix de la Page 111 is a literary prize which proposes to select the best work of the literary season based on the contents of a single page, page 111. To determine the quality of the whole from a fragment thereof this challenge—tongue-in-cheek though it may be—holds a certain promise: to draw a valid impression of an entire work, however monumental, based on a brief glimpse. What if we were to put the course catalogue to this test, with a slight alteration in the rules? For this 2016-2017 edition, let us choose the letter P, as in presidential elections, and conﬁne ourselves to the 180 courses—running from “Outils quantitatifs niveau 3” to “Quand la communication fait ou défait la crise”—whose titles begin with the letter P. These few titles give us a sense of the diversity, richness, ambition and singularity of the pedagogical program at Sciences Po. From “Paris, ville politique : les énigmes d’une capitale” to “Pourquoi grandir, pourquoi vieillir ? Culture, philosophie et politique des âges de la vie”, through “Parties and democratic changes, Europe and the United States in comparative perspective”, all our courses, taught by professors, researchers and professionals from all over the world, spur us to think the political—a notion that has never been as complex and puzzling as in the year 2017. In the age of post-truth and alternative facts, our students are invited to follow the course “Penser la démocratie. Introduction aux controverses contemporaines.” In the age of successful antisystemic candidates, they are given the opportunity to reﬂect on the “Peuple ﬁction: populismes et anti-populismes hier et aujourd’hui”, and to “Penser le patriotisme aujourd’hui”, or to take up the question of “Political elites in Europe”. In a permanent state of excitement on the question of secularism, the courses “Politique et religion” and “Political theology” put these complex relationships into perspective. Amidst a general climate of suspicion regarding the media and pollsters, “Political psychology and public opinion”, taught by a Greek doctoral student, looks at the construction of an increasingly elusive public opinion.
Quod vitae sectabor iter? What life path should I follow? This question posed by Ausonius opens the description of the course “Pourquoi grandir, pourquoi vieillir? Culture, philosophie et politiques des âges de la vie”. The course professors, Paul Slama and Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, will forgive us for borrowing the Latin poet’s query, which would not be out of place engraved on the pediment of a university such as ours. The description continues: “What will become of youth in an aging European society? What will become of old Europe in an emerging world?,” echoing our educational project and its constant state of evolution.
What will become of youth? More than ever, citizens capable of understanding the world and of transforming it. What life paths are they to follow? Our curriculum seeks not to answer this question for students, but to give them all the necessary tools to ﬁnd their own way and to follow it with success. The 2,576 pages of this course catalogue are a testament to this ambition: never have we been more intent on taking up the challenge. Frédéric Mion