In what ways does power translate and transform through art practice? Why and how are democratic states so invested in promoting, but also censoring the arts? How do categories in art appear? What role do states, markets and artists play in producing these categories? What is the role of the market in making art and artists matter? How does an audience develop a relationship with specific artists, and acquire a taste for the arts? With a central question « what can art practice tell us about social and political institutions and relationships? » this course explores the deeply fraught yet critical alliance between political practice and the art world. To address this issue, the course begins with answering why, in the first place, should social scientists be concerned about the arts? The course will not only entail a study of important theoretical texts, alongside focusing on empirical research and literature emerging in field, but we will also critically engage with the arts and reflect on methodological strategies that are applied to study the relationship between art and politics.