INTER2000 - Case Work in International Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In this course you will develop your ability to act resolutely and operatively in situations marked by time pressure, high stakes, and high risk. The action in question is to provide policy advice to state- or other leaders responsible for making important, even vital decision in international affairs. Diplomatic crises often evolve quickly and demand rapid, yet carefully considered action.

The cases in this course cover international negotiations during crises concerning security policy, human rights, and economic issues, and involve governments, companies, and international organizations. The course is based solely on case work. Most of the cases are suitable for simple simulation exercises with multiple actors.

Examples of cases in the course:

  • US coercive diplomacy – Kosovo (4 actors: Department of State, Department of defense, White House, Diplomat)
  • Mediation under crisis – UN and Falkands/Malvinas (3 actors: UN, UK, Argentina)
  • Great-power bargaining – the Suez crisis 1956 (5 main actors: Egypt, Israel, France, UK, US)

Learning outcome


You will know

  • The basic facts of a number of historically consequential cases of international crisis, including political circumstances, the key actors and their strategic interaction
  • How analytical frameworks from the negotiation literature can be applied to actual cases in order to understand the political dynamics at work


You will be able to

  • Analyze a complex problem in international affairs from several perspectives
  • Develop and present advice to policy-makers or negotiators
  • Evaluate policy advice presented by others
  • Understand the dynamics involved in strategic interaction


You will:

  • Know how to write a decision memo or a position paper, useful in many work situations
  • Grasp a complex case quickly and under time pressure, dissect complexity and draw a time line
  • Have experience with working in groups


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.

This course is only for students at the Bachelor's Programme in International Studies.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

It is recommended that you have taken INTER1000 - Innføringsemne i internasjonale studier in advance.



The course is based solely on case work. There are 12 cases, covering international negotiations in security policy, human rights, and economic issues, involving governments, companies, and international organizations. Most of the cases can be used as a basis for simple simulation exercises with several actors.

There will be one case per session. Students will be divided into working groups and address questions posed by the course leaders. Working group tasks will vary from developing and presenting advice to policy-makers to (or negotiator preparing a simulation of the negotiation process. All cases are real world ones, and have been developed by specialists. They will be made available on Fronter.

See the faculty's rules for reassignment of seminar groups.


Portfolio examination.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of assignments throughout the course.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals


It is not possible to appeal the grade in this course due to oral examination.


Due to oral examination, explanation for your grade should be requested immediately after the oral examination.

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

If you want to improve your grade in the course, you must take the whole course again.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

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