This course is discontinued

HIS2416 – State, Politics and Culture in 20th Century South Asia

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course deals with political mobilization and popular political participation in colonial and post-colonial South Asia. We will discuss the nature of political and social changes caused by the imposition of the centralized, bureaucratic colonial regime, including conflicts between Hindus and Muslims.

Topics include the nature of the Indian National Congress as a political movement and its function as a governing party in independent India.

Special attention will be placed on changes in party politics in post-colonial South Asia, the greater incidence of violence in political processes and the significance of personality cults in electoral processes.

Supporting courses:

Learning outcome

Students will learn the basic components of political culture in an area of the world which has highly complicated social structures and a vast, mostly agricultural population. They will see the effect of the imposition of European political structures on the emergence of modern politics in this area. They will also learn the kinds of political dynamics which are set in motion by the introduction of electoral politics in socially complex societies. Students will also develop the capacity to read critically, think independently and write clearly.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

General university entrance requirements.

Recommended previous knowledge

30 study points from either HF- or SV-faculty.

A good ability to read and understand English is required for this course.


This course is given in the form of seminars (24 h).

Accepted compulsory activity/assignment is valid the two following semesters during which the course is taught. Exceptions may occur if the form of evaluation alters, if the tuition plan alters significantly, or other substantial adjustments are made.

Note! Your attendance the first time a class is taught, is compulsory. If you fail to meet in class this first time, you will loose your place in the course.


During the course, students will write a paper which will receive comments from the teacher. The paper will be handed out the second time of class, and handed in the eigth. Normally all students will be assigned the same task. The length of the paper should be approximately six pages (where one page is estimated to hold 2300 characters without spacing). The paper must be approved before the exam; otherwise students will be barred from taking the exam. The final assessment is a 3-days take-home examination.

3-days take-home examination: The students have three days to write an assignment. The length of the assignment should be 6-10 standard pages (2300 characters without spacing). This exam is graded from A-E (pass) and F (fail). To both papers the following form must be attached, Obligatory Statement Concerning Cheating

It is not possible to follow this course without admission to the course since the form of assessment is integrated in the teaching of this course.

Formerly given exams

Grading scale

After the examination result is announced, there will be possible to have an explanation of grades from the examiner. At oral examinations or assessments of practical skills, a request for such an explanation must be made immediately on notification of the mark. Requests for explanations of other assessments must be submitted within one week after the candidate learns of the mark. This request must be made by sending an e-mail to: The explanation will be given either in writing or oral, this will be decided by the examiner. Please inform of your phone number, e-mail address where you can be contacted as well as your candidate number.

Explanations and appeals

Please note that the student must state the reasons for the complaint and it will be sent, along with a written explanation of the grade from the examiner, to the Appeals Committee.


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

Periodic evaluation


Students’ own work can be in either English or Norwegian.

Facts about this course




Spring 2008


Spring 2008

Teaching language