Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on contemporary national politics, including ideological conflicts and political ideas within the institutional framework and practices of the American system including – the federal structure, the presidency, election procedure, political parties, Congress and the courts. .

The course is topical in character, but regardless of the specific topic, broader institutional patterns as well as moments of fracture, dislocation and change will be considered. Explanatory paradigms include the role of ideas and ideologies, the influences of the media sphere, changing or clashing definitions of American identity(ies), the politics of symbolism, as well as the impact of  geographical divergence (regionalism), social change and economic stress.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • know the institutional arrangements of the American political system;
  • can analyze the content of contemporary American ideologies;
  • can identify the changing character of media coverage;
  • can assess, analyze and synthesize the current academic debate over identity politics and political systems


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

Students are expected to be familiar with American political institutions - the presidency, elections, political parties, Congress, and the courts – or to acquire such knowledge during the course of the semester through background reading.

Good reading skills in English and a foundation in one or more of the following disciplines: history, political science, sociology or history of ideas.

Overlapping courses


Seminars, 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. 20 hours in all.

Obligatory activity:

  • Students will submit two preliminary assignments in the course of the teaching semester, one of which is a first draft of their term paper, by stated deadlines. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved postponements here.
  • For autumn 2021, attendance is not required, but highly recommended.

The obligatory activity must be approved for you to sit the exam. Approved obligatory attendance is only valid the semester you attend the course.


The form of assessment is a term paper of 15 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters) in which you consider and analyze the current academic debate on the politics of identity and inclusion.

The term paper should demonstrate an understanding of the relation between the specific issue discussed and the readings specific to the course as well as sources the candidate locates on her/his own. The term paper must demonstrate an ability to include several different perspectives and analyze the central issues. Students are expected to consult academic journals in area(s) relevant to their topic and cite at least three academic articles in their final paper.

Previous exams and assessment guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

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






Autumn 2021




Autumn 2021

Teaching language