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.

Course topic for the autumn semester 2020: Defining America in an Age of Political Polarization

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

Admission

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.

Prerequisites

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

Teaching

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

Obligatory activity:

  • Students will prepare three mini-essays of 2 pages each for a total of 6 pages. Submission of these essays are required to sit the exam. Students choose three weekly topics on which to write these essays. Topic questions for these topics are provided in the syllabus. One mini-essay is due at mid-term and the final two mini-essays are due at the end of the teaching semester. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved postponements here.
  • For autumn 2020, 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.

Examination

The form of assessment is a term paper of 10–15 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.

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.

Evaluation

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

Credits

10

Level

Master

Teaching

Autumn 2020

For the autumn semester 2020, this course will have manual admission.

Contact the study administration for more information.

Examination

Autumn 2020

Teaching language

English