Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on American political institutions – the presidency, elections, political parties, Congress and the courts – and on contemporary national politics, including ideological conflicts and political debate.

The course is topical in character, but regardless of the specific topic, broader historical patterns (continuities) 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, the impact of institutional continuity, and the influence of social changes and stresses.

Course topic for Autumn 2018: American Liberalism and Its Discontents: Politics and Culture after WW2

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 analyze three interpretive questions on the basis of additional reading not discussed in class.


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


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam coordinator. Read more about guidelines for obligatory activities.

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the next two semesters that the course is taught.


The exam consists of a take home examination to be completed over three days.

The exam question will require the candidate to clarify and discuss a particular interpretative problem raised during the course of the semester.

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

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, 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 2018


Autumn 2018

Teaching language