ENG4540 – Liberal Globalism and the American Future

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will seek to answer the following questions: (1) why do the American public and American political leaders find it difficult to adjust to current state of the world? But also - (2) to what extent do the systems of liberal institutionalism and economic interdependence even today depend on the participation of the Americans? To answer these questions, this course will consider historical and cultural factors, as well as the growing contest between different schools of international relations, to examine the prospects for America’s future relation to the world. We will consider both security and economic issues and examine the impact of U.S. foreign policy on other countries and the US itself.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can analyze the American role in the creation of the current regime of international relations, both after WW2 and in the critical post-Cold War period;
  • can identify different American narratives of the world and American identity;
  • can apply scholarly approaches to the study of foreign policy and international relations;
  • can analyze the rise in the 1990s of globalism as social phenomena and as ideology;
  • can critically analyze and narrate the cultural, political and economic components that underscore changes in America’s approach to the world.


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

The course has a capacity of 15 students.  ILOS will not provide additional capacity if there are more applicants.


Recommended previous knowledge

Students should have a general familiarity with postwar American history and politics. Some understanding of the discipline of International Relations and/or of World Politics would be helpful, but is not required.

Good reading skills in English.


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

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory for 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam coordinator. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here.
  • Obligatory ungraded reflection papers (1-2 pages) to be handed in prior to 8 out of 10 seminars.

All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester. All obligatory attendance and assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.


The form of assessment is a term paper of 8-10 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters). References and bibliography comes in addition.

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

You must do all obligatory activities, including attendance, in this course again if you want to qualify to re-take the exam. Admission depends on capacity.

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






Spring 2021

This course is taught irregularly


Spring 2021

Teaching language