This course is discontinued

NORAM4502 – The Liberal Political Tradition in America

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course offers an analysis of the dominant political tradition in the USA, liberalism. Taking as its point of departure the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, it traces the development of the American version of liberalism - with a strong emphasis on Louis Hartz’s explanantion of American exceptionalism - down to the present. The course comprises both a theoretical and practical approach to the American political tradition, striking a balance between political philosophy and political history in its basic approach.

Learning outcome

To provide insight into the fundamental national political philosophy of the United States and its implementation in practical politics/policies. Its main focus will be on domestic affairs, but foreign-relations implications will also be dealt with when particularly relevant.


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.

The minumum number of attendants for this course is 3, the maximum 10.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master program in North-American area studies, LAP or an other relevant program.

Recommended previous knowledge

80-group in NORAM-studies.


The course is taught throughout the semester with 2 hours per week, 28 hours in all. Half-way through the semester there is a period of one (autumn term) or two (spring term) reading weeks without teaching, to be used for individual study and work on assignments. 70% attendance is required.


Portfolio consisting of a written paper (8 standard pages) and a two-hour written in-class exam.

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.

The results will be available on the Student Web within three weeks after the exam.

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.

Facts about this course






Spring 2009


Spring 2009

Teaching language