This course is discontinued

PECOS4100 – International Negotiations/Conflict resolution

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The main aim of this course is to give an introduction to international negotiations as one mechanism for conflict resolution. Emphasis is given to an enhanced understanding of negotiation behaviour, the nature of the negotiation process, and negotiation outcomes, as well as the relationship between behaviour, process and outcome. In addition to a general introduction to some basic theoretical concepts, the course is thematically divided in three main parts. The first part presents theoretical insight in key factors and mechanisms linked to negotiation dynamics, with a main focus on the role of concessions and concession behaviour, negotiation tactics, and power aspects. The second part discusses key factors and mechanisms linked to negotiation deadlock and mediation, with a main focus on the development of conflict diagnoses, the role and acceptance of mediators and other third parties, and mediator strategies both to develop negotiated agreements and to ensure their implementation. The third part of the course will introduce you to various substantive solutions to inter-state as well as intra-state conflicts, as well as various peace building measures.

Learning outcome

This course has four objectives. Firstly, the course will develop your understanding of the possibilities and limitations of negotiation and mediation as conflict resolution mechanisms. Secondly, the course will familiarise you with how some constitutional changes can contribute towards conflict resolution, as well as familiarise you with measures that are aimed at preventing violent conflicts from flaring up again after a peace agreement has been signed. Thirdly, the course will provide you with an insight into selected historical and contemporary peace negotiation processes. Finally, the course will develop your ability to conduct an independent academic analysis of a theme related to this course.


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.

It is not possible to sit for this exam as a private candidate. Only students with admission to classes in this course may sit for this exam.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor/cand. mag degree in Arts or Social Science.

Recommended previous knowledge

Knowledge of research methods.


The course will comprise a lecture series of 12 lectures, each lasting 2 x 45 minutes, a seminar, a workshop on academic writing and a simulation exercise. The central themes and issues will be presented and discussed at the lectures. The purpose of the seminar is to gain knowledge of historical and ongoing peace negotiations through meeting people who have first-hand experience of such negotiations. The purpose of the simulation exercise is to give participants an opportunity to try out models and theories from the course in an imaginary conflict situation. The students will work together in small groups. The purpose of the workshop is to develop your ability to formulate a researchable issue and to address this issue in a scientifically tenable manner. In addition to this, the workshop will give you training in commenting other students’ work in a constructive manner. More information on the seminar, simulation exercise and workshop will be given at the beginning of the semester.

This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used. Fronter will normally be used.

The course is part of the regular course provision at The Faculty of Social Science. Teaching is mainly held during daytime. Detailed course-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.


The exam will consist of an invigilated exam of 3 hours’ duration, a term paper assignment, and an oral presentation. The grade for the invigilated exam will count for 45% of the total course grade. The grade for the term paper assignment will count for 45% of the total course grade, and the grade for the oral presentation will count for 10% of the total course grade.

In order to achieve a pass grade for the term paper assignment, the paper must be approximately 15 pages long (including footnotes/endnotes) and must deal with a theme that is directly relevant to the content of the course. The term paper must conform to normal academic standards. The term paper does not necessarily have to reflect the course readings, but all themes for term paper assignments must be approved by the course instructor.

The assignment of the oral presentation is to use concepts, models, propositions from the course literature, lectures and seminars to ANALYZE (not merely describe) the case you have selected. Cases will be distributed in due time. You are free to formulate the question(s) to be addressed and to organize your presentation as you find appropriate. In joint presentations both of you will have to contribute actively, and share the time (minimum share ~40 per cent). You have 15 minutes at your disposal, and you are free to use Power Point, blackboard or whiteboard.

In order to pass the course, you have to have a pass grade both for the written exam, the term paper and for the oral presentation. You will receive one overall grade for the course.

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for the exam(s), and exam(s) are/is normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

Detailed exam-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.

Language of examination


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.

Examination results are available in StudentWeb within three weeks after the examination-date, if no other information is given on the Webpage for the current semester.

Explanations and appeals

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.

Application-forms for special examination arrangements on school-exams may be sent to The Faculty of Social Science. Application-forms for special examination arrangements on other exams may be sent to the institute who organise the course.


This course is evaluated half way through every semester and every four year the course undergoes a thorough evaluation.

An external auditor regularly evaluates the academic quality of the course and he/she makes a written report every year.


The first six lectures are identical with the first six lectures of the political science course STV 4208 International Negotiations.

PECOS4100 is obligatory for students enrolled on the master’s programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. It is possible to take PECOS4100 as a 10-credit course for exchange students and visiting students (PECOS4100B). The examination form for this 10-credit version of PECOS4100 is an invigilated exam lasting 5 hours. Only a limited number of places for non-programme students is available. See here for more information.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

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