STV2220 – International Political Economy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

  • Who, if any, governs the world economy?
  • How powerful are democratically elected governments compared to multinational companies when capital, investments and production processes cut across national borders?
  • Do international institutions have a role in the governance of the global economy?
  • Are the trade relations between the US, the EU and China, pure conflict or is it actually a cooperative relationship?
  • Why are international investments increasingly important in the distribution of power and welfare?
  • What caused the financial crisis of 2008, and the following European economic crisis?
  • What are the long-term consequences of the crises?

These are examples of questions asked and answered in this course.

You will be given an introduction in key theories and perspectives on power, governance and processes of interaction among the key actors in the global economy. Special focus will be put on the role of international institutions. You will learn about the classical scholars in political economy, and modern perspectives on industrial organization, institutional economics, the financial system and trade theory.

The concept of globalization will frame the discussions. A key aim is to unravel the political processes and institutions that enforce, but also stem, the globalization of economic activities and discuss the national and international political consequences thereof, including the distribution of power and values. For this purpose, theoretical arguments will be illustrated with empirical examples from the international production-, finance-, and trade systems.

Learning outcome


You will

  • get to know the key theories and perspectives in the field of International Political Economy
  • understand the political aspects of what we now call ’economic globalization’
  • understand the mechanisms that govern international trade and finance
  • be able to identify powerful actors, the rules of the game, who defines them and the role of international institutions.


You will

  • be able to have free and independent academic reflections on the questions mentioned above
  • be able to apply the theories to explain empirical even in the field of international political economy
  • be able to identify mechanisms that governs various sectors the international economy
  • be able to structure academic texts with research questions that the student has chosen him-/herself or that are pre-defined.
  • be able to relate a research question to the academic literature in the area and assess how the choice of research question determines the choices of research design, the need for sources/data and the research method.
  • be able to communicate academic knowledge in writing and orally and provide constructive criticism of other students’ assignments.


You will

  • learn systematic and critical thinking
  • learn to identify the political aspects of the global economy


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.

This course is not available for single course students.


Recommended previous knowledge

STV1200 – Internasjonal politikk or other introductory courses in international politics.


Lectures and seminars.

Compulsory acitvities

  • Attend the first seminar.
  • Present your term paper.
  • Comment on other students' papers.

The seminars are taught in English, and the papers handed in must be written in English.

See the seminar guidelines for more information about the seminars.

See the rules for reassignment of seminar groups and the guidelines for compulsory activities

The term paper shall

  • Have a scope of between 1800 and 2000 words.
  • Have a 12-point, Times New Roman font and 1.5 line spacing.
  • Be rooted in key parts of the literature on the reading list for the course in question, and the assignments can be completed on the basis of this literature, the lecture series and material handed out in the seminars.
  • Prove that the students have satisfactorily achieved the learning outcomes for the seminar.

Absence from compulsory activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


4-hour written examination.

You must have passed the mandatory activities in order to sit for the exam.

Previous exams and examination guidelines.

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for an explanation of your grade in this course

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Mandatory activities were introduced from spring 2015. Students who have completed the course before spring 2015 and who wish to improve their grade, must pass the mandatory activities in order to resit the exam.

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






Every other spring starting 2019


Spring 2019

Teaching language