STV2230 – International Security Policy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This course aims to introduce the students to security policy and strategic thinking and to give a thorough familiarity with the key concepts within this field. It combines theory and case studies and also covers the main actors and institutions in security governance (NATO, UN, US).

The course opens with a theoretical focus on the scope of security studies and on approaches to its study.

The scope then narrows to military security issues (security and defense proper), discussing the two types of conflicts, conventional and asymmetric.

It seeks to ‘streamline’ a theoretically focused approach to the empirical material, revisiting theory towards the end of the course.

It also has a case on African conflicts and one on Norwegian security policy.

Learning outcome


The students will:

  • Become acquainted with international security and defence policy in empirical terms.
  • Become acquainted with the concept of strategy and strategic studies, as well as with theories of the study of security policy.
  • Become acquainted with the current debates in this field of scholarship.


The students will:

  • Be able to analyse problems of security in international politics strategically.
  • Be able to apply theories of security policy to empirical issues.
  • Be able to understand the dynamics of current inter-state rivalry as well as global threats and risks.
  • 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.


The students will:

  • Acquire insight into what strategy means and its uses.
  • Acquire insight into the dynamics of state security as well as human security problems.
  • Enhance their analytical ability to analyse security policy.


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 activities

  • Attend the first seminar
  • Write an outline for your course paper
  • Write and present your course paper
  • Comment on other students' course 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 faculty's rules for reassignment of seminar groups and requirements for compulsory activities

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.


  • three-hour written exam
  • term paper
  • you must have passed the compulsory activities in order to sit the exam

The term paper must

One overall grade is given, and both parts of the exam most be completed the same semester.


  • you must pass the written exam and the term paper the same semester
  • the two parts are evaluated together and given one, overall grade
  • the written exam counts about 60 percent of the grade and the course paper about 40 percent
  • if you appeal the grade, the appeal is of both the written exam and the term paper
  • previous exams and examination guidelines

Example papers

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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.

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, 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

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.

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 2022
Autumn 2022
Teaching language