STV2310 – Politics and development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The extreme problems of human rights, uneven growth, inequality and poverty in post-colonial countries are often about power and governance. Although many of the dilemmas are international and not just confined to the Global South, change presupposes effective politics. Such politics in turn rest with collective action among people and organisations that can rarely come together but on the local and national level.

This course focuses on the problems of power and governance in the post-colonial countries, and will discuss theories and arguments related to central themes such as:

  • state-building
  • the politics of resources and capital accumulation
  • state-society relations
  • political cleavages
  • clientelism
  • popular organisation
  • democratisation and peace building
  • international support for the latter.

Students in political science who plan to relate their forthcoming master studies to politics in developing countries are strongly recommended to take this course.

Learning outcome


You will

  • enhance their knowledge about theories of how power and governance is related to problems of development in the post-colonial world


You will

  • acquire a basis for critical and independent analysis of issues of governance and power in the post-colonial world
  • be able to recall and compare the major theories and concepts of power and governance
  • 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

  • develop their capacity to carry out independent analyses in both working life and in more specialised studies on the master level


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.


Lectures and seminars.

Mandatory 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.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

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

See the faculty's rules for reassignment of seminar groups.

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.


3-hour written examination and term paper.

The term paper must:

The written examination counts more than the term paper. You receive one overall grade. You must pass the term paper and your written examination in the same semester.

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

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

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

Previous exams.

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

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course

Ask for explanation of your grade on the postponed exam

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 2016. Students who have completed the course before spring 2016 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






This course is taught for the last time spring 2018. 


The last exam will be given spring 2019, for students who want to resit the exam. 

Teaching language