This course is discontinued

STV4121 – The Politics of Sustainable Development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Sustainable development has become a major goal at the international, regional and national levels. The course covers the development of the idea within the United Nations system, treating its conceptual nature and evolving characteristics as an international plan of action. Emphasis is placed on the strategic implementation of the idea in a multi-level context of governance. The approach focuses on issues of policy analysis, governance, and political evaluation. Special emphasis is placed on the challenge of sustainable production and consumption, and on the potential conflicts between current models of democracy and the functional demands of sustainable development.

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Learning outcome

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the concept of sustainable development within a context of political implementation. Students will learn the nature of international commitments within the United Nations system, and how these commitments are sought implemented at regional, national and local levels of governance. The course also aims to develop skills in the methodology of political evaluation and the ability to critically assess and work with normative political theory. The course is particularly well suited for those seeking to specialize in environment-and-development issues as part of a career in international organizations, the media or business.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor Degree program in political science or other relevant policy-related discipline.

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor Degree program in Political Science or International Studies.


12 teaching sessions of two hours each. 10 sessions devoted to lectures and two seminars for the presentation and discussion of the required term paper.


The form of assessment is a term paper to be delivered at the conclusion of the course (20-30 pages). Grading will be by standard A-F scale, and will also reflect the quality of presentation and participation in the seminars. Students registered on the B-version writes a term paper on 10 - 15 pages (see below for more information).

Explanations and appeals


STV4121B The Politics of Sustainable Development, 10 ECTS-credits

The course is offered with both 10 and 15 ECTS credits depending on whether the student writes an essay on 20-30 pages (A-version) or 10-15 pages (B-version). The B-version (10 ECTS credits) is only open for students on the hovedfag, and who were admitted to the programme in spring 2003 or earlier. Hospitants are allowed to take the B-version. This arrangement will last until the spring term 2005. The B-version is identical to the A-version except for the form of exam.

Facts about this course


15 / 10


Autumn 04


Autumn 04

Teaching language