STV4208B – International Negotiations

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Course content

As the world becomes more interconnected, states increasingly find themselves in relationships of interdependence where the welfare of each depends on the actions of all. International negotiation constitutes an important tool to peacefully manage such relationships of interdependence and to prevent or end violent conflict. But when do actors engage in negotiations to resolve their disputes and under what conditions do they succeed?

Taking the point of view of the practitioner of negotiations, this course gives you knowledge about the negotiators’ rationale for different types of strategies and tactics, how different types of strategies and tactics may generate different types of negotiation dynamics and which implications different types of dynamics may have for the negotiation outcome. The course also gives you insight in the negotiation of nuclear disarmament agreements, peace agreements and their content, how emotions may affect negotiation behaviour and approaches to deal with post-conflict challenges.

Teaching includes lectures and seminars, meetings with practitioners of negotiations, and a mandatory one-day simulation exercise where students play the role of a negotiator.

Learning outcome


Having completed the course, students

  • know key concepts and perspectives in negotiation theory
  • understand how parties reason when they decide whether to enter into negotiations or not
  • understand parties’ choice of strategies and tactics in the negotiation process
  • can explain different types of negotiation dynamics and how they are linked to negotiation parties’ choice of strategies and tactics
  • know key post-conflict governance and power-sharing arrangements and understand the conditions under which they may promote peace


Having completed the course, students

  • can assess negotiation outcomes and identify main causes of negotiation success and failure
  • can use basic negotiation concepts and perspectives in their own independent analyses of cases of international negotiations and post-conflict situations
  • can use their acquired knowledge to develop a negotiation strategy to pursue a given interest in a given negotiation situation
  • can present their analyses in both written and oral form


Having completed the course, students have acquired

  • a general understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with negotiations
  • a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that often cause negotiation failure and the conditions under which negotiations are more likely to succeed.


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.

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme.

For incoming students

All Master's courses in Political Science must be registered manually by the Department, they will not appear in Studentweb. Contact your international coordinator at UiO.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Political Science or equivalent.

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with PECOS4110 – International Negotiations/Conflict Resolution


Lectures, seminars, and a simulation exercise.

Lectures and seminars are not mandatory, but we advise you to follow them. The full-day simulation exercise is mandatory.

The purpose of the simulation exercise is to give participants an opportunity to try out models and theories from the course in a simulated conflict situation. Students work together in groups (delegations). The simulation exercise is subject to an oral exam.


Oral examination and a term paper.

In order to pass the course, your performance in the oral examination and the term paper must both satisfy minimum requirements. Moreover, your term paper and oral examination must be passed in the same semester.

Students receive one grade, in which the term paper is given more weight than the oral exam.

Oral presentation

The oral presentation is linked to the one-day simulation exercise. You will be asked to give an oral presentation of which tactics and strategies you planned to use in the negotiation game, how these tactics and strategies were carried out in the negotiations, and the extent to which you think they were successful for achieving your goals in the negotiated outcome. You will be asked to link your presentation of tactics, strategies and outcome in the simulation exercise to the literature on the curriculum and you may also be asked additional questions to the curriculum after your oral presentation. For the presentation, you have 15 minutes at your disposal and you are free to use Power Point, blackboard or whiteboard.

Term paper

For the term paper you are free to choose your own research question, but it must reflect the curriculum of the course. If you are uncertain that your chosen research question satisfies this requirement, you must contact the course leader to acquire acceptance for the chosen research question.

Term paper requirement: maximum 4500 words

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.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper 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

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






Spring 2022

This course is not given on a regular basis. 


Spring 2022

This course is not given on a regular basis.

Teaching language