This course is discontinued

STV4217 – Rational Choice Models and International Conflict

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course offers an introduction to different types of rational choice (RC) models and introduces the students to potential applications of such models in the study of international conflict. Particular emphasis is placed on credibility aspects related to the use of threats in international politics. Topics that are being covered include:

  • Types of rational choice models
  • Conditions for a threat to be effective
  • Techniques for enhancing a threat’s credibility
  • Nuclear deterrence
  • Economic sanctions
  • RC explanations of war
  • RC explanations of terrorism

Learning outcome

The course aims at teaching the students to apply RC models in the study of international conflict, e.g. for use in their masters theses.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor program in political science or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor program in political science or equivalent.


There will be a total of 13 class sessions (each of 2 hours duration), divided between 10 lectures and 3 seminars.


The form of assessment is a written essay (10-15 pages) and a 5 hour final exam. The essay and exam each count for 50%, and you will receive one overall grade for the course.

Explanations and appeals


STV4217B Rational Choice Models and International Conflict, 10 SP

The course is offered with both 10 and 15 ECTS credits depending on whether the student writes an essay in addition to the final exam (A-version) or just take the final exam (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




Vår 2005


Vår 2005

Teaching language