STV4217B – Rational Choice Models and International Conflict

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course introduces students to different types of rational choice (RC) models and to applications of RC models, particularly game-theoretical models, in the study of international conflict. You will learn game theory while at the same time enhancing your understanding and knowledge of specific topics in international conflict research.

Learning outcome


The following topics are given particular attention:

  • Nuclear deterrence
  • The effectiveness of economic sanctions
  • RC explanations of war
  • RC explanations of terrorism


You will learn to:

  • Construct and analyze game-theoretical models
  • Read and understand scholarly work on international conflict that uses game theory
  • Develop game-theoretical models for use in your master thesis.


You will:

  • Increase your general analytical competence
  • Enhance your ability to use game theory as part of a larger research project in political science
  • Develop your ability to critically assess political science work, both work that uses game theory and work that uses other approaches


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 (deadline 1 August / 5 January).

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.




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 the written examination in the same semester.

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

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

Ask for a grade explanation.

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.


This course is evaluated half way through every semester and every four year the course undergoes a thorough evaluation.

An external auditor regularly evaluates the academic quality of the course and he/she makes a written report every year.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2021


This course is not given on a regular basis.


Autumn 2021


This course is not given on a regular basis.

Teaching language