This course is discontinued

STV4223 – Transnational Politics and Globalization, 15 SP

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is not about a particular region or issue. Rather, it is about two "buzzwords" - transnationalism and globalization. We will seek to understand their nature, how they have affected the historical development of states, and whether, at century's dawn, they are fundamentally changing politics and policymaking within and between states.

The course is organized in four parts. We begin by developing several tools for connecting the ‘global to the local,’ considering both the constraining and constitutive effects of globalization and transnationalism. Second, we consider instances where the very structure and politics of states have been influenced by long-term historical trends in the global political economy. This historical perspective places current developments in their proper frame, driving home that today's buzzwords in fact have a long pedigree.

Third, more specific interactions between global and domestic politics are addressed. Here, we consider IR work on transnational politics and globalization, examining the actors involved, the resources at their disposal (money, norms, military arms, arguments) and the pathways and mechanisms through which they influence domestic and international affairs. Finally, moving from a lecture to seminar format, students will have the opportunity to present outlines of their papers and, more generally, debate course themes.

Empirically, our focus will vary across a number of different countries and issues. Topics include foreign-economic policies in developed capitalist countries; the role of international institutions; the spread of global human rights practices; and foreign and national-security policy during and after the Cold War.

Course Presentation (Extended course description according to rules and regulations)

Learning outcome

The course has three goals. First, it will stress the development of critical thinking abilities -- in particular, by helping you rigorously assess the arguments made by our authors. Second, it will survey the literatures on transnational politics and globalization, and will do so from multiple theoretical perspectives. Third, the course will introduce you to a key contemporary debate in social and IR theory - that between rational choice and social constructivism. It will do so not at the level of meta-theory, but by exploring the differing ways in which the two schools conceptualize and document globalization’s domestic impact.


The course is open to both Norwegian and international students. For international applicants: The courses offered in English are normally reserved for students on exchange programmes or bilateral agreements. For further information about admission requirements and admission procedures for international applicants, please see our website admission to the University of Oslo.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's Degree programme in Political Science or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelore's Degree programme 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. You have to attend at least 2/3 of the seminars in order to pass the course.


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 students will receive one overall grade for the course. Students registered on the B-version has only a 5 hour final exam (see below for more information).

Explanations and appeals


STV4223B Transnational Politics and Globalization, 10 ECTS-credits

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




Autumn 03 and Autumn 04


Autumn 03 and Autumn 04

Teaching language