This course is discontinued

STV4246B – International and Domestic Drivers of U.S. Foreign Policy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The United States is a major actor in international politics. U.S. foreign policy choice has implications for most other actors in the international system. In this course we explore which factors may help explain U.S. foreign policy choice. We focus on international and domestic drivers and study i) the conditions under which the two sets of factors are most likely to have an impact on U.S. foreign policy choice and ii) the interaction between them.

Learning outcome


Students will acquire improved understanding and knowledge of

  • the Constitutional foundation for the distribution of powers between the Executive and the Legislative branches of the U.S. Government
  • main features of the U.S. legislative process related to foreign policymaking
  • main state and non-state actors involved in U.S. foreign policymaking and the conditions under which they are likely to exert influence in the process
  • selected cases of U.S. foreign policy in the security, environmental and trade policy areas
  • the conditions under which international and domestic factors drive U.S. foreign policy behaviour, and the interplay between them


Students will learn to

  • critically assess the significance of international and domestic drivers
  • conduct independent and critical analyses of cases of U.S. foreign policy behaviour
  • Develop their  oral presentation skills of analyses that satisfy academic standards


Students will

  • improve their knowledge and understanding of a major player in international politics
  • enhance their competence for professional work in academic institutions, governmental bodies and corporations with direct or indirect U.S. relations.


Students admitted to other Master programmes may be qualified to apply for the course. Please see the webpage on Hospitant students.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

BA in Political Science or similar.


Term paper that addresses a research question chosen by the student, and an oral presentation of the term paper and responses to questions asked by the exam committee.

The term paper should be 4000-5000 words including footnotes, excluding references. The number of words must be noted on the title page. The term paper must fall within the thematic scope of the course. The term paper counts ¾ of the final grade and the oral presentation/exam counts ¼.

In order to pass the course, your term paper and your oral presentation must be passed in the same semester as your course is taught. As you will receive one overall grade for the course you must pass both exams in the same semester.

Language of examination

It is possible to submit your response 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

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.

Facts about this course






Spring 2014


Spring 2014

Teaching language