This course is discontinued

STV4254B – Small State in Globalization: The Politics of Norway's Foreign Economy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is studying the politics of Norway’s open economy in a comparative theoretical perspective. It starts with a historical background analysis of the Norwegian case introducing the main dimensions of the comparative analysis that follows. It then offers a series of lectures with detailed presentation and discussion of relevant theories (‘small state’, corporatism, coordinated vs liberal economies, Open Economy Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, rationalist vs constructivist). The course devotes special attention to politics in periods of economic globalization and of crisis. Being a country with a long history of dependence on natural resources, Norway’s development path has included strengthening its welfare society while at the same time becoming a global financial actor, both in the contemporary period based on incomes from petroleum exports. Having decided not to become a full member of the EU in two referenda, Norway is nevertheless highly integrated into the Internal Market and thus subject to EU policy-making processes. At the same time Norway projects itself as a vanguard agent in combating climate change and in promoting development in poor countries, among others through foreign aid provision, and social responsibility in the growing transnationalisation of its business firms. Policy-making in such an international context is therefore both complex and challenging.

The second part of the course is devoted to analysing this historical path and the present period in terms of presenting analyses of macroeconomic policies and empirical investigations into the petroleum sector, foreign investments and financial operations, foreign trade and the politics of economic relations with developing and emerging nations.

The course is part of the department’s MA degree specialization in Political Economy, and it fits well with other courses offered this Spring term and/or later.

Learning outcome

The comparative approach offers the possibility of studying Norway as a case that may be seen as special in some senses, but also as part of a broader class of countries in others. The course should therefore offer both advanced knowledge about the special case of Norway and better theoretical understanding, as well as empirical knowledge, of the politics of small developed states in periods of globalization and global crisis. Efforts will be made to link participants, through one or two associated seminars, to institutions and persons that occupy relevant policy-making positions in both public and private capacities.


Students admitted to other Master programs may also be qualified to apply for the course. Please contact the Department of Political Science.
Only students admitted to the course may take part in instruction and tuition and sit for the examination.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Political Science or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Political Science or equivalent.


10 lectures will be given.

The lectures are held intensively for a period of 5 weeks, with the exam in the sixth week.

This course will be taught at the University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used. Fronter will normally be used.

The course is part of the regular course offerings at the Faculty of Social Science. Teaching is mainly held during the daytime. Detailed course-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.


Participants will be evaluated on the basis of a 6-hour written exam. The participants must hand in a short term paper before the written exam in order to qualify and sit for the exam.

In order to pass the course your written exam must be passed in the same semester as your cours is taught. You will receive one overall grade for the course.

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for the exam(s), and exam(s) are/is normally held at the University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

Examination support material

Dictionary, which must be handed in to the Department of Political Science office at least one day before the written exam.

Language of examination

It is generally possible to submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Course grades are awarded on a descending scale using alphabetic grades from A to E for passes and F for fail.

Examination results are available in StudentWeb within three weeks after the examination-date, if no other information is given on the Webpage for the current semester.

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

Students may apply for access to alternative exam resources or exam forms on the basis of chronic illness and/or special needs that create a marked disadvantage to other students in the exam situation. Mothers who are breastfeeding may apply for extra time to complete the exam.

Application-forms for special examination arrangements on school-exams may be sent to The Faculty of Social Science. Application-forms for special examination arrangements on other exams may be sent to the institute who organise the course.


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






Spring 2011


Spring 2011

Teaching language