This course is discontinued

STV4347B – Linkages between Politics and Society in Developing Countries

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is based on the research carried out in a leading international network of scholars on democracy and contextual politics in the global south. It addresses a major missing link in the process of more meaningful democratisation, namely how ordinary people can be integrated in organised politics rather than politically excluded or merely incorporated by the elite through clientelist networks. The point of departure for the course is the general problem in post-colonial contexts of weak state capacity, poor civic rights, elitist democratic government and abusive governance. The course focuses on theories and empirical studies of the actual relations between people and politics as well as on grounded arguments about the possible promotion of democratic integration. These linkages between groups of people and institutions for the governance of public affairs may be through direct participation or various forms of mediation. A key issue in both cases is that of representation. A framework will be presented for the analysis of this complex of problems, emphasising the constitution of demos and basic cleavages, different forms of political representation, key institutions for governance of public affairs and the political capacities and strategies of different actors. This framework informs subsequent analyses of attempts by elites at crafting democracy, transitions to liberal peace and participation in civil society, as well as attempts by organised labour, social movements and political parties to foster inclusive linkages between politics and society.

Learning outcome

Students will:

  • obtain a good grasp of the core components of the linkages between politics and society in developing countries;
  • understand the interrelationship between these components and how they have changed over time;
  • get a good grasp of the problems and options of democratisation in the global South;
  • get an especially good introduction to the dilemmas of democratic representation inside and outside formal politics;
  • understand the dividing lines of current debates about democratisation and representation in the Global South.

Students will:

  • be able to search relevant additional information and facts about linkages between politics and society, and especially democratisation in the Global South;
  • be able to analyse the above mentioned aspects independently;
  • be able to assess current political arguments about democratisation in the Global South.

Students will:

  • enhance their capabilities in critically analysing questions about linkages between politics and society and democratisation in the Global South.


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.


Nine lectures and two tutorial seminars will be given. The lectures and seminars are held intensively for a period of 5 weeks, with the exam in the sixth week. Students are particularly strongly recommended to participate in the tutorial seminars.

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.


One essay (10-15 pages in total), and a 3-hour written exam.

In order to receive a passing grade on the essay, your topic will have to reflect the course readings and curriculum. The essay should be either in the form of research plan or a substantiated policy paper. All chosen topics should be approved by the course instructor before the deadline. An essay topic not reflecting the curriculum, will receive a failing grade (F).

The final exam counts 60% of the grade, and in order to pass the course, your essay and 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.

Detailed exam-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.

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

It is 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

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






Spring 2013


Spring 2013

Teaching language