STV4352B – Democracy and Social Democratic Development in the Global South

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course engages in three basic discussions in the study of politics and development.

  • The first question is under what conditions democracy of various standards is possible in developing countries. The course provides an historical review of theories and actual outcomes, with special emphasis on the character and problems of the third wave of democratisation.
  • The second question is about the causes for current stagnation of democracy. Main attention is drawn to the roots of depoliticisation, poor governance and elitist representation. To overcome these challenges, the research behind the course suggests that more social democratic oriented development is needed.
  • Hence, the third question is whether and how this would be possible.

A number of historical and current experiences are interrogated in the largest democracies of:

  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • South Africa

But also:

  • Burma
  • Scandinavia

The results are fundamental for local priorities, but also within international cooperation.

The course is based on the research carried out in a leading international network of scholars, co-directed from Oslo.

Former title (before spring 2017): Democratisation and transformation in the Global South

Learning outcome


Students will:

  • obtain a good grasp of the problems and options of democratisation and its role in development in the Global South;
  • get an introduction to various theories of democratisation and strategies derived from them, and understand the diving lines in the related debates;
  • get specific knowledge of how one can best assess problems and options of democratisation and development;
  • get an especially good introduction to the dilemmas of whether and how civil society participation, democratic representation and politics to enhance people’s democratic capacity can support and be supported by social democratic oriented development.


Students will:

  • be able to search relevant additional information and facts about democratisation in the Global South and especially about more extensive and substantive democratisation;
  • be able to analyse and assess the above mentioned aspects independently;
  • be able to assess current political arguments about democratisation and social democratic development in the Global South.


Students will:

  • enhance their capabilities in critically analysing questions about the problems and options of democratisation and social democratic development in the Global South.


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.

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.


Recommended previous knowledge

The students are strongly recommended to have taken STV2310 – Politics and development (discontinued), a similar course, or having gone through corresponding literature about Politics and Development.


Lectures and seminars.

During the first week, the participants are to prepare for the lectures by individually going through the literature. Thereafter the main lectures are concentrated during two weeks. The first of these two weeks also includes a seminar where the subjects of the course essays are identified, bearing in mind the interests of the individual students. After the weeks with lectures, there is another seminar on the draft essays.

Compulsory attendance in the seminars:

  • Seminar 1: Planning of term paper
  • Seminar 2: You present a draft version of the term paper in a concluding seminar and get comments from the lecturer and fellow students


Term paper.

The term paper must:

  • be between 3500-5000 words.
  • have a theoretical or empirical question which either relates to your plans for a master's thesis or constitutes the point of departure for a critical review of various perspectives in the course literature. The question must be approved by the lecturer.
  • meet the formal requirements for submission of written assignments.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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 explanation of your grade in this course

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.

Facts about this course






Spring 2018

This course is not given on a regular basis


Spring 2018

This course is not given on a regular basis

Teaching language