This course is discontinued

STV9360 – The Arab Spring: a Challenge to Comparative and International Politics

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Learning outcome

This research course takes its point of departure in the by all unexpected upheaval in a series of Arab countries from early 2011, leading to the fall of authoritarian regimes and rulers and to the still ongoing era of reforms, open power struggles and socio-political turmoil. On the basis of an outline of the major events its purpose will be to present relevant analytical approaches to politics in the region as well as the impact on political science and international relations.

The region, a historical shatter belt, has relations with Europe, its close neighbour, since centuries and it constituted parts of the frontline during the Cold War, which is one of the reasons for the contemporary influence of the United States and Russia. Students working on the foreign policies of these and other international actors, as well as on the role of the UN bodies, might also want to attend. The course will take on both a historic and a general social science perspective, while theoretical claims from comparative and international politics will be at its focus.


The course is open to doctoral students in political science and related disciplines whose research interest lies in the problems of the main comparative and international politics theories when confronted with the unforseen and fast changes in the different Arab countries and in the region as a whole. Master’s students in political science writing a thesis on related topics may apply for admission.

There is no participation fee, but the cost of travel and accommodation, if needed, must be covered by the participants. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application as quickly as possible after the deadline.

PhD candidates at UiO: Apply for the course in StudentWeb
Other PhD candidates and master's students: Application form

Application deadline: 8 September 2014

If you have questions regarding admission, please contact Guro S Øvregard.


Time: 29 September - 2 October 2014
Venue: room 830, Eilert Sundts hus, University of Oslo

Main lecturer: Inga Brandell, Södertörns högskola/ University of Oslo
Guest lectures will be given by invited specialists.


Participants can choose individually a smaller part of the literature.Students will be expected to have read the compulsory literature in advance. Students are expected to give a brief presentation of their work during the seminar. Note that specific research interests among the participants may be taken into account in the course if information has been given in time to the main lecturer, Inga Brandell.





The course will give participants ten (10) ECTS credit points. Course examination will rely on a Course Essay, discussed in an internet forum in October and on the participation of the students in the seminar discussions taking place during the course. PhD students are evaluated on pass/fail.

NB! New deadlines for submission

Submission deadline: 7 November 2014
Internet seminar: 11 November 2014, 1-3 pm, room 830
Final submission: 14 November 2014

Essay requirements are reduced for masters’ students. Masters’ students are evaluated on grades A-F. Active participation in seminar discussions is required.

Explanations and appeals

Facts about this course






29 September - 2 October 2014

Room 830, Eilert Sundts hus


Teaching language