INTER2000 – Case Work in International Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

In this course you will develop your ability to act resolutely and operatively in situations marked by time pressure, high stakes, and high risk.

The action in question is to provide policy advice to state- or other leaders responsible for making important, even vital, decision in international affairs. Diplomatic crises often evolve quickly and demand rapid, yet carefully considered action.

The cases in this course cover international negotiations during crises concerning security policy, human rights, and economic issues. It involve governments, companies, and international organizations.

The course is based solely on case work. Most of the cases are suitable for simple simulation exercises with multiple actors.

Examples of cases in the course:

  • US coercive diplomacy – Kosovo (four actors: Department of State, Department of defense, White House, Diplomat)
  • Mediation under crisis – UN and Falkands/Malvinas (3 actors: UN, UK, Argentina)
  • Great-power bargaining – the Suez crisis 1956 (5 main actors: Egypt, Israel, France, UK, US)

Learning outcome


You will know

  • The basic facts of a number of historically consequential cases of international crisis, including political circumstances, the key actors and their strategic interaction
  • How analytical frameworks from the negotiation literature can be applied to actual cases in order to understand the political dynamics at work


You will be able to

  • Analyze a complex problem in international affairs from several perspectives
  • Develop and present advice to policy-makers or negotiators
  • Evaluate policy advice presented by others
  • Understand the dynamics involved in strategic interaction


You will:

  • Know how to write a decision memo or a position paper, useful in many work situations
  • Grasp a complex case quickly and under time pressure, dissect complexity and draw a time line
  • Have experience with working in groups


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.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.

This course is only for students at the Bachelor's Programme in International Studies.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

It is recommended that you have taken INTER1000 in advance.


Lectures and seminars. 

Compulsory activities

  • Attend the first seminar
  • Present four pieces of written work in the seminars:
    • two lead authorships of cases
    • two written comments to other student's work

See the seminar guidelines for more information about the seminars.

See the faculty's rules for reassignment of seminar groups and requirements for compulsory activities

Absence from compulsory activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.


Portfolio examination consisting of:

  • writing two lead authorship policy notes (counts about 80 percent of the final grade)
  • giving feedback on two other lead authorship policy notes (counts about 20 percent of the final grade)
  • the four parts are evaluated together and given one, overall grade
  • the word limit for the memo is 2500 words in total. The word limit for the comments is 500 words.

  • formal requirements for submission of written assignments

  • if you appeal against the grade, the appeal is of both lead authorship policy notes and both feedback documents together
  • previous exams and examinations guidelines.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in 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 an explanation

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.

If you want to resit the exam a later semester, you must be admitted to the teaching and complete the compulsory activity.

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.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language