GRA 5914 International Politics

GRA 5914 International Politics

Course code: 
GRA 5914
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Sverre August Christensen
Course name in Norwegian: 
International Politics
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Elective course
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Global value chains and cross-national sustainability challenges create a need for effective international co-operation. But the framework for such co-operation is under pressure, as exemplified by trade wars, a dysfunctional WTO, weak funding of the WHO, and Britain’s recent exit from the EU. The business community needs to manoeuvre in this complex field. This course therefore aims to gives the students a possibility to make sense of current developments in international affairs.

The course focuses on the processes of globalisation that drive change in international regimes for sustainability, security, sovereignty, democracy, and trade. It starts from problems with collective action to address cross-national challenges and create international public goods, and investigates existing institutional and public policy responses to such problems, addressing their strengths and shortcomings. It addresses international developments since the end of the Cold War, with the goal of seeing current events in context. It uses theories of international relations and international political economy. It is an introductory course and requires no previous knowledge of the subject.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The candidate will:

  • understand the international political context for existing institutional solutions to collective action problems such as sustainability (Agenda2030 and the Paris agreement), global trade (GATT, WTO and the EU), and security (NATO and the EU)
  • be familiar with analytical frameworks for analysing and understanding developments in international relations and international cooperation, and be able to use such frameworks
Learning outcomes - Skills

Students will be able to:

  • engage critically with the research-based literature in international relations and international political economy
  • analyse current debates and controversies related to the sustainability challenge, international security, democracy, national sovereignty, and international trade
  • analyse international and global political and economic institutions and organisations, the relationship between them, and the dynamics of stability and change
  • apply analytical tools and empirical knowledge to practical problems arising from international politics
  • adopt a multi-level (national, regional, and global) perspective on political economy and public policy and understand the parameters within which global and international policies are developed and implemented at the national level.
General Competence

Students will gain an understanding of the complex interdependencies in international politics, and develop awareness of enduring paradoxes inherent in our global system.

Course content
  1. Stability and change in international relations since the end of the Cold War, and International Relations theory
  2. International public goods and the democratic challenge: institution-building as response to need for collective action
  3. Globalisation, geopolitics and geo-economics
  4. International trade, free trade and development; international regulatory regimes
  5. The sustainability challenge
  6. Global and regional governance; the EU, security policy and international trade
Teaching and learning activities

The 12 weekly sessions consist of lectures, student presentations, and class discussions. The student presentations are done on the basis of the relevant reading material and in relation to a specific essay question. Students' varied experiences are used to give depth to class discussions.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Continuous assessment will no longer exist as an examination form from autumn 2023. For questions regarding previous results, contact InfoHub.

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper
Exam code: 
GRA 59142
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
GRA 59143
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.