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STV-3019 Comparative political economy - 10 stp

The course is administrated by

Institutt for samfunnsvitenskap

Type of course

This course can be taken as a singular course.

Course contents

The aim of the course is to examine political causes behind the distribution of wealth among and within nations of the world. People across the world have put in an equal amount of their time at work,  yet the fruits of their labor have been more or less wasted in some parts of the world, cultivated so as to offer a life in abundance in other parts of the world. Race, religion, culture, and natural resources are obviously irrelevant to explain this pattern of distribution. The key to the answer is the government: what kind of government is beneficial for economic growth and prosperity? This course is about political economy, addressing the competing approaches that claim to have the explanations to national and regional variations in growth. Note that the course does require some experience with quantitative methods.

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Admission requirements

Students must document at least a bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS), or an equivalent qualification, with a specialization of at least 90 ECTS in political science.

Objective of the course

Objective of the course

Student who has successfully completed the course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:


Analytical understanding

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

18 hours of lectures/seminars in March and April. The teaching consists of two parts. Part I goes through the theoretical framework around political economy. In part II, this theory is applied to test hypotheses. Students will be encouraged to bring their own data and experiences to classes. There will also be data easily available for the applied part.


There are two compulsory requirements for presenting to the final exam (pass/fail). Students will be given counselling and feedbacks on these requirements

The final exam is an academic paper (around 3500 words) on a given theme within the time-frame of two weeks. Students will be encouraged to use text and data from the compulsory requirement in this paper. Marking is made according to the scale from A to F, where F is fail.

Retake is offered in in the beginning of the following semester in cases of grade F or Fail. Deferred examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. Registration deadline for retake is 15th January for autumn semester exams and 15th August for spring semester exams.

Date for examination

Home examination hand out date 18.05.2022 hand in date 02.06.2022

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.