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Political Science Ma, Political Theory, 7,5 Credits

General data

Code: SK008A
Subject/Main field: Statsvetenskap
Cycle: Second cycle
Credits: 7.5
Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Answerable department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Established: 9/30/2006
Date of change: 10/22/2013
Version valid from: 1/1/2014


The course aims at providing the student with an overview of the subfields, analytical approaches, and crucial theories in political science. The student will also receive a detailed knowledge of the chosen subfield and this will provide an analytical focus for the master thesis.

Course objectives

After the course is completed the student should be able to:

- Analyze the research questions from crucial analytical approaches in political science

- Be able to reflect upon research question associated with different analytical approaches within political science in a critical way.

- Be able to apply the analytical approaches in political science on various types
of research problems, particularly in the context of their own master's thesis.


The course is divided into different modules concerning institutional theory, rational choice, social constructivism, multi-level governance, social capital, critical realism with postmodernism, and green political theory. The course provides in-depth knowledge in the sense that each participant, in consultation with the teacher focuses on one subfield and chooses literature from this. This means that the course content varies from course participants.

Entry requirements

Bachelor in Social Sciences with 90 Credits in Political Science.

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Teaching will take place as lectures and seminars.

Examination form

Examination will take the form of written examination and active participation at seminars.

Grading system,

Grading system

The grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F are given on the course. On this scale the grades A through E represent pass levels, whereas Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Required literature

Author: Albin, C.
Title: Negotiating International Cooperation. Global Public Goods and Fairness
Edition: 2003
Publisher: Review of International Studies 29 (3), 365-385

Author: Downs, A.
Title: An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy
Edition: 1957
Publisher: Journal of Political Economy, Vol 65, No. 2, 135-150

Author: Finnemore, M & Sikkink, K
Title: International Norm Dynamics and Political Change
Edition: 1998
Publisher: International Organization 52(4): 887-917

Author: Goodin, R.E. & Klingemann, H-D
Title: A New Handbook of Political Science
Edition: Senaste upplaga (latest edition)
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Hajer, M.A. & Wagenaar, H. (ed)
Title: Deliberative Policy Analysis. Understanding governance in the Network Society
Edition: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Author: Lukes, S
Title: Power: A Radical View
Edition: 2005
Publisher: MacMillan

Author: Manners, I
Title: Normative Power Europe: A Contradiction in Terms?
Edition: 2002
Publisher: Journal of Common Market Studies 40 (2): 235-258

Author: Olson, M.
Title: The Logic of Collective Action. Public Goods and the Theory of Groups.
Edition: 1969
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Comment: Introduction, Chapters 1-2, pp. 1-65.

Author: Ostrom, E.
Title: A Behavioral Approach to the Rational Choice Theory of Collective Action.
Edition: 1998
Publisher: The American Political Science Review 92 (1), 1-22

Ytterligare litteratur tillkommer för politisk realism och postmodernism enligt studenternas urval i form av vetenskapliga artiklar.

Additional litterature and articles on political realism, and postmodernism will be added based on students' choices.

Other information

Demands for compulsory attendance may be specified in a student’s guide. If demands for attendance are not met, the student has an opportunity to complete that the next time the course is given.