POL3521 - The Rise and Decline of Great Powers


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment with adjusting oral exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100

Course content

The course provides an introduction to the world of great powers. It discusses how great powers have replaced each other as the leading international actors of the time, and what it is that has led to the rise of some and the fall of others. It puts the focus on processes that have been instrumental with respect to political and economic development, and discusses how these processes contribute to shaping the relationship between the great powers. The course also discusses how the number and behavior of the great powers define the nature of the international system.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • have knowledge about the factors that affect the competition and distribution of international capabilities and resources
  • have knowledge about the history, system of government and foreign politics of selected great powers
  • have knowledge about theories of economic growth, power and prestige and long-term change in the international system

Skills - the student shall:

  • treat questions and topics discussed during instruction in an independent analysis which is grounded in literature and relevant empirical data and that fulfills the requirements for scientific writing
  • orally discuss and reflect over one's own written work and the themes which were taken up in teaching

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and seminars totaling 4 hours per week. Individual advice on term paper.

Compulsory assignments

  • Presentation

Further on evaluation

Form of assessment: Term paper and oral examination. Length of term paper: 6000-8000 words. The oral exam covers both the term paper and the required reading. Both the term paper and the oral exam must be retaken at a repeat of the exam.

Required previous knowledge

60 credits including SOS1002 or an equivalent course in research methods. The requirement must be fulfilled to be admitted to the course.

Course materials

Available at the start of the term

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SVPOL344 15.0 AUTUMN 2014
POL8519 10.0 AUTUMN 2014
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Studies
  • Social Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


Examination arrangement: Assignment with adjusting oral exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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