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Postgraduate course

Local and Regional Democracy in Multilevel Norway and Europe

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester

Spring - irregular

Objectives and Content

This course will provide an introduction into the field of territorial politics. Students will discuss the literature that studies the effects of subnational institutions and the subnational geographical context on political behaviour, processes, and outcomes such as citizen opinions, voters, elections, parties, governments, and public policy. Particular attention will be paid to the literature that deals with voters, elections, parties, and representatives at the local and regional levels in Norway and other European countries. Students will read and discuss important arguments and research findings from different perspectives within the territorial politics literature and they will develop their own arguments on the questions whether and how territorial politics is reshaping democracy in European multilevel countries.

An unique feature of this course is that students will write an independent research paper in which they are recommended draw on three major data collections of the Strengthening Regional Democracy project. First, the Comparative Regional Government Dataset which includes aggregate socio-economic, institutional, party, and election variables for 392 regions nested in 23 European countries for 1950 to 2020. Second, the Comparative Regional Voter Dataset which merges 410 regional elections surveys conducted in 68 regions in 8 countries. Third, Norwegian survey data from the Panel of Regional and Local Voters and the Panel of Regional and Local Politicians.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing the course, students have obtained the following learning outcomes defined in knowledge (kunnskap), skills (ferdigheter), and general competence (generell kompetanse):


The student

  • have general knowledge of the main arguments and key findings of the territorial politics literature
  • have advanced knowledge of the literature that focuses on how territorial politics affects voters, elections, parties, and representatives
  • have in-depth knowledge of the critique posed by 'methodological nationalism' scholars


The student

  • are able to apply the concept of 'methodological nationalism' to a wide range of political behaviours, processes, and outcomes
  • are able to independently write a research paper that identifies a relevant research problem
  • are able to thoroughly implement a theoretically informed research design and methodology in a research paper
  • are able to effectively and efficiently present the results of an empirical analysis in a research paper
  • are able to identify the wider implications of the research findings

General competence

The student

  • can effectively find, process, summarise, compare, and communicate advanced and relevant academic literature on territorial politics
  • can develop, implement, and execute a research design and methodology in a research paper
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation in various fields of comparative politics

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is oriented towards students who have been accepted into the department's master's program but is open to visiting students upon approval of student request.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars and individual meetings

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Research proposal of maximum 1500 words.

The approval of compulsory assignment has no time limit.

Forms of Assessment

Research paper of maximum 6000 words.

Grading Scale

Grading A-F

Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 Decemeber for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB.

Course Administrator

The Department of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Research paper

    Submission deadline
    05.06.2023, 14:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam