Decision Making, States and Institutions

Course - second cycle - 7.5 credits

Syllabus for students spring 2021, spring 2020, spring 2019, spring 2018

Course Code:
GP620L revision 1
Swedish name:
Stater, institutioner och beslutsfattande
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Political Science
Date of ratification:
20 March 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
15 January 2018

Entry requirements

Bachelor of Science including at least 180 credits or equivalent foreign degree in political science, or equivalent, and at least 22.5 credits in the master´s programme of global politics and societal change or equivalent.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

This course is part of the main field of political science at advanced level and can be included in the degree requirements for the master's degree with a major in political science.


The course aims to thematize and explore decision-making in global politics.


What characterizes current decision-making processes in global politics?

The course covers the perspectives of policy-making and multilateral negotiations and provides an overview of relevant conceptual approaches, in order to analyze how decision-making takes place at different levels, ie local, national, regional and international levels. Focus will also be on how different levels can affect each other. It discusses the different theoretical models to analyze foreign policy decision-making.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course “Decision-making, states and institutions”, students should be able to:

  1. Critically and independently discuss theories of decision-making and negotiation models,
  2. Critically, independently and creatively analyze decision-making at various levels by using decision theory,
  3. Interpret and analyze international negotiations by applying various conceptual frameworks and negotiation models.
  4. Orally present current research on decision-making and negotiations.

Learning activities

Teaching is conducted through lectures, seminars and tutorials. In addition, students may be expected to organize workshops and prepare and present their work at the seminars.


The learning outcomes will be assessed through a course paper presented at a seminar as well as through other seminar work.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

• Neuendorf, Kimberley A. (2002 or later) The Content Analysis Guidebook. Sage Publications.
• March, James (2009) A Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen. New York: The Free Press. (selected parts)
• Mintz, Alex and Karl DeRouen Jr. (2010). Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Stone, Deborah (2001) Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. W. W. Norton and Company. (selected parts)
• Yin, Robert (2017) Case Study Research and Applications (International Student Edition). Sage Publications Inc. (selected parts)
• Additional literature in the form of articles (approximately 200 pp.).

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.

Other Information

The language of instruction is English.