Political Culture, Norms and Social Control in the Nordic Region 1500-1800 3509

Course Objectives

The course will:

  • Provide an introduction to the state systems and the socio-economic conditions in the Nordic countries in the Early Modern period. Provide knowledge about what characterizes the state systems in the respective Nordic countries during this period and how they evolved.
  • Provide an overview of how the different state systems are expressed through the political culture and socialization of the population and the development of this.
  • Present and evaluate different views on political cultures, norms and social control in the Nordic countries in the Early Modern period.
  • Provide insight into the historian’s methods and the basis for historical knowledge.
  • Provide knowledge of current history research in other Nordic countries through collaboration with external institutions and subject specialists.
  • Provide the student with the opportunity to develop his / her ability to assess historical material and hypotheses critically and independently.
  • Develop the student’s ability to present his / her written and oral presentations of historical material.

Course Description

The course will focus on:

  • State systems in the respective Nordic countries in the Early Modern period and the comparison between them.
  • Political cultures that include participation, forms of expression, decision-making processes and principles. Especially, the influence of the peasantry, and how their voice could be made heard through administrative and political channels. Changes and comparison of the Nordic countries will be emphasised.
  • The legal and court systems in the respective Nordic countries in the Early Modern period and the comparison between them.
  • The official control and unofficial disciplining of the people, and how conflicts, norms and crime were dealt with, first and foremost, as reflected in the courts and court documents. Changes and comparison between the respective Nordic countries will be particularly emphasized.
  • The individual as a historical actor in relation to the authorities and to others.

The course is research-based and the lecturers include active scholars who teach and draw on their own experience where relevant. During the excursion related to the course (see below), the students will also have direct contact with active researchers.
The course is part of the specialization study programme in history (please refer to separate document); it is expected that this course will be taken together with Overview of Nordic History (3508) and another specialization course, each comprising 10 ECTS credits. The course, Overview of Nordic History (3508), provides background knowledge and the methodological foundation for studying these specialization courses and should therefore always be taken together with, or prior to them. It may vary from year to year whether 3509 is offered, and also whether it is taught in the spring or autumn semester.

Learning Methods

Instruction is given in the form of seminars where active participation is required. Students must be well prepared for the lectures in order to attain the learning outcomes. Total instruction per week will normally comprise about three hours; the instruction is not compulsory. However, it is recommended that students regularly attend classes.
In addition to teaching at the university college, the course includes an excursion of 4-7 days to another Nordic country. The excursion will be related to the 3509 course, if the course is taught in the same semester. The excursion is compulsory for students who are taking at least 20 ECTS credits in history in the autumn semester. The excursion will normally take place in October. Students who may have legitimate reasons for not participating in the excursion must apply for an exemption early in the semester. The excursion is normally heavily subsidized, but students will have to cover a portion of their expenses.

Students who do not attend classes (in whole or in part) may be required to submit one or more compulsory assignments before they will be allowed to sit the final course examination (see below); the subject teacher is responsible for arranging such requirements. The course also includes compulsory work, such as the submission of assignments. These compulsory requirements must be fulfilled before students will be allowed to sit the final examination (this includes external candidates and students taking re-sits, unless an exemption has been granted). Apart from these assignments, students must also complete a compulsory home assignment. The teacher may wish to discuss the assignment with the student before it is approved.
Where appropriate information concerning compulsory attendance and submission requirements will be specified in the semester plan.

Assessment Methods

The assessment consists of either a home examination (two weeks) and an oral examination, or a six-hour written examination in the college at the end of the semester. The form of assessment chosen will be decided by drawing lots each semester, so that students who take both specialization courses offered in history in the same academic year, will have a home examination in one course, and a written examination at the college in the other. The drawing of lots will be done in the autumn semester, and the result will also apply to the form of examination applicable to those students who take only one specialization course.

These examination forms are chosen so that students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate: knowledge and understanding of historical development; the ability to think analytically and critically; the ability to communicate orally and in writing, c.f. learning outcome above.

In the home examination, other relevant literature (for instance, an article) and / or source material may be used, in addition to curriculum literature. In such cases, students will be given the relevant material. The oral examination will supplement the written work. Students will only be called into the oral examination, if they have passed the written examination.

The grade given will be on a letter scale from A to E, where F represents a failing grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Birgit Norendal <Birgit.NorendalSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 24/03/2011