Knowledge, Organization and Politics

Course content

The objective of the course is to examine how knowledge and political power are connected in processes that take place both internally in and between different types of organisations and sectors. The course covers formal and informal forms of politics in both private and public organisations and at all levels.

The course introduces selected theories and empirical studies rooted in three branches of sociology: organisational sociology, sociology of knowledge and political sociology. The course focuses in particular at the thematic, analytical and empirical overlaps between the three branches and interrogates a number of concepts and phenomena at this intersection such as rationality, power, legitimacy, consensus, conflict, bureaucracy and democracy.


Mandatory course at 4th semester at BA Sociology.

Learning outcome

The course provides the student with insight into fundamental sociological concepts and theories, making him or her able to investigate how knowledge, organisation and politics mutually affect each other.



The student acquires knowledge of a number of core concepts in sociology addressing the interaction between knowledge, organisation and politics. Upon completing the course, students must be able to:

  • Account precisely for selected concepts and approaches in the course literature, their central assumptions and their implications for how knowledge, organisation and/or politics can be analysed
  • Compare selected concepts and approaches from the course literature and give an account of their similarities and differences as well as their respective analytical strengths and challenges.



Upon completing the course, students must be able to conduct analyses at the intersection between knowledge, organisation and politics in an independent fashion. More specifically, the students must be able to:

  • Produced qualified analytical observations and analyses of specific social phenomena at the intersection of knowledge, organization and politics
  • Assess the applications of different sociological concepts and approaches in relation to selected social phenomena



Upon completing the course the student must have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct independent work on the course topics, including the ability to:

  • Independently acquire knowledge of the central sociological concepts and approaches in the field, including acquisition and assessment of relevant literature
  • Turn central concepts and approaches into concrete analyses of both quantitative and qualitative nature, which address the interaction between organization, knowledge and politics.
  • Report on such analyses in a precise and concise manner

Lectures combined with in-class exercises

Students should acquire:

Benedikte Brincker (ed), Introduction to Political Sociology, Hans Reitzel. (2013)

The textbook will be supplemented by a collection of articles, which all are available online via the University library (i.e. must be downloaded via a UCPH ip address from campus or via a vpn connection to the UCPH network).

A full reading list is available for course participants on Absalon

General knowledge of sociological theory and methods equivalent to what is achieved through the first year of the BSc programme in sociology at UCPH

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Peer feed-back will be organised several times during the semester. Detailed planning will follow.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Individual or group (integrated exam).
A portfolio assignment is defined as a series of short assignments during the course that address one or more set questions and feedback is offered during the course.
All of the assignments are submitted together for assessment at the end of the course. The portfolio assignments must be no longer than 15 pages.
For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet. Exams in this course only, i.e. not integrated, the maximum length is 10 pages.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam Preparation
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 36
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Course Preparation
  • 100
  • English
  • 206