Global Crisis: Contemporary political matters of concern

Course content

From COVID to conflict and the melting ice in the Antarctic, the world seems currently to be struggling with several international crises. This elective course aims to explore anthropological approaches to such large-scale matters of concern. Looking at, for example, the wars in Syria and Ukraine, the pandemic, climate change, and emerging authoritarianism, it analyses intensifying and interconnected critical states and investigates their local implications. We do this by examining the concept of crisis within anthropology and by questioning how critical aspects of power, politics and globalization affect our contemporary world. The course is divided into 14 seminars with the following thematic orientations focussed on the anthropology of… 

  • Emergencies, crises and chronicities
  • Conspiracy
  • Authoritarianism
  • Pandemics
  • Climate change
  • Migration
  • De-, post and neo-colonialism
  • Extractivism

From spring 2025 the course is also offered to students at the

- Master Programme in Social Data Science

- Master Programme in Political Science

- Master programme in Global Development

 -Master Programme in Psychology

Enrolled students register the course through the Selfservice. Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.

The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities
Learning outcome


  • be able to identify a relevant anthropological research problem related to political anthropology and crisis
  • be able to locate and analyze empirical material by applying analytical  perspectives from the course literature (using anthropological concepts and theories of social crisis and chronicity) in order to make an anthropological argument 
  • be able to write a well-structured portfolio on a chosen field/case drawing on the literature from anthropology and other related disciplines



  • be able to demonstrate how matters of concern are shaped in specific sociocultural and politico-economic contexts and further reshape our knowledge of critical states and events



  • be able to utilize concepts and methods of political anthropology in analyzing a concrete, empirical cases

The course will be taught collectively. The different themes will centre on lectures given by experts in the specific fields. A crosscutting subject throughout the entire course will be ‘global crisis’ – i.e., the ways in which contemporary political matters of concern are situated in local as well as global contexts. The course will include case-based group work and student presentations.

See absalon.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Length: Portfolio exam can be written individually or in groups of max. 4 students. Portfolio exams consist of 2-7 submissions. For MA students, there is a submission more than for BA students, i.e. if the BA student has to submit five submissions, the MA students must submit six submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must be max. 30,000 keystrokes for one BA student and max. 37,500 keystrokes for one MA student. For groups of two students, max. 40,000 keystrokes BA students and max. 47,500 for MA students. For groups of three students, max. 45,000 keystrokes for BA students and max. 52,500 for MA students. For groups of four students, max. 50,000 keystrokes for BA students and 57,500 for MA students. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment. For groups with both BA and MA students, the same number of submissions is required as for MA students. The assignments are assessed jointly with a single grade.

1st and 2nd re-exam: A new essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

Essay Length:
One BA student: 21.600-26.400 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 6,750 and Max. 8,250 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

One MA student: 27,000-33,000 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 8,450 and Max. 10,300 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

For groups with both BA and MA students:
One MA + one BA student: 31,900-38,975 (BA:14.175-17.325 KA:17.725-21.650)
One MA + two BA students: 38,050 – 46,475 (BA:11,700-14.300 KA:14.650-17.875)
One MA + three BA students: 44,525-54,375 (BA:10.475-12,800 MA:13.100-15.975)
Two MA + one BA student: 41,000-50,050 (BA:11,700-14.300 KA:14.650-17.875)
Two MA + two BA students: 47,150-57,550 (BA:10.475-12,800 MA:13.100-15.975)
Three MA + one BA student: 49,775-60,725 (BA:10.475-12,800 MA:13.100-15.975)

MA students must include supplementary literature in the exam assignment. The supplementary literature is chosen by the student.

Information of level and contribution
Students must indicate on the first page of the assignment whether they are a BA or MA students. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment.
All aids allowed

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Anthropology allows the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, in written exams, provided that the use of AI/LLMs is disclosed and specified (i.e., how it was used and for what purpose) in an appendix that does not count towards the page limit of the exam.


If AI/LLMs are used as source, the same requirements apply for using quotation marks and source referencing as with all other sources. Otherwise, it will be a case of plagiarism.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1st and 2nd re-exam: A new essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

For groups writing together it must be clearly indicated which parts of the assignment each of the students has written.

Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See timetable.
Department of Anthropology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Anja Simonsen   (13-6774706734796f737574796b744667747a6e787534717b346a71)
Saved on the 13-05-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students