ASOB16013U  Knowledge, Organization and Politics

Volume 2018/2019

Mandatory course at 4th semester at BA Sociology.


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.

Learning Outcome

The purpose of the course is to examine how different forms of knowledge and different modes of power interact within and between different types of organisations and in different societal sectors. The course addresses both formal and informal modes of politics in private as well as public organisations at different levels. 


Students acquire insights into concepts and theories central to the study of how knowledge, organization and politics are mutually interdependent. This includes for example concepts such as bureaucracy, public administration, different types of power and control, political trust, civil society, professions and expert knowledge etc. Upon completing the course, the student must be able to:

  • Understand the character of the Danish political system in an internationally comparative perspective by conducting analysis of democratic processes that involves different types of political organization (e.g. administrative bodies, interest organisations, private companies, social movements/NGOs, think tanks, international organizations, including the EU etc).



Through the course the student will acquire knowledge of concepts and insights that will enable him/her to conduct and evaluate sociological investigations into the most important forms of power and control in contemporary societies, and access both strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. Upon completing the course, the student must be able to:

  • Conduct his/her own inquiries of both public and private organisations’ internal and external processes in relation to policy formation and implementation, including to role played by different professions and expert knowledge.



Upon completing the course, the student must be able to:

  • Identify and analyze central problems in organizational contexts where knowledge and politics interact
  • Transfer and translate sociological concepts and insights from one policy domain to another
  • Reflect upon his/her own sociological knowledge in relation other professionals’ knowledge in different organizational and political fields. 

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
Lectures combined with in-class exercises
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.
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.
Exam registration requirements

Sociology students must be enrolled under BSc Curriculum 2016 to take this exam.

Portfolio integrated with the course "Contemporary Strategies for Statistical Analysis"
NB! The exam will be in English

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Find more information on your study page at KUnet.

Exchange students and danish full degree guest students please see the homepage of Sociology; and


At re-exam, the form of examination is the same as ordinary exam.

If the form of examination is ”active participation” the re-examination form is always “free written take-home essay”.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see the learning outcome

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