International Relations of the Middle East - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (20%) , Essay 2 (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PLTX322 International Relations of the Middle East.

This unit introduces students to the international politics of the Middle East, which includes patterns of interaction between the states of the region, and also relations between the region and the world. Topics covered include: the war against terrorism; the Arab–Israeli conflict; conflicts and interventions in the Persian Gulf; inter-Arab politics; and economic dependence and development in both their regional and international dimensions from the perspective of international relations. The first part of the unit concentrates on epistemological and historical issues involved in the analysis of the Middle East as a regional system and its place in the international system. The unit then moves on to an investigation of globalisation and democratisation in the Middle East, the prevalence of rogue states in the region and ways of containing them and several of the endemic conflict situations that exist. The conflicts to be examined are the Israel–Palestine confrontation, the Iraq wars and the war against terrorism. The unit also examines the impact of the New World Order on the Middle East.

At the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. undertake independent learning and research throughout the semester
  2. outline and critically evaluate theoretical debates related to the international relations of the Middle East
  3. outline the geography and contemporary international relations of the Middle East
  4. effectively communicate their understanding and analytical ability in both spoken and, particularly, polished written form
  5. participate and lead, when necessary, in class discussions
  6. use a wide range of written and digital resources related to Middle East politics
  7. raise awareness of the importance of a critical approach to the study of the international relations Middle East.
  • Essay 1 (20%)
  • Essay 2 (50%)
  • Paper (10%)
  • Participation (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 3 units normally assume a moderate level of prior knowledge in this area, eg from studying related Level 1 and 2 units or other relevant experience.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2Orientalism and its Critics: Studying the Middle East
3International Relations of the Middle East
4Introduction to the Middle East: The Ottoman Legacy and Colonialism
5Post World War Two Order: The Invention of Israel and the Modern Middle East
6The Middle East in the Cold War: 1950s and 1960s, From Mosaddeq to the Six Day War
7The Middle East in the Cold War: From Nasserism to the Iranian Revolution
8The Middle East in the Cold War: Civil War in Lebanon, Soviets in Afghanistan, and the Gulf War
9The International Relations of Political Islam and Middle East Politics
10Reading Week
11The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
12Globalization and the Middle East
13Democratization and the Middle East

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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