Middle-East Politics - 2016

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay - Research Essay (35%) , Non-Invigilated Exam - Final Exam (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PLTX278 Middle East Politics.

The September 11 terrorist attacks focused world attention on the Middle East and its relations with the West. This unit introduces students to the domestic politics of the Middle East, and to the intellectual and ideological currents shaping those politics. The first weeks are devoted to the contemporary history of the region from the late 19th century to the rise of post-colonial states in the area. Broad-ranging theoretical concepts necessary for an understanding of Middle Eastern political processes, and different ways of looking at those processes, are considered. The unit then examines in detail the structure of government and the politics of the region.

Particular attention is paid to the region's ongoing relations with the West and the current 'war against terrorism'; the emergence and future prospects of religious fundamentalism; and the rise of Arab nationalism and Zionism. The Arab-Israeli conflict, the 2003 Iraq War and the impact of globalism are also covered.

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 contemporary politics of the Middle East.
  3. outline the geography and contemporary history 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 Middle East, in the particular global post 9/11 environment.
  • Essay — Research Essay (35%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — Final Exam (30%)
  • Participation — Online Participation (20%)
  • Quiz (15%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PLTX278 — Middle East Politics

Students should have studied some politics at 100 level prior to undertaking this unit.

  • 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.

1The Middle East: Introduction and Definitions
2The Ottoman legacy and Colonialism
3The Postcolonial States in the Middle East
4Arab Nationalism and The `Arabization' of the Palestinian Question
5The `End of Pan-arabism' and the `remaking' of a regional order
6The politics of religious revival. The `Islamic Revolution' in Iran
7Preparation for essay submission
8Gender Politics
9Political and Economic Reform
10The United States and the Middle East
11Iraq and Iran in the 21st century
12Crises in the Centre of the System: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and political instability in Lebanon
13Examination Week

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • 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.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

There are no required textbooks for this unit.

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