Middle East Politics and Security - 2017

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 2017: SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Draft Plan - Essay Plan (10%) , Non-Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit covers key issues in Middle East politics and security today. The first part addresses regional complexities in terms of people, society, politics and geopolitics. The second part examines nationalism; the emergence of the modern states; the origins of conflict; and debates around political change and reform, including the role of political Islam and the emergence of religious radicalism. The final part considers contemporary challenges: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; ‘war on terror’; Arab Spring; and rise of Daesh/Islamic State.

This unit  aims to achieve the following specific learning outcomes:

  1. Knowledge:  Students will learn important moments, events and ideas relating to the development of modern Middle East politics and security issues.  
  2. Comprehension:  They will understand how these relate to underlying cultural, social, and religious trends in the region and to broader forces such as imperialism, conflict, and radicalism.  
  3. Analysis:  They will be able to judge whether these trends and forces make the Middle East unique or exceptional.  
  4. Argument: They will be able to construct arguments that both draw on specific historical and contemporary examples and evaluate differing perspectives on key Middle Eastern issues relating to politics and security.

This unit also aims to achieve the following generic learning outcomes:

  1. Prioritising material:  Students will learn how to manage a large amount of empirical material and order it in a comprehensible manner.
  2. Synthesis:  Students will be able to draw on the material presented in lectures and the readings to make connections and draw conclusions.  
  3. Critical thinking:  Students will learn how to look at contested interpretations of history, culture, politics and security and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.  
  4. Communication:  Through tutorials and essays, students will learn how to present their ideas, both verbally and in writing, in a structured and clear way.
  • Draft Plan — Essay Plan (10%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Research Essay (50%)

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.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Week One: Introduction
2Week Two: People, Society and Politics
3Week Three: Religion, Ethnicity, Gender and Class
4Week Four: Empires and Imperialism
5Week Five: States and Nationalism
6Week Six: The Cold War and the US as Hyperpower
7Week Seven: Political Economies
8Week Eight: Conflict in the Region
9Week Nine: Political Change and Reform
10Week Ten: Political Islam
11Week Eleven: Religious Radicalism and Terrorism
12Week Twelve: Securities and Insecurities ¿ the Arab Spring and Da¿esh (ISIS)
13Week Thirteen: Conclusion

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective 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

  • Understanding the Contemporary Middle East.


    ISBN: 9781588269102


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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