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Subject details

  • Topics
    • The Middle East: Introduction and Definitions
    • The Ottoman legacy and Colonialism
    • The Postcolonial States in the Middle East
    • Arab Nationalism and The `Arabization' of the Palestinian Question
    • The `End of Pan-arabism' and the `remaking' of a regional order
    • The politics of religious revival. The `Islamic Revolution' in Iran
    • Preparation for essay submission
    • Gender Politics
    • Political and Economic Reform
    • The United States and the Middle East
    • Iraq and Iran in the 21st century
    • Crises in the Centre of the System: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and political instability in Lebanon
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

At the completion of this subject, 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.
  • Assignment 1 - Essay (40%)
  • Assignment 2 - Non-Invigilated Exam (20%)
  • Assignment 3 - Paper (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Weekly participation (20%)

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 subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-PLTX278

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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 subject 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 subject 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.

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