Subject details

This subject 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 subject 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.
    • Week One: Introduction
    • Week Two: People, Society and Politics
    • Week Three: Religion, Ethnicity, Gender and Class
    • Week Four: Empires and Imperialism
    • Week Five: States and Nationalism
    • Week Six: The Cold War and the US as Hyperpower
    • Week Seven: Political Economies
    • Week Eight: Conflict in the Region
    • Week Nine: Political Change and Reform
    • Week Ten: Political Islam
    • Week Eleven: Religious Radicalism and Terrorism
    • Week Twelve: Securities and Insecurities - the Arab Spring and Daesh (ISIS)
    • Week Thirteen: Conclusion
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
    • Online materials

      • Online Assessment
      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Resources and Links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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.

  • Online discussion/participation (20%)
  • Essay (2,500 words) (40%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)

Textbook information is pending.

Textbook information is pending.

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