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Middle East Politics 2 (International Angles)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutorMatthijs van den Bos
  • Assessment: a 600-word essay plan (15%), 3000-word essay (75%) and seminar report (10%)

Module description

This module will equip you with well-informed analyses and a thorough understanding of politics involving the Middle East, concerning both the domestic political structures and the international relations of the region in contemporary historical contexts. The first part of the module sets out the historical setting for the emergence of the regional states system near the end of the Age of Empire and explores to what degree its legacy determines politics today. The thematic concentration is on the interactions of religion and politics, social forces and national integration, and the struggle for democratisation. The second part of the module is dedicated especially to international angles of Middle East politics, where the emphasis lies on Western interactions with the region, the fission and fusion of regional alliances, and the impact of border-crossing populations.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Geopolitics of the Greater Middle East
  • US and European Middle East Policy
  • Mediterranean Politics
  • Britain and the Middle East
  • Core Issues in Israel/Palestine
  • Middle East Foreign Policy
  • Alliances and Regionalism
  • Energy and Political Economy
  • The Politics of Regional Migration

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand and critically apply key concepts, theories and debates regarding Middle East politics
  • critically evaluate the relative impact of international relations on Middle East politics today
  • systematically investigate and evaluate central problems in the theorisation of Middle East politics
  • demonstrate knowledge on Western interactions with the region, the fission and fusion of regional alliances, and the political impact of border-crossing populations
  • make connections between the study of Middle East politics and politics studies of other locations on the one hand and generic politics theory on the other
  • synthesise a variety of materials across primary and secondary texts to explain and support your own arguments concerning the key problems of Middle East politics
  • demonstrate skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.