Middle Eastern Politics and Society - PO8109

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.


None. However, some knowledge of the Middle East would be beneficial. This can be gained from the background readings listed below.





The module is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of politics in the Middle East. The module covers various social (e.g. identities), economic (e.g. role of natural resources) and religious (e.g. role of Islam) themes, and thus provides students with a wide-ranging perspective from which to analyse the political life of the region. Particular emphasis is placed on the nature and causes of conflict and political violence, and on the role of the state. The module also focuses on the historical development of the region as a way of helping students to understand the nature and causes of its contemporary political situation.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total hours: 200

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Essay 1, 2,500 words (30%)
Essay 2, 3,500 words (70%)

Indicative reading

(Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)
Background readings:
MacQueen, Benjamin. An Introduction to Middle East Politics. London: Sage, 2013.
Gerges, Fawaz A (ed.). The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World. New York: Cambridge, 2013
Fawcett, Louise (ed.). International Relations of the Middle East. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Halliday, Fred. The Middle East in International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Ayubi, Nazih N. Over-Stating the Arab State: Politics and Society in the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris, 2008.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of key features of politics in the Middle East
8.2 Undertake high-level analysis of core concepts, theories and debates relating to the outbreak and resolution of political conflict
8.3 Relate their understanding of Middle Eastern politics to theories and analyses of politics within the wider international system
8.4 Relate the concepts and findings of studies of Middle Eastern politics to core debates within the discipline at an advanced level
8.5 Understand at an advanced level the relationship between current features of Middle Eastern politics and historical developments and patterns in the region

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