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This introductory subject will examine the interplay of external and internal factors in inflaming conflict and tension in the Middle East in the 20th century. It will cover the role of colonial powers, religion, gender politics and foreign actors in a number of case studies: the Arab/Israeli conflict, Iranian politics, US policy and the establishment of organizations such as HAMAS, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.
This subject will provide a firm grounding in the political, historical and societal experiences that created the modern Middle East. These case studies will illustrate the difficulties in separating ‘national’ from ‘international politics’ and provide a nuanced appreciation of international relations in the Middle East.
Intended learning outcomes
Students will attain a detailed knowledge of the political history of the contemporary Middle East through a study of regional religions, political movements and case studies, including the colonial period, Arab-Israeli conflict, US foreign policy, Iranian politics, the Gulf Wars and the Arab Uprisings. The major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries will be contextualized within broader international relations.
Develop a strong understanding of the importance of Middle Eastern and Islamic politics in the global order.
Acquire the ability to undertake independent research and develop argumentative writing skills. Time management skills and the ability to produce under pressure through the exam. Enhanced confidence in public speaking skills and the presentation of an argument through continual participation in small group discussions, role playing activities and in class debates.
Last updated: 9 April 2020