International Relations of the Modern Middle East (L2065A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

The Middle East remains at the centre-stage of international politics and media. Yet its specificities and complexities continue to challenge politicians and academics alike. This module explores the explanatory potentials of a three-dimensional international, social and historical approach to modern political history of the Middle East.

It consists of three major parts. First, it critically surveys the traditional theoretical approaches to the analysis of Middle East politics. Second, it delineates the broader historical contours of the contemporary politics of the region by retracing the socio-international context and outcomes of the formation of 'modern' Middle Eastern states. Thirdly, and drawing on the second part, it provides in-depth analysis of three major contemporary political developments in the region, namely the Iranian Revolution, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iraq War. The module concludes by a brief evaluation of the broader implications of an international-historical approach to the study of the Middle East for theory and practice of international relations.

The module will be assessed by a 1000-word essay plan (10%), and a 6000-word final essay (90%).


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

We’re currently reviewing contact hours for modules and will update with further information as soon as it is available.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: