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 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.


100%: Seminar


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

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: