International relations

International Relations of the Modern Middle East

Module code: L2065A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

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: 

  1. it critically surveys the traditional theoretical approaches to the analysis of Middle East politics
  2.  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.
  3. 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.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop a systematic and critical understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues involved in the study of the modern politics and history of the Middle East.
  • Develop a detailed conceptual understanding of the historical, political and cultural forces shaping the Middle East as it relates to broader international trends.
  • Effectively synthesise and communicate the empirical and theoretical uncertainties, ambiguities and limits that are framed by modern Middle Eastern politics.