Politics of the Middle East POLITIC4156

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The module will explore the politics of the Middle East from the twentieth century up to the present, looking at the key political, social and economic developments. The module will combine thematic and region-wide analyses with in-depth investigation of particular countries.


The course will run over ten weeks, with 2-hour seminars per week: 1x2-hour seminar (10 weeks)


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





1. 10%: Oral assessment and presentation

2. 25%: Report (1500 words)

3. 65%: Essay (2500 words)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

This course serves as an introduction to the politics of the Middle East, including Egypt, the Arab East (Mashriq) including the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Turkey and Iran. It considers the political, economic and social changes that have affected the region since the turn of the twentieth century, particularly since WWI. It gives an overview of the major political issues, forces and developments in the region, providing an analysis of the wider political contexts in which they occurred. The module will combine a thematic approach with explorations of specific countries, and students will engage with a range of material to deepen their understanding of the region, including literature and the arts as well as scholarly work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Critically map and analyse the key political, social and economic trends in the Middle East since the 20th century up to the present.

2. Assess the pace and drivers of state development, governance and political society in the region.

3. Engage critically and analytically with scholarly work on the region, including contemporary debates.

4. Identify and challenge key dominant assumptions and underlying mainstream narratives about the region.

5. Equip students with transferable and analytical skills to construct historically-informed and empirically-grounded arguments both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.