PIM73-Conflict in the Middle East

Module Provider: Graduate Institute for Politics and International Studies
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Christina Hellmich

Email: c.hellmich@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The Middle East has recently experienced a wave of potentially transformative revolutions. With the hope for democracy, however, has come the risk of widespread violence and destabilisation. Is the region about to descend into a long, dark 'Arab winter'? This course addresses Middle Eastern conflict as a broad area of inquiry and investigates the political, economic and social conditions from which it arises. It begins with an examination of how the pre-modern heritage of the region, the impact of imperialism, the rise of competing ideologies and the advance of modernisation have shaped contemporary politics and engendered the power struggles of the present day. This is followed by an assessment of the origins and evolution of religious fundamentalism, with a strong focus on political Islam and its many facets. We examine the dynamics of inter-state, intra-state and inter-ethnic conflicts, with a particular focus on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon and the role of foreign intervention. The course also covers all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. 


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will develop:

  • A clear understanding of the historical, political, socio-economic and military processes of conflict in the Middle East, both individually and relationally between various cases and ideologies
  • An understanding of the difficulties and prospects of resolving conflict in the Middle East both within and between states
  • Skills to analyse and evaluate multiple perspectives on an issue
  • analyse the region in its wider international context

They will also be able to:

  • articulate this understanding in written and oral form with a degree of analytical precision in essays, oral presentations.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
10 x 2 hr seminars, essay, films, regular country-specific internet research

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 100 80
Total hours by term 120.00 80.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
There is no final examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
1 summative essay of 3,000 words including footnotes and references but excluding the bibliography which will contribute towards 50% of the overall mark, and 1 carry-home test to comprise 1 written assignment, contributing 50% of the overall mark.

Formative assessment methods:
Students giving presentations will receive feedback from the module convenor and via seminar discussion. The seminar discussions provide important opportunities for students to test their views and receive tutor and peer feedback. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the module convenor’s office hours to request further one-to-one feedback on their presentations, seminar contributions, and essay plans.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall module mark

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment is by the original summative assessment method.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding: Students may incur photocopying costs for seminar reading or essay research at 5p per sheet.
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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