PO3MEA-Politics & International Relations of the Middle East

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Younis Lahwej

Email: y.a.lahwej@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module seeks to provide students with a nuanced understanding of the Politics and International Relations of the Middle East. Divided into two sections, it links the domestic politics of Middle Eastern states with the international tensions and conflicts of the region. The first part begins with a survey of the history of states and empires, followed by the emergence of nationalism and the establishment of the modern state system. We examine in detail the influence and overlapping roles of Pan-Islam, Pan-Arabism, State-Nationalism, Zionism, Palestinian Nationalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and Gender throughout the region and assess the extent to which they impact and define contemporary state politics. The second part turns to the issue of state-civil society relations in the region and the special role of water and oil in national and international politics. Examination of the international politics of the region further includes inter-Arab relations, the Arab-Israeli dispute, the Gulf wars and the complexities of conflict in Lebanon as well as the roles of the superpowers and their interests in the region. The course concludes with a role-play simulation involving negotiation and conflict resolution within the context of a politically sensitive issue for the Israelis and Arab/Palestinians.


Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will develop:
-a nuanced understanding of the key concepts and arguments relating to the study of Middle East Politics and International Relations
- the ability to analyse the relationship between state and society, regional relations and the region in its wider international context
-skills to evaluate multiple perspectives on an issue and identify and weigh the conflicting values represented by different points of view
-a capacity to present these discussions in an articulate fashion during seminars and presentations, and with a high degree of analytical precision in written work.

Additional outcomes:
They will also be able to gain:
-IT skills through individual research om Middle Eastern states and political leaders in preparation for the simulation exercise
-insights into the realities of decision making at the policy level through participation in the simulation exercise

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
10 x 2 hour seminars, regular film screenings and simulation exercise.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 12 8
Practicals classes and workshops 2 4
Guided independent study 87 87
Total hours by term 101.00 99.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Report 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Students will write two assessed pieces of coursework - an essay and a report worth 50% each. The total is an average of these assignments.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments to gain full credits. Visiting students who are only studying for half credits in Autumn and/or Spring terms will submit one written assignment.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will also give an oral/presentation.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    There is no examination for this module.

    Requirements for a pass:
    University-wide rules apply.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Candidates who fail their final year normally have the right to be re-examined on one further occasion at the next opportunity. These candidates will not normally be eligible for Honours (ie., only a ‘Pass’ classification would be attainable). Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Beverly Milton-Edwards. Contemporary Politics in the Middle East, 3rd Edition (2011) Polity. ISBN: 978-0-7456-5231-3. RRP. £18.99
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 4 September 2017

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