International Relations of the Middle East

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Level: LI 2nd Year Undergraduate
Credits: 20
Semester: 1 and 2
Contact hours: 1 hourly lecture per week, 1 hourly tutorial group per week (10 weeks).
Module Co-ordinator: Gerasimos Tsourapas

Module Description

This module aims to provide an introduction to the contemporary Middle East through a rigorous engagement with theories of international relations. The module places the Middle East in its international context, exploring histories of empire and decolonisation, hegemony and resistance, conflict and cooperation, as well as identity and foreign policy. Attention will also be paid to key themes in international relations, such as transnationalism, globalisation and regionalism, security and threat, gender and ideology. The debate on the features of a regional sub-system and foreign policy analysis will be examined through the process of Arab regional integration and the Arab-Israeli conflict. By taking this module, students will be able to engage in more specialised study of the region, either in whole or in part.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • To familiarise students with the history, key concepts, and perspectives relating to the development of the study of international relations in the Middle East.
  • To familiarise students with the individual history and politics of the Arab states of North Africa, the Levant, and the Gulf as well as Turkey, Israel, and Iran within the context of colonialism, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War periods.
  • To familiarise students with influential paradigms and concepts of international relations theory used to study the Middle East in its international context.
  • To enable students to critically engage with how the principal literature associated with the study of international relations in the Middle East relates to broader concepts and theories of international relations.


  • 1 x 1,500-word essay (40%)
  • 1 x oral presentation (10%)
  • 1 x 2-hour exam (50%)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.