17 July 2020
on course website
The Middle East in Global Politics
What do we mean by the Middle East – east of where, and why? How should we go about studying the political aspirations and agency of almost half a billion people? To what extent are their fates tied to great power politics, and how can we account for phenomena of cooperation and solidarity in their regional affairs? Can we draw a clear line between the local and the global in Middle East politics?
This course will help students deliberate all these questions, by placing the modern Middle East in its global context, without losing sight of local and regional dynamics, cultures, and political traditions. We will explore histories of empire and decolonisation, alongside themes of hegemony and resistance, conflict and cooperation, identity and foreign policy. The course is informed by critical engagement with theories of international relations.
The course begins with an exploration of the different historical phases of interaction between Middle East states and the international system. These are divided into the colonial, decolonisation, and post-Cold War periods. Lectures and tutorials will cover the early settler colonies, Britain’s informal empire in the Gulf, and the Anglo-French mandates, as well as the emergence of Turkey and Israel, and the challenge represented by the pan-Arabist revolutionary states, followed by discussion of the Middle East’s place in the post-Cold War unipolar era. We will discuss each of these phases in tandem with relevant paradigms from international relations theory used to study the Middle East in its international context. The course then moves to tackle key themes in international relations, such as foreign intervention and international political economy, before taking a closer look at key actors in regional foreign policy making. It closes by addressing contemporary challenges that have arisen since the Arab uprisings. Over the three weeks, course activities, debates, and fieldtrips will enhance both the teaching and learning experience.
Dr. Reem Abou-El-Fadl
A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity and critical engagement with the theories of international relations and foreign policy analysis relevant to themes in Middle East regional and international politics;
- Demonstrate a strong grasp of the history of the region since its emergence as a modern state system at the turn of the last century;
- Demonstrate familiarity with the relevant theoretical debates and empirical cases pertaining to issues of Middle East regional and international politics;
- Marshal empirical evidence in argument-driven presentations in class
- Edit and evaluate Wikipedia entries on a topic relevant to the module.
Courses are worth 15 SOAS credits, which is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.
GBP 1750: Credit assessed - if you have opted to study for credit, you will be required to complete all course assessments. Should you complete the assessments with success, you will receive a transcript confirming your marks and credits.
GBP 1600: Non-assessed - if you have not chosen to study for credit, you will be exempt from any course assignments and not receive a mark.
The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer four tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.
The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020
on course website