London, United Kingdom

The Middle East in Global Politics

online course
when 29 June 2020 - 10 July 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 15 EC
fee GBP 1200

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 online 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 two weeks, course activities, debates, and fieldtrips will enhance both the teaching and learning experience.

Course leader

Dr. Reem Abou-El-Fadl

Target group

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.

Course aim

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.

Credits info

15 EC
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.

Fee info

GBP 1200: - Save £200 if you apply by 30th April
- 10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks
- 15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
- 20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.


The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

Deadline: 13th March 2020