ISD302 – Politics in the Middle East


The Reverence of the past, Ottoman Reforms and European ambitions;  Nationalism and Democracy, The external powers’ influence on Middle East politics, Oil and the Palestinian issue, the peace process, the problem of the refugees, and the impact of Middle Eastern issues on global politics.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Critically review the factors of changes in the politics of the Middle East (A3, A5, A7, A8, B4)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Systematically identify, collect and organise historical primary sources and use sources effectively to produce a consistent argument (B3, B5, C2, C6)
  • Critically analyse themes and religious trends within their historical context in particular the Palestinian and internal religious issues (C4, D4, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

The module will be taught through lectures, discussion, seminars, group tutorials and coursework. Student work will be developed through class work and search of primary and secondary sources.  Students will present and discuss work in progress and they are expected to develop their skill independently. When students come from a range of denominational backgrounds, the topics would be taught in a round table context to discuss areas of special interest in Islamic history. Films and slides will be used in the class when needed.

Assessment Mode

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment involves an in-depth search and review of publications related to the specific paper will be required. As part of the formative learning process each student will meet with the module leader in order to discuss their critical learning for their chosen essay. The tutorial or meeting will not be assessed but will form part of the formative learning process with constructive feedback given to the student. A draft of the critical essay may be submitted for formative assessment before the 10th week. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.

Summative Assessment:
The summative assessment will consist of a written critical essay and a written examination at the end of term. The length of the essay should be 1,500 words and it must aim to critically assess the students’ grasp of particular relevant themes and issues, and demonstrate their skill to analyse such cases in current issues [Outcomes 2, 3]. The written examination takes place at the end of the semester [Outcome 1].

Assessment Weighting
Critical Essay: 50%
Written Examination: 50%

Teaching Materials

Core Reading

  • Enayat, H. (2004) Modern Islamic Political Thought, London, I.B. Tauris.
  • Stewart, D. (2012)The Middle East Today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives, 2nd Edition, London, Rutledge