Study Abroad and Exchanges



HIS3329 : Returning the Sense of Security: The Great Powers and the 1860 Syrian Civil War (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Can foreign interference truly bring a lasting stability, order and security to a region, which suffer from civil war? How can the peoples of a region, which have long been torn apart, be peacefully brought together? How can their long lost sense of security be returned? In this module, we are going to seek to answer these questions in reference to the 1860 Syrian Civil War and the subsequent ‘humanitarian intervention’. We will examine the intersubjective securitisation processes, the nineteenth century doctrine of non-intervention and exceptions to it, the languages of civilisation and humanity, the French initiative to intervene and the joint British and Ottoman struggle to prevent intervention. We will also discuss at a micro level, the histories of the trials and punishment of the suspects, humanitarian aid, relief programs and the questions of refugees, reparations and indemnities.

As such the main aim of the module is to introduce students to a historical case study of a Middle Eastern civil war and its repercussions in the region as well as in Europe. The aims of the module are:

1) to give students a broad knowledge of nineteenth century global international order and questions in international law,
2) to introduce students to the history of security in the nineteenth century,
3) to familiarise students with humanitarian aid practices (relief programs, etc.) and the question of refugees in the nineteenth century,
4) to enable the students to interpret Great Powers-Ottoman Empire relations,
5) to invite students to compare the conflicting and/or common interests and threat perceptions of the Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire before, during and after the civil war,
6) to provide an opportunity for students to conduct independent research using primary materials (translated from Arabic, French, German, Russian and Ottoman Turkish into English; as well as original English sources).

Outline Of Syllabus

The lecture and seminar topics may vary every year but the major themes will be:

- The Origins of the Syrian Civil War, 1830-1860
- The Theatre of War
- The Road to Interference: Securitisation, The doctrine of non-intervention and the Sentiments of Humanity and Civilisation
- Ottoman pacification of the civil war
- Punishment of the Suspects: Who was guilty?
- Competing Relief Committees and Missionary Activities after the war
- The Re-organisation of Mount Lebanon
- The New Regime and its Opponents

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching123:0036:00seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Independent learning is essential to this module: students are expected to develop skills of source evaluation, critical reading and note-taking in an independent and effective manner. Seminar teaching complements these skills by allowing students the opportunity to share and debate information gathered independently. Oral skills of argument and presentation will be developed. Moreover, a significant part of seminar teaching will test the development of primary source analysis.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M25Essay/doc.commentary of 1,500 to 2,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The balance of assessment provides students to demonstrate their abilities across the range of skills that this module has helped them to develop. The assessed essay examines written argument, histroriographical engagement, independent thinking and independent research. The written examination assess critical evaluation of primary source material, student’s understanding of the course content, and skills of written argument.

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing'.

Submitted work, tests, intended knowledge and skills outcomes develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists