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Module

POL2012 : Politics of the Middle East

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Una McGahern
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

•       To introduce students to the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
•       To develop students’ understanding of different political systems in the region.
•       To develop students’ awareness of the dynamic and contested nature of politics in the region.
•       To encourage students’ critical awareness of the academic literature (theories and concepts), as well as of the language and terminology used to describe and analyse the states, people and politics of the region.
•       To provide students with an opportunity to engage with current events and contemporary examples from the region.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module introduces students to the politics of the contemporary Middle East. Discussing a number of major political events, trends and processes which have taken place across the region from the colonial period to the present day, it provides students with an opportunity to examine how these events, trends and processes have shaped, sustained or changed political dynamics in the region. Focusing on issues of major and ongoing political relevance, it draws attention to different regime types and the experiences of ordinary people, as well as politically marginalised and vulnerable communities, in order to highlight the contested and dynamic nature of politics in the Middle East today.

Topics could include (but are not limited to):
•       State-Building Processes: Colonial Legacies
•       Authoritarianism: the Military Factor in Egypt
•       Sectarianism: Lebanon’s Confessional System
•       Political Islam: the Muslim Brotherhood at the Polls
•       Ethnonationalism: The Case of Israel-Palestine
•       Oil: The Politics of Rentier States in the Arab Gulf
•       Gender & Citizenship: Women’s Rights & Activism
•       Democratization: ‘Transitioning’ Iraq
•       Uprising: The ‘Arab Spring’ Protests
•       Displacement: the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Recorded, non-synchronous; personal capture (PCap) videos;
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities91:009:00Quizzes, definitional work & concept-testing exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities351:0035:00Set seminar reading prep
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1120:00120:00Further reading, independent research, assessment prep
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Synchronous; Essay surgeries, student consultation & feedback
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials provide students with an overview of key themes, issues and concepts relevant to the study of Middle East politics. They help students to situate these themes, issues and concepts within the context of wider political debates and conversations in the relevant academic literature, and to illustrate their contemporary political relevance through examples/case studies from the region.

Seminars provide students with an opportunity to explore and discuss set readings in greater critical depth while also providing them with an opportunity to develop their learning in a reflective, interactive and small group setting.

Structured, guided learning activities (quizzes and set seminar readings) are designed to further develop students’ subject knowledge and enhance their independent research, applied analysis and reflective skills.

Drop in/surgery hours are provided on a weekly basis to provide students with regular opportunities to access further support, guidance and feedback.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602500 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M25Engagement with seminars and structured guided learning activities
Case study2M15750 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessments are designed to test students’ level of understanding of key themes, issues and concepts discussed within this module. In order to map assessment to the aims and learning outcomes of the module, three different modes of assessment will be used:

A case study (15%) will be used to develop and test student’s independent research skills as well as their ability to make links between real-world events and relevant academic concepts.

An essay (60%) will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a more in-depth level of knowledge, understanding and analytical skill of relevant topics.

A professional skills assessment component (25%) tests student level of engagement with guided learning activities which are designed for each week of the module.
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Reading Lists

Timetable