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POL2012 : Politics of the Middle East

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Neil Russell
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• To introduce students to the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
• To develop an understanding of the politics of citizenship in the region.
• To outline critical approaches to the study of politics and citizenship.
• To encourage a critical awareness of the academic literature (theories and concepts), as well as of the language and terminology used to describe and analyse the countries, peoples 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 examines the politics of citizenship as it has shaped, and been shaped by, major political events, structures and processes within the contemporary Middle East. Placing a particular emphasis on those who are denied full citizenship rights in their respective countries – amongst others: ethno-national and religious minorities, political opposition groups, refugees, women and migrant workers – this module explores how citizenship acts not only as a form of political inclusion, participation and representation, but also as an important means of socio-political exclusion, control and contestation. Overall, this module contends that the politics of citizenship serves as a useful prism through which the complex and dynamic relationship between state, society and governance in the Middle East today can be analysed.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are designed to give students an overview of the main issues, themes and concepts involved in the study of Middle East politics. Lectures are delivered in two-hour slots to provide students with an applied understanding of a number of major themes and concepts. The first hour provides an overview of a salient theme, issue or concept while the second hour applies that theme, issue or concept to a contemporary case-study from the region. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the issues addressed, it is essential that students read widely from the supporting literature in advance of each lecture.

Seminars provide students with an opportunity to discuss questions relating to the lectures, to critically engage with a number of assigned texts/reading materials, research and team-working skills in smaller group settings. Seminars are structured around discussion based upon set readings and "show and tell" presentations. The role of the seminar leader is to facilitate and guide group discussion, not to lead discussion or lecture. All students are expected to prepare for the seminar by reading set materials.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A45unseen written exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M452000 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Seminar participation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Understanding of the links between the events tested by the essay writing, exam and seminar participation.

Exchange Students:
An alternative form of assessment will be set for exchange students from non-English speaking home institutions replacing the examination. The alternative form of assessment is set in accordance with the University Assessment tariff.

Reading Lists