Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM651: State and Society in the Middle East

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits30 ECTS Value15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff






Available via distance learning


This module explores concepts, themes and cases which are crucial to an understanding of modern Middle Eastern politics. While political science often conceptualize politics as synonymous with presidents, parties and parliaments, this module studies political power in its broader social setting. By adopting a critical, sociological approach to forces such as ethnicity, religion and nationalism, it seeks to explain Middle East politics with reference to its underlying social dynamics. The module thus examines the interaction between the institutions and ideas of the state, and the social context in which that state is rooted.

Each seminar takes one or two case studies as a means to examine key concepts and theories in political sociology. This allows students to expand their empirical knowledge of the Middle East, as well as their knowledge of debates in the field. Furthermore, students may choose which countries to focus on in their assessed work, so have the option of developing special expertise in particular areas of interest.

Module created


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