Undergraduate Module Descriptor


ARA3163: Politics and Reform in the Gulf

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Module Aims

The module aims to provide an understanding of political dynamics in the Gulf states in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The core focus of the module is the debate over whether authoritarianism is likely to persist in the region, or whether recent political developments in the region bear witness of the beginning of a so-called ‘Gulf spring.’ Moreover this module is designated to provide you with a better and nuanced understanding of the individual regimes in contemporary Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf in comparative perspective. A further aim of the course is to develop your analytical thinking skills as independent researchers and to develop intellectual ability to place issues discussed in a wider context, beyond common knowledge immediately available in the media.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate an ability to locate, appraise and use main sources of information and data relating to the Gulf states' politics;
2. demonstrate an understanding of the main issues in the politics of the Gulf, including the politics of reform;
3. demonstrate a grasp of different analytical approaches towards the study of the Gulf's political systems, and an ability to make informed judgements regarding the similarities and contrasts of different Gulf polities;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate an ability to analyse political factors and dynamics comparatively, drawing from broader concepts in comparative politics and democratisation;
5. demonstrate an ability to draw on the wider area studies sources and literature relating to the Gulf region;
Personal and Key Skills6. demonstrate skills of reasoned and supported argumentation in writing and in oral presentation;
7. demonstrate skills of independent research and teamwork; and
8. demonstrate skills of finding, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources.