Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ARAM054: State and Society in the Middle East

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

1. Orientalism, Area Studies & Social Science: Approaches to Middle East Politics
2. Historical Sociology of the State in the Middle East
3. Nationalism: Theory, Ideology and Practice
4. Authoritarianism: Violence, Discourse and Symbolic Power
5. Military Politics: Armed Forces and Society
6. Sectarianism: Politics outside the State
7. Religion and State-Building: Modernity without Secularism
8. Political Islam and Civil Society: Inside or Outside the State?
9. Ethnicity: Primordial Ties and Imagined Communities
10. Corruption, Economic Reform and Neo-Patrimonialism
11. a) Informal Politics: Poverty, Power and Resistance
b) Revision

Teaching will take place through two-hour weekly seminars. Discussions are student-led. Each seminar begins with a student presentation which seeks to answer a set question relating to the specified readings for that topic. The presentation is, followed by a 5 minute intervention from a discussant, who will respond directly to the argument presented by the first student. Open debate then follows. The seminar strongly encourages students to engage with one another's opinions and perspectives, in addition to the weekly readings. It provides a forum for intra-group learning aided by prior experience and both directed and independently-researched reading and thinking. In addition to the formal assessment, students submit a formative (unassessed) essay and receive feedback on written work at an early stage of the module. This eases the transition to a Master's degree by allowing students opportunity to adjust to the more demanding academic requirements expected at this level.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 hours11 x 2 hour seminars
Guided independent study278 hoursIndependent study

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).