Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA1010: Politics and Economy of the Contemporary Middle East

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan


Week 1 - Overview of the Middle East


Week 2 - Lecture: The Historical Context: Colonial Legacies and Post-Independence


Seminar: The Emergence of the State System in the Middle East


Week 3 - Lecture: Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak


Seminar: Egypt between Autocrats, Theocrats and Hegemonic Powers


Week 4 - Lecture: Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority


Seminar: The Palestinian Question and Lebanese Confessional Politics


Week 5 - Lecture: Ba'thist Syria and Post-Ba'thist Iraq


Seminar: Syria and Iraq: Between Dictatorships and Interventions


Week 6 - Lecture: Rentierism and Patrimonialism in the Gulf


Seminar: Revolutionary and Rentier Politics in Saudi Arabia and Iran


Week 7 - Lecture: The Political Dynamics of the Maghreb


Seminar: Democratization and Civil Reconciliation in the Maghreb


Week 8 - Lecture: Democratization in the Middle East


Seminar: Democratization in Crisis? Can the ‘Arab Spring’ Come True?


Week 9 - Lecture: Islamist Politics and the "War on Terror"


Seminar: Islamism between Violence and Democracy


Week 10 - Lecture: Gender and Development in the Middle East: Between Religious and Secular Agendas


Seminar: Critically Analysing the Human Development Report


Week 11 - Lecture: Conclusion; Review of the Final Examination


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 activity26.5A combination of lectures and guided seminar discussions, (11 x 1.5 hour lectures and 10 x 1 hour seminars) including group brainstorming and brief student presentations. Seminar discussions generally follow a related introductory lecture the previous week - except in the final session, where guided discussion and brainstorming take precedence, on the basis of guided reading
Guided Independent study38Weekly reading for lectures and tutorials
Guided Independent study18Researching and preparing group presentation
Guided Independent study59.5Researching and writing of summative essays
Guided Independent study8Web-based learning

Online Resources

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


 ELE – http://ele.exeter.ac.uk/