Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA2166: Revolution, Reform or Status Quo

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Aims

The module aims to provide you with an understanding of the political situation in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. The core focus of the module is the political situation in each country and the prospects for change – i.e. whether regime change is a real possibility, whether significant political reforms falling short of regime change appear likely, and what are the forces driving/halting such reform processes. Among the topics covered are graduate unemployment, Islamism, the War on Terror, ethnicity, elections, and political systems. The course makes use of a number of books, journal articles and think-tank publications in order to expose you to a wide variety of material. Moreover, during the seminars, you will also be tasked with researching newspaper articles in order to obtain further - and more recent - data, particularly on the various elections and outbursts of civil unrest. The intention behind the use of both theoretical and/or empirical material is that by assisting you in mastering different types of texts, you will hopefully gain the skills to discuss the issue of ‘reform, revolution or status quo?’ in a country specific and a theoretical setting. A further aim is to provide you with a level of knowledge that allows you to discuss the topic of civil society and change in the Middle East and North Africa, not only in the selected cases, but across the region. Finally, the course aims to develop your skills as academics and independent researchers, thereby equipping you for the future, regardless of whether you aspire to a career in academe.

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. Understand the key issues in the debate on the status of regime change and political reform in the Middle East and North Africa;
2. Understand the forces that aid the persistence of authoritarianism in the region;
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Use and analyze secondary and primary data relevant to specific issue areas;
4. Place issues discussed in a wider context plus deploy critical arguments;
Personal and Key Skills5. Develop critical and analytical skills through readings, class discussions and presentations;
6. Enhance your ability to undertake political analysis.