Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2051: War and Peace in the Middle East

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


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Irene Fernandez-Molina (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will familiarise you with the key issues and main developments in the politics of the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the impact upon the states and people involved. The module will introduce you to the literature on the conflict and demonstrate how different and contradictory interpretations can be made of the same event (e.g. who started the 1967 War?). You will examine the shape and substance of a final settlement between Israel and Palestine, including the return or resettlement of at least 4 million Palestinian refugees. You will also look at the road to peace, including the Madrid Conference and Oslo Accords, and you will be given the opportunity to discuss the future for the area and peoples involved in the conflict.

Understanding the evolution and unfolding of the Arab-Israeli conflict will provide you with insights into the nature of local, national and international politics of the region and give indications of future developments. The world crises following the attack on the US in September 2001 and the Arab uprisings in 2011 make this region one of the most important to understand in global politics. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has also generated a great deal of controversy in academic circles with accusations of bias being levelled at scholars whose views are deemed pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, anti-Arab or anti-Western. In the course of discussing the issues raised in the previous paragraph, you will explore a wide range of viewpoints and attempt to understand why certain positions have been put forward. Furthermore, beyond the focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the module will also address the civil wars in Lebanon and the current Syrian civil war as a new-generation conflict in the Levant.

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