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Department of Politics and International Studies

Politics of resistance in the Middle East

Course Code:
15PPOH010
Unit value:
0.5
Taught in:
Term 1

This course offers Masters students focusing on Middle East politics an opportunity to reflect critically upon ideas of counterhegemony and resistance as ways of understanding politics and political struggle in the Middle East. Much of the literature on politics in the Middle East foregrounds the dominant structures of power, dominant ideologies and the varied forms of hegemony. Less studied are the ways in which variously situated groups and individuals throughout the region have tried to negotiate with, subvert and resist these forms of hegemony and the mixed outcomes of many of these struggles. The course will take certain general themes and illustrate them through specific case studies from different countries in the Middle East.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Familiarity with critical debates surrounding ideas of political hegemony, counter-hegemony and resistance
  2. Knowledge of specific aspects of politics and political struggle in the Middle East which will test some of the theoretical assumptions behind these debates, as well as an understanding of particular political movements, countries and developments in the region
  3. A critical understanding of a range of theoretical positions in political science, to formulate hypotheses based upon these understandings and to carry out empirical research to support or qualify their arguments
  4. Skills necessary for the oral and written communication of their ideas

Method of assessment

The course will be assessed by two essays. The first essay is 3000 words long (topics to be suggested) and contributes 40% of the mark for this course; the second, (on a topic to be devised by the student) is a 4000-word essay and contributes 60% of the overall mark for the course. Please consult the PG Departmental Handbook for valuable advice and style requirements for writing essays. Dates for the submission of essays are (1) the Monday of Week 8 of Term 1; (2) the Monday of Week 2 of Term 2.