SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Government and politics of the Middle East

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year
This module serves as an introduction to the politics of Egypt, the Arab East (Mashriq) including the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Turkey and Iran. On a country-by-country basis, it gives an overview of the major political issues, forces and developments in the region since the end of the First World War, providing an analysis of the wider political contexts in which they occurred.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

 This module aims to:

  • Provide an introduction to the politics of the Middle East in the 20th century.
  • Consider the economic, social and political changes which have affected the region.
  • Provide students with detailed empirical knowledge and with the cognitive skills necessary to interpret and analyse that information.
  • To develop their understanding of the major trends in the Middle East politics and their skills of political analysis through critical reading, lectures and informed discussion and in the writing of essays.

By the end of the module students will have:

  • Acquired an understanding of the Middle East and the ability to process information
  • Developed reasoned arguments
  • Communicated their ideas cogently both orally and in writing


  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

Assessment is made up of 50% coursework (two essays of 2,500-3,000 words) and 50% unseen examination.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules