What do we mean by the Middle East – east of where, and why? How should we go about studying the political agency and aspirations of almost half a billion people? To what extent are their fates tied to great power politics, and how can we account for phenomena of cooperation and solidarity in their regional affairs? Can we draw a clear line between the local and the global in Middle East politics?
This course will help students deliberate all these questions, by placing the modern Middle East in its global context without losing sight of local and regional dynamics, cultures, and political traditions. It is informed by critical engagement with international relations scholarship.
For more information, please see the course handbook:
The Middle East in Global Politics Handbook (pdf; 127kb)
“The course exceeded my expectations, the course itself and the lecturers have been amazing. The syllabus has widened my horizons and I made good friends.” Theo, The Middle East in Global Politics, 2019
“Education is excellent and the atmosphere at SOAS is just amazing for a curious student” Ishilia, The Middle East in Global Politics, 2019
"Overall a very formative, enlightening and positive experience." Pascal, The Middle East in Global Politics, 2020
What will I learn?
On successful completion of the module, you should be able:
- to demonstrate familiarity and critical engagement with the theories of international relations and foreign policy analysis relevant to themes in Middle East regional and international politics;
- to demonstrate a strong grasp of the history of the region since its emergence as a modern state system at the turn of the last century;
- to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant theoretical debates and empirical cases pertaining to issues of Middle East regional and international politics;
- to marshal empirical evidence in argument-driven presentations in class
We hope students will be inspired to pursue further study or interest in the Middle East on completion of the course.
For further information on credits, entry requirements and fees, please visit our Online Learning webpage.
If you have any question, please fill out our enquiries form.
Start of programme: 27 June - 8 July 2022
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- 2 weeks
Tuition Fees 2022
- Introduction: What is the Middle East?
- European Empire and Resistance
- Decolonisation and the Cold War
- American Empire and Resistance
- The Gulf in Global Politics
- The Question of Palestine
- Turkey and Iran in Global Politics
- Egypt in the Arab Uprisings
There are no prerequisites for this course but students are asked to asked to familiarise themselves with these two websites: Middle East Report Online and Jadaliyya e-zine. They provide up to date and extremely useful analyses of current affairs in the region. The following is a sample of useful first texts for students preparing for the course:
- Chalcraft, J. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
- Cleveland, W. and M. Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East, 6th edition. Boulder: Westview Press, 2016.
- Fawcett, L. International Relations of the Middle East, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Halliday, F. Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics, and Ideology, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Hinnebusch, R. The International Politics of the Middle East, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014.
- Said, E. Orientalism, Pantheon Books, 1978.
For learned societies focused on the Middle East, see the Middle East Studies Association homepage at http://mesana.org, and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies homepage at http://brismes.ac.uk.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
Each course will be assessed by four online assessments or ‘e-tivities’*. The first is a formative icebreaker that will not be formally assessed. The second is worth 10% and asks students to critique one of the readings and respond to the posts of other students. The third assessment is an essay plan worth 20% and the remaining 70% is formed of a 2,500 word essay. The e-tivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve. On successful completion of the assessments, students will receive a transcript confirming the credit awarded. Students that do not require credit are strongly encouraged to take part in the e-tivities, but are not required to complete the assessments.
* An ‘e-tivity’ is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students the following:
- the purpose of the assignment;
- the task at hand;
- the contribution or response type; and
- the outcome (this is based on Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning. London: Routledge).
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
Save £200 when if apply by 30th April
10% discount if you apply for two courses over 4 weeks
20% discount for SOAS Alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
20% discount for our partner institutions
Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.
Applications for our 2022 Ambassador Scholarship are now open.
The Ambassador Scholarship programme 2022 offers 3 full tuition fee waiver scholarships for highly morivated and academically driven students. Take a look at our Ambassador Scholarship page for more information on how to apply.
Application Deadline: 2022-04-30 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
How to Apply
Apply now to secure your place.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the course within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Apply now to secure your place.