Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE War and Peace in the Middle East

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study-unit examines intra- and inter-state conflicts, as well as efforts to negotiate peace in the Middle East. It emphasizes how the Arab-Israeli conflict, regional rivalries, the policies of the main international powers, and domestic politics have shaped regional dynamics. Some of the topics covered include the Arab-Israeli Wars, the different Gulf Wars and the Arab-Israeli peace process.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to provide an in-depth understanding of the conflicts that have shaped the contemporary Middle East. Furthermore, the aim is to instill understanding of the role of intra-state conflicts in the development of contemporary conflicts. This will be linked to regime type, legitimacy, sub-state patterns of allegeance, and non-state actors. In addition, this study-unit aims to increase students' understanding of the inter-linkage between extra-regional actors such as the United States, Russia, and the European Union and historical and contemporary structures, such as colonialism, the Cold War, the War on Terror, and the Arab Spring.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Analyze the causes and features of contemporary conflicts in the Middle East;
- Evaluate how domestic, regional, and international agents and structures contributed to the occurrence of wars and conflicts;
- Comprehend the international relations of Middle East.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Synthesize information about conflicts, tensions, diplomatic disputes, and attempts at peace-building;
- Identify scholarly material available on-line and in libraries;
- Present findings in written form and orally;
- Prioritize information and present them hierarchically.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Essential texts:

Louise Fawcett: International Relations of the Middle East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
lan Pappe: The Israel/Palestine Question. A Reader, (New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 2007)
Kylie Baxter and Shahram Akbarzadeh: US Foreign Policy in the Middle East. The Roots of anti-Americanism, (Routledge, New York and Abingdon, 2008)


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Presentation (15 Minutes) SEM2 No 20%
Essay SEM2 Yes 80%



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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2022/3. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.