Introduction to Middle Eastern Studies - SIMP45

15 credits, Autumn 2020

This course examines the political and social development of the Middle East from the early 20th century until today, and puts the region in comparative perspective.


Key Issues in Middle Eastern Studies - Current & Historical

This is an overview course examining the political and social development of the Middle East from the early 20th century until today while also putting the region in comparative perspective. The course uses social scientific categories to examine the region using the current empirical and theoretical literatures on the Middle East. The goal of the course is to expose the student to the complexities of the region and help them understand the profound changes that are taking place. The student learns about the development of political and social structures, from a local, regional and global perspective. In doing so, the course will discuss the category of Middle East itself, and debate it as a construct.

The student will learn about issues such as the development of the state system, the reasons for the entrenchment of authoritarianism in the region, the causes of the Arab Spring, ideological struggles between Islamists and secularists, in addition to ethnic and sectarian divisions and conflicts as well as the role of the international community in the region.

The course is multidisciplinary and carried out in cooperation between several departments at the Faculty Social Science.

Online course platform

This course uses Canvas as the online course platform. Here you will be able to access literature, assignments, announcements, and schedule, as well as participate in discussions and communicate with teachers.

Course Coordinator

Headshot of Rola

Rola El-Husseini Dean
Programme Director, Middle Eastern Studies - Graduate School & Center for Middle Eastern Studies

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