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IR3300   Conflict in the Middle East

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Wed 11am

This module examines conflict in the modern Middle East looking at the causes, development and consequences of different types of conflict in the region including interstate, civil war, ethnic, religious and terrorism. It examines the historical formation of the nation state system in the Middle East and the development of competing ideologies. The legacies of these processes are explored through case studies including the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon and Iraq. The region has been characterised by authoritarian regimes and this legacy and the impact of the 2011 Uprisings will be explored including conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen. Developments within Shia Islam will be covered in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its impact on regional security. The question of external intervention in the Middle East is also addressed in relation to Iraq post-2003 and debates relating to responses to the Arab Uprisings.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), The class will be divided into multiple tutorial groups to allow small group discussion. 2 hour examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 20

Guided independent study hours: 280

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%


Module teaching staff: To be confirmed

Intended learning outcomes

  • A strong knowledge of the historical, political, socio-economic and strategic causes of conflict in the Middle East
  • A clear understanding of the main issues relevant to past and ongoing conflicts in the region.
  • Awareness of the difficulties and prospects of resolving conflict in the Middle East both between and within states.
  • To identify, assess and utilise appropriate information sources.
  • To assimilate and disseminate, to defend and critically assess data, information and concepts.
  • To articulate this understanding in written and oral form including essays, examination and participation in tutorials.