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IR5059   Political Order and Violence in the Middle East

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Wednesday 10am- 12noon

This module examines the causes and consequences of political order and violence in the Middle East. What constitutes a political order? Why and how are political orders established? What role does violence play in constituting political orders? Why and how does violence ensue with the breakdown of political orders? Drawing on IR, Sociological, and State-formation theories, we will examine different episodes of order and violence in contemporary Middle East politics: from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the latest Arab Uprisings, looking at colonial orders, regime-society violence, violent resistance against occupation, and civil wars.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 lecture and 1 seminar.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Take-home Written Examination = 40%, Coursework (Essay 50%, Presentation 10%) = 60%

Re-assessment: re-sit and/or re-submission


Module coordinator: Professor A Saouli
Module teaching staff: Dr Wassim Naboulsi
Module coordinator email

Intended learning outcomes

  • Acquire a strong understanding of the concepts and theories of political order and violence
  • Acquire familiarity with various types of political order and violence in the Middle East
  • Develop a strong understanding of Middle East politics with special focus on various political regimes and episodes of political violence
  • Develop a strong ability to analyse the causes and consequences of violence in a comparative manner.
  • Articulate this understanding in oral and written form, through presentations and class discussion as well as assessed essays and examination.
  • Develop their research and analytical skills.