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IR5534   Contemporary Gulf Politics in a Changing Global Context

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Thursday 10am - 12noon

This module examines contemporary Gulf politics in a broader global context. Drawing on international historical sociology, the module investigates various instances, through which Gulf politics is socially connected to the international arena, and by which the internationality of Gulf politics is represented. Beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries of International Relations, the module relies on different bodies of literature on historiography, sociology, political economy, and social anthropology. It aims to offer a historically and sociologically informed understanding of contemporary Gulf socio-political development from the early phase of capitalist formation onwards. Previous experience of studying politics and international relations of the Middle East will be beneficial but not essential.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour weekly seminar (x 11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 22

Guided independent study hours: 288

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: Exam = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr H Lai
Module teaching staff: Dr Hsinyen Lai

Intended learning outcomes

  • Through participation in this module, students will acquire an understanding of the concepts and theories of international historical sociology
  • To acquire a historically and sociologically informed understanding of contemporary Gulf politics
  • To develop an ability to analyses the interplay among international, regional and national socio-political dynamics in the Gulf through case studies
  • Students will also be able to acquire some transferable skills from articulating arguments and responding questions through presentations and discussion
  • Developing research and analytical skills by writing assessed academic essays and book review