Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 17 Hours. (17 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 10 Hours. (10 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2000 words  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   70%
Supplementary Exam Resit opportunities for this module will be available in the Supplementary examination period. F resit: The student will re-sit the module by examination only for a capped pass mark (40). H resit: The student will submit missing coursework elements and/or re-sit by examination in the upplementary exam period in lieu of a missed/failed exam for full marks. Students re-sitting elements of failed coursework are required to select a different essay/assignment title and must not submit re-written versions of the original essay/assignment.  

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

- Describe and analyse the key factors which made the Middle East a region of such central strategic importance over the twentieth century.
- Identify and critically discuss the major events and trends in the rise of nationalism and the decline of imperialism in the Middle East.
- Demonstrate through discussion and coursework an understanding of the historical origins and development of the modern state system in the Middle East.
- Describe the changing roles of the post-1945 Superpowers in the Middle East.
- Display through discussion and coursework an understanding of the nature of the Cold War in the Middle East.
- Discuss and evaluate the internal dynamics of the Middle Eastern regional politics.
- Critically assess the impact of the State of Israel on the international relations of the Middle East.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the international history of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century, with particular emphasis on the end of empire, the Cold War and the role of Israel.


This module aims to provide students with a broad survey of events in the Middle East over the course of the twentieth century, from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the end of the Cold War and the impact of the 1990-91 Gulf War. It seeks both to enable students to understand both the region's central importance in world politics during the century and to introduce students to the key factors affecting international relations within the region.

First, students will be given an understanding of the regional clash between different forms of imperialism and nationalism during the period; second, students will be introduced to the role of the Superpowers during the Cold War decades; third students will be given an understanding of the Middle Eastern balance of power from the perspective of internal regional divisions; fourth, students will examine the nature of the role played in the region by the State of Israel since its creation in 1948.


- Introductory Themes and Issues
- The First World War and the End of the Ottoman Empire
- The European Powers and the Emergence of the Middle Eastern Nation States
- Zionism and the Palestine Mandate
- The Birth of the State of Israel
- Arab Nationalism: From the Ottomans to Nasser
- The Middle East and the Origins of the Cold War
- The Path to Suez and the End of the European Age
- The Age of Nasser and the 'Arab Cold War'
- The Soviet Union and the Cold War in the Middle East
- 1967 and the Making of the Modern Arab-Israel Dispute
- Egypt's Road to Peace
- Iran and Iraq: Neighbours and Enemies
- Israel, Syria and the Destruction of Lebanon
- The PLO: From Cairo to Oslo
- America's Moment in the Middle East
- Oil and Power in the 20th Century Middle East

Transferable skills

Seminar preparation requires students to read and think critically and conceptually about particular historical and political themes and issues. Computer literacy and information technology skills are developed by the use of e-mail and web-based learning resources. Seminar and coursework preparation encourages students to develop an independent research capability. Coursework essay assessment develops argumentative and analytical writing skills as well as word processing and IT abilities. Both Seminar preparation and coursework assessment requirements encourage students to organise their workload and manage their time effectively. Seminar discussion groups foster the development of individual oral communication and debating skills as well as the ability to critically discuss questions and carry out tasks in groups.

10 ECTS credits

Reading List

Recommended Text
Cleveland, William (2004) A History of the Modern Middle East 3rd edition Westview Primo search Dawisha, Adeed (2003) Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century Middle East Princeton University Pres Primo search Fawcett, Louise (ed.) (2005) International Relations of the Middle East Oxford University Press Primo search Gelvin, James L. (Sept. 2004) The Modern Middle East:A History Primo search Gerner, Deborah (ed) (2000.) Understanding the contemporary Middle East /edited by Deborah J. Gerner. Primo search Hourani, Albert (2002) A History of the Arab Peoples Faber & Faber Primo search Mansfield, Peter (1991) A History of the Middle East Primo search Mansfield, Peter (1992.) The Arabs /Peter Mansfield. Primo search Milton-Edwards, Beverley. (2004.) Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 /Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe. Ovendale, Ritchie. (1992.) The Middle East since 1914 /Ritchie Ovendale. Primo search Yapp, Malcolm (1996) The Near East since the First World War 2nd edition Longman Primo search

Baxter, Kylie. (2008.) US foreign policy in the Middle East :the roots of anti-americanism /Kylie Baxter and Shahram Akbarzadeh. Routledge Primo search Goldschmidt, Arthur (2005.) A concise history of the Middle East. 8th ed. Westview Primo search (Dec. 2005) The Contemporary Middle East:With Special Contributions by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. and Shibley Telhami Westview Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6