Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Islam, Foreign Policy and the Developing World
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 hour lectures/seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word book or film review    10%
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  15%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,250 word essay  35%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Pre-seen Examination  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word book or film review  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,250 words assignment in lieu of seminar performance  15%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,250 word essay  35%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour pre-seen examination)  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate an understanding of key theories of foreign policy making and level of analysis
2. Critically engage with the emerging theories and debates of Islam
3. Evaluate the significance of Islam as a tool of diplomatic and foreign policy
4. Analyze the complex relationship between religious actors and foreign policy making
5. Critically evaluate contending explanations for the role of Islam in developing countries
6. Identify and distinguish between different political trajectories of Islam and foreign policy
7. Apply newly emerging theoretical understandings to specific case studies
8. Examine foreign policies of developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa

Brief description

The module encourages students to develop a critical approach to the study of Islam and foreign policy making, through a critique of orthodox foreign policy analysis FPA and introduces them to emerging theories that provide fresh insights, perspectives and debates in understanding foreign policies of Muslim countries in the 21st century.


This module provides students with a critical introduction to the `level of analysis? problem in International Relations (IR) and to examine the relationship between Islam, identity and foreign policy making in the developing world through models of (FPA) and a number of case studies. It specifically aims to understand the complexity of religious, cultural and ideational dimensions of foreign policy making in the Islamic world with a particular reference to the greater Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Caucaus. The case studies are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and Azerbaijan in the Greater Middle East and the Caucasus; and Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Morroco in North Africa.

Session 1 Introduction: Teaching method and e-Portfolio
Session 2 Theoretical Framework: Islam, Identity and foreign policy
Session 3 Islam and Cultural identity: Iranian foreign policy
Session 4 Islam and National identity: Foreign policy of Iraq
Session 5 Islam and Secular identity: Turkish foreign policy
Session 6 Islam and Political identity: Foreign Policy of Syria
Session 7 Islam and Ideology: Foreign policy of Afghanistan
Session 8 Islam and Ethnic identity: Foreign policy of Pakistan
Session 9 Islam and Arabism: Foreign policy of Egypt
Session 10 Conclusion: which theory?
Session 11 Revision


It aims to challenge the realist theories of foreign policy and the state with reference to rational decision making process within FPA. While orthodox theories of foreign policy focus on `opening up? the `black box? of the state in the developed world (i.e. the US, UK and EU) this module offers an alternative theory of Islam, identity and foreign policy making. Based on the theory of social construtivism it emphasises the role of ideational and material interests in analysing the foreign policy of Islamic countries.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE. Some students may decide to employ electronic media for the coursework propaganda assignment.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable students to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of students. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualize and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing perspective - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex relationship between Islam and foreign policy
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.


This module is at CQFW Level 6