Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Middle East in the Twentieth Century
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 17 Hours. (17 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours. (7 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay in lieu of exam, if exam element failed  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay, if essay element failed  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

• Describe and analyze 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
• Discuss and evaluate the internal dynamics of Middle Eastern regional politics
• Analyze and understand the strategic and diplomatic roles of the major Middle Eastern states
• 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

Brief description

This module introduces students to the international history of the Middle East, placing particular emphasis upon the impact of European imperialism on the region and the development of regional nationalisms, the diplomatic and strategic policies of the major Middle Eastern states, and the role of the Middle East within broader systems of world politics.


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 1990-1991 Gulf War. It seeks both to enable students to understand 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 investigate and evaluate the regional strategic and diplomatic roles of the major Middle Eastern states, and third, students will analyze the role of the Middle East as a regional element of a broader system of world politics, particularly in relation to the Cold War. It does not cover the Arab-Israel dispute in great detail as this topic is covered in a separate module (IP31320, The Arab-Israeli Wars).


 The Middle East in the 20th Century: Themes and Issues

 The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire

 The First World War and the End of the Ottoman Empire

 The Establishment of the Middle Eastern Nation States

 The Rise of Arab Nationalism

 Suez: the End of the European Age?

 The Arabian Peninsula & the Politics of Oil since 1945

 Egypt, Nasser and the “Arab Cold War”

 Iran: from the Shah to the Ayatollah

 Iraq: from the British Mandate to Saddam Hussein

 The Iran-Iraq War

 The Struggle for Syria

 Lebanon's Civil War

 The Middle East and the Second World War, 1939-1945

 The Middle East and the Origins of the Cold War

 The Superpowers, the Cold War and the Middle East

 After the Cold War: the American Moment in the 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