Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 Hours. (18 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 7 Hours. (7 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2000 words  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   70%
Supplementary Exam Students failing the module will repeat only the failed component(s); those re-sitting 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, 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 analyse 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 as this topic is covered in a separate module (IP31320, The Arab-Israeli Wars).



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

Section I: Empires, Nations and States
2. The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire
3. The First World War and the End of the Ottoman Empire
4. The Establishment of the Middle Eastern Nation States
5. The Rise of Arab Nationalism
6. Suez: the End of the European Age?

Section II: International Relations and the Middle Eastern States since 1945
7. The Arabian Peninsula & the Politics of Oil since 1945
8. Egypt, Nasser and the ¿Arab Cold War¿
9. The Struggle for Syria
10. Iraq: from the British Mandate to Saddam Hussein
11. Iran: from the Shah to the Ayatollah
12. Turkey and the Middle East since 1945
13. Israel and the Middle East since 1948
14. Lebanon¿s Civil War

Section III: The Middle East in a Global System
15. The Middle East and the Second World War, 1939-1945
16. The Middle East and the Origins of the Cold War
17. The Superpowers, the Cold War and the Middle East
18. After the Cold War: the American Moment in the Middle East

1. World War I & the End of the Ottoman Empire
2. The European Era and the Creation of the Middle Eastern nation states
3. Egypt and the Middle East in the Age of Nasser
4. Iran & Iraq in Revolution and War
5. Syria and Lebanon in the Age of Asad
6. The Cold War in the Middle East
7. The United States & the Middle East from Reagan to Clinton

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