Module Identifier IP34920  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Mr James R Vaughan  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   14 Hours. (14 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   7 Hours. (7 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2000 words  30%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

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.



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

Section I: Empires, Nations and States
2. The First World War and the End of the Ottoman Empire
3. The European Empires and the Creation of the Middle Eastern Nation States
4. The European Age & the Nationalist Challenge
5. Suez: the End of the European Age?

Section II: The Middle East as a Regional System
6. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States & the Politics of Oil since 1945
7. Egypt, Nasser and the 'Arab Cold War'
8. The Struggle for Syria
9. Iran & Iraq in Revolution and War
10. Turkey and the Middle East since 1945
11. Lebanon's Civil War

Section III: The Middle East in a Global System
12. World Politics and the Middle East, 1939-1947
13. The Superpowers, the Cold War and the Middle East
14. 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


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).

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 Lists

** Recommended Text
Bregman, Ahron. (2002.) A History of Israel /Ahron Bregman. 0333676319
Cleveland, William (2004) A History of the Modern Middle East 3rd edition. Westview
Dawisha, Adeed (2003) Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century Middle East Princeton University Pres
Fawcett, Louise (ed.) (2005) International Relations of the Middle East Oxford University Press
Gelvin, James L. (Sept. 2004) The Modern Middle East:A History
Gerner, Deborah (ed) (2000.) Understanding the contemporary Middle East /edited by Deborah J. Gerner. 1555877060
Hourani, Albert (2002) A History of the Arab Peoples Faber & Faber
Little, Douglas (2003) American Orientalism I.B. Tauris
Macfie, A. L. (1998.) The end of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1923 /[by] A.L. Macfie. 0582287626
Mansfield, Peter (1991) A History of the Middle East
Mansfield, Peter (1992.) The Arabs /Peter Mansfield. 0140147683
Milton-Edwards, Beverley. (2004.) Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 /Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe. 041531786X
Ovendale, Ritchie. (1998.) The Longman companion to the Middle East since 1914. 0582315557
Ovendale, Ritchie. (1992.) The Middle East since 1914 /Ritchie Ovendale. 0582063051
Shlaim, Avi (2000) The Iron Wall,. Israel and the Arab World Penguin
Yapp, Malcolm (1996) The Near East since the First World War 2nd edition. Longman


This module is at CQFW Level 6