• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Stephanie Wright
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

The course concentrates on the contemporary politics of the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and Israel, with some reference to Afghanistan. It examines the political development and dynamics of the major countries involved at national and regional levels. This is done in the context of four major variables - Islam, oil, the Arab-Israeli conflict and other regional disputes, and major power involvement - and the consequences of the interaction of these variables for the region in world politics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:


This course aims to achieve the following specific learning outcomes :

1. Knowledge: The course participants will learn about the evolution of State and Society in the Middle East against the backdrop of Islam, oil, inter-state conflicts and major power intervention as the dominant variables.

2. Comprehension: Students will develop the ability to understand the relations between the dominant variables and assess their implications in a thematic fashion for the Middle East.

3. Analysis: Students will be able to analyse the political dynamics of a number of key Middle Eastern states as significant case studies, and judge for themselves why the Middle East region is, on the one hand, very significant and, on the other, volatile.

4. Argument: Students will develop an ability to advance arguments based on both historical and contemporary understanding of the Middle East from varying perspectives.

This course also aims to achieve the following generic learning outcomes:

a. Prioritising material: Students will learn how to manage a large amount of empirical material and order it in a comprehensible manner.

b. Synthesis: Students will be able to draw on the material presented in lectures and the readings to make connections and draw conclusions.

c. Critical thinking: Students will learn how to look at contested interpretations of history, culture, and politics and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

d. Communication: Through tutorials and essays, students will learn how to present their ideas, both verbally and in writing, in a structured and clear way.

Other Information

This course is considered compatible with Security Studies, Asian Politics and International Relations fields of study.

Indicative Assessment

3,000 word essay (50%), two-hour examination or 2,000 word essay (40%) and tutorial assessment [based on attendance, reading, performance] (10%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Political Science (POLS) courses, or with permission of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

 There are not set textbooks for this course.  A reading brick with selected required readings will be available for sale in the first weeks of the semester. 

Preliminary Reading

Mansfield, P., A Brief History of the Middle East (2nd ed), Penguin, 2003.

Saikal, A., The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Palmer, M., The Politics of the Middle East (2nd ed), California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8142 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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