• Offered by
  • ANU College
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course examines the evolution of state and society in the contemporary Middle East against the backdrop of the dynamics of relationships between oil, Islam, foreign intervention, domestic strife and intra-state conflict. The course is thematic in its approach and selective in its use of major events to illustrate its coverage. It emphasises the theme of change, continuity and conflict in the political, social and economic transformation of the region.

Learning Outcomes

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

This course aims to achieve the following specific outcomes :-

1. Course participants will learn and analyse the complexity of political life in the Middle East, with specific focus on Islam, oil, outside interventions and conflicts.

2. Participants will develop the necessary skills to analyse and judge for themselves the linkages that may exist between the various key variables that have come to shape the political and social-economic landscapes of the Middle East.

3. Participants will acquire knowledge about the relevant key concepts and definitions

Indicative Assessment

One 4,000 word essay (60%) and one three-hour exam (40%).

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) 24 hours of seminars; and b) 106 hours of online activities, practice exercises, readings and assessment.

Prescribed Texts

There is no single prescribed text for the course.   Please see preliminary reading list above.

Preliminary Reading

There is no single prescribed text for the course. However, the books listed below provide a solid introductory background to the course.

A. Hourani, P. S. Khoury, and M.C. Wilson (eds.), The Modern Middle East, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Nikki R. Keddie, Modern Iran:  Roots and Results of Revolution, New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2003.

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

D. Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, New York: A Touchstone Book, 1992.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

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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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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