• Class Number 6935
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alam Saleh
    • Dr Alam Saleh
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
    • Niloufar Baghernia
    • Zoe Davies
SELT Survey Results

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:

  1. 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. develop the ability to understand the relations between the dominant variables and assess their implications in a thematic fashion for the Middle East;
  3. critically 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. advance arguments based on both historical and contemporary understanding of the Middle East from varying perspectives; and
  5. present their ideas, both verbally and in writing, in a structured and clear way.

Research-Led Teaching

I have conducted several fieldworks in the region, (such as Iran, Egypt, & the UAE) on some of the key topics in this course and also I have published my findings in some the most reputable academic journals (such as, International Migration Review, the Middle East Journal, & BJMES). My research findings and outcomes shall be employed in this course to provide students with research informed teachings.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources



Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written feedback on the major essay, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of the work and how the final mark was arrived at.
  • Some more general feedback on essay performance and the spread of the marks may be provided to the class at one of the tutorials.
  • No feedback is provided on the final examination, although students are welcome to access their paper in accordance with ANU and College Policies, which may provide some feedback and related insights, e.g. the marks gained for each question or section. 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Additional referencing requirements

Major essays must be thoroughly researched and all applicable facts, ideas, quotes and points must be fully cited. The citation/referencing system used is not prescribed: provided that students follow an accepted convention such as the Chicago, Harvard, or Cambridge systems of citation, they may choose whichever they prefer.

All essays must include a bibliography or list of references, above and beyond any citation that appear in test or notes in the essay itself.

The Jacky Anne Sutton Prize

This prize was established in honour of Jacky Anne Sutton, a PhD student in the Centre of Arab and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Social Sciences.

The prize will be awarded to the student with the best results in the course Politics in the Middle East.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Understanding the Middle East: Theoretical Approaches; Themes & Trends
2 The Making of Modern Middle East: How has the Middle East been Constructed?
3 Geopolitical Importance of the Middle East and Global Powers
4 Nationalism, Ethnicity & Religious Minorities: The Societal Security Challenges
5 Authoritarianism: Political Insecurities Within & Beyond the State
6 Week 6: Political Islam, Fundamentalism and Political Violence Research essay due (40%)
7 Women, Youth and Internal Socio-economic Challenges
8 Globalisation and the Changing Middle East
9 Israel-Palestine Conflict & its Impact on the Region
10 Middle East and the Great Power Politics
11 Iran & the New Middle East Security Architecture
12 Territorial Disputes & Natural resources: Conflicts of Interests Final essay due (50%)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Tutorial assessment 10 % * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Research Essay (2000 words) 40 % 09/09/2022 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
Final Essay (3000 words) 50 % 04/11/2022 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Tutorial assessment

Students are expected not only to attend weekly tutorials throughout the semester, but to make contributions during the discussions. 10% of the total mark will cover attendance plus participation. In-class participation may test some of the ‘Specific Learning Outcomes’ and some of the ‘General Skills’. Please note that the tutorial assessment is not open to re-appraisal.

Value: 10%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 09/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9

Research Essay (2000 words)

The essay will relate to themes covered in the course, and will test students on 1-4 of the ‘Specific Learning Outcomes’ depending on the question chosen, plus 6-9 of the ‘General Learning Outcomes’. The essay must be 2000 words in length. An additional 10% allowance will apply.

The essay must be on a topic selected from the list of essay questions (to be accessed via Wattle).

The essay will be assessed on:

  • Whether and how well the question is answered;
  • Whether and how well an argument is presented;
  • The factual accuracy of the essay;
  • The depth and sophistication of research demonstrated in the essay;
  • Whether academic conventions have been followed; and
  • The technical quality of the essay.

Word limit: 2000 words

Value: 40%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

Final Essay (3000 words)

The essay must be on a topic selected from the list of essay questions (to be accessed via Wattle).

The exam will test students on ‘Specific Learning Outcomes’ 1-4 and ‘General Learning outcomes’ 6-9. The essay must be 3000 words in length. An additional 10% allowance will apply. Questions will be accessible via Wattle.

Value: 50%

The essay will be assessed on:

  • Whether and how well the question is answered;
  • Whether and how well an argument is presented;
  • The factual accuracy of the essay;
  • The depth and sophistication of research demonstrated in the essay;
  • Whether academic conventions have been followed; and
  • The technical quality of the essay.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All essays submitted by the due date will be assessed and returned as soon as possible, before the final examination. Students will be notified when essays have been marked and are available to view on Turnitin.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

There is no scope for students to resubmit assignments such as the major essay.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Alam Saleh

Research Interests

Middle East Politics, International Relations, Security Studies, Iranian Studies

Dr Alam Saleh

By Appointment
Dr Alam Saleh

Research Interests

Dr Alam Saleh

By Appointment
Niloufar Baghernia

Research Interests

Niloufar Baghernia

Zoe Davies

Research Interests

Zoe Davies

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions