• Class Number 5433
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Tony Allison
    • Tony Allison
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

The aim of this course is to analyse and explain the dynamics of political economy in the contemporary Middle East. There is a focus on how political actors and social forces influence, and in turn are influenced, by political economy structures and development strategies. In particular, the effects of state institutions, international actors, social classes, and new groups such as private sector businesspeople are assessed, and their roles considered in the context of political economy theoretical approaches. Particular case studies focus on recent trends in the region, especially: the growth of Islamic models of economic development; the processes and outcomes of economic reform; the impacts of globalisation and foreign penetration of the region; and the ways in which new industries and technologies are shaping the political economies of the region.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts and terms on Middle Eastern political economy;
  2. analyse the key dynamics of Middle Eastern political economy;
  3. assess the major theoretical ideas that have been developed by scholars to explain Middle Eastern political economy dynamics; and
  4. debate suggestions about reforms and changes that might improve the efficiency, transparency, and equity of Middle Eastern political-economic systems.

Research-Led Teaching

This is a research-led course, in which the curriculum draws from the course convenor’s own research interests, and students are asked to participate in research and critical thinking activities throughout the semester. During both lectures and tutorials, students are expected to consider diverse perspectives and collaboratively explore their understanding of topical issues in Middle East political economy. The weekly response papers and major essay support student engagement with the academic literature, and with original research. One major essay topic is left open so that students may, in consultation with the course convenor, create an original research topic. The weekly response papers foster critical engagement with the weekly readings, and several are structured as writing exercises designed to support research and writing skills.

Additional Course Costs

None expected.

Examination Material or equipment

There is no exam in this course.

Required Resources

No required resources.

There are no set textbooks for the course. Copies of or links to the required readings will be posted on Wattle before the start of the course. Where films or YouTube clips are set as preparation for a tutorial, these will be publicly available and free material: a URL and/or search terms is provided. In addition, further required or suggested reading sources will be posted on to Wattle as well.


Students should conduct their own searches for additional material, which usually will be available through the library or online.


The course assumes basic background knowledge of the Middle East. However, students with no background knowledge are very welcome, but advised to consult a textbook on Middle East politics or international relations before commencing the course.


Some books to consult include:


·          On Middle Eastern political economy: Melani Cammett, Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards, and John Waterbury, A Political Economy of the Middle East (Cheltenham: Westview Press, 2015, 4th Edn);

·          On Middle Eastern politics in general: Beverley Milton-Edwards, Contemporary Politics in the Middle East (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013, 3rd Edn);

·          On modern Middle Eastern history: Peter Mansfield, A History of the Middle East (London: Penguin, various edns);

·          On Middle Eastern international relations in particular (including good theoretical discussion and background): Fred Halliday, The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).


In addition to the books and major works available on Middle Eastern political economy, located primarily in the Chifley Library, students are encouraged to make use of periodicals available in the libraries, including Middle East Journal, Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Policy, International Journal of Middle East Studies, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, and Review of African Political Economy.


More general journals worth consulting include Review of International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, Journal of Developing Societies, World Development, Third World Quarterly, Survival, and Foreign Affairs. Most of these are available in electronic form through ANU Library databases.


Dedicated news magazines on the region include The Middle East magazine (available through Proquest) and Middle East Economic Digest (available through Factiva). The Economist, while a broader business publication, is often of use as well.

Staff Feedback

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

  • detailed written comments on the major research essay, and first response paper
  • verbal comments upon request (via consultation hours) for ongoing participation marks, response papers 2-10 and final analysis paper.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Please refer to Wattle for weekly reading lists, further assessment details, and course announcements.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview and introduction
2 Historical background Response paper 1 (on week 2 readings)
3 Actors and forces, agency and structure Response paper 2 (on week 3 readings, etc)
4 Hydrocarbons and Middle Eastern political economy Response paper 3
5 Patterns of economic liberalisation and reform Response paper 4
6 Globalisation, New Technologies, and Development Response paper 5
7 International Trade, International Relations, and Regionalism Major research essay due this week: i.e. by no later than 4.00pm on Monday 18 September 2023
8 Islamic economics and finance Response paper 6
9 Economic Reform, Civil Society, and Democratisation Response paper 7
10 Political Unrest, Conflict, and the ‘Arab Spring’ Response paper 8
11 Trends and Patterns in Middle Eastern political economy Response paper 9
12 Outlook and course conclusion Response paper 10
Final analysis paper due no later than 4pm on 31 October 2023

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will open via My Timetable. Tutorial times are listed on ANU timetables. As spaces are limited, please enrol early to ensure access to your preferred tutorial (online & in-person tutorials available).

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Major Research Essay 40 % 18/09/2023 1,2,3,4
Response papers 10 % * 1,2,3
Participation 10 % * 2,3,4
Political Economy Analysis 40 % 31/10/2023 1,2,3,4

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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.


Due to the Coronavirus crisis, lectures will be recorded and available via Echo360 on Wattle. Students are expected to attend the lecture live or listen to these recordings each week prior to the tutorial. Lecture slides or notes will also be posted on Wattle.


Attendance at tutorials, which will be held for one hour per week, is compulsory. Furthermore students are assessed on tutorial participation, with 10% of the total course mark decided on the basis of tutorial participation. Tutorial participation includes appropriate and intelligent contributions to tutorial discussions, as well as evidence of course readings having been done, absorbed and considered.


There is no formal examination in this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 18/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Major Research Essay

Assessment due date:

·       The major essay will be due by 4pm on Monday 18 September 2023.

·       It must be on a topic selected from the list to be supplied during Week 1 and made available on Wattle.

·       The essay will be assessed against Learning Outcomes 1 and 2, and in some cases against Learning Outcomes 3 and/or 4 as well, depending on the question/topic chosen.

·       It will be assessed on, and a mark awarded on the basis of, the following (in descending order of importance):

—   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:

2,500 words of main text (i.e. not counting footnotes, bibliography, any appendices, etc), with 10% leeway.


40% of the final total mark for the course

Presentation requirements:

Written assignments should be neatly-presented, word-processed, 1.5-spaced or double-spaced, include an alphabetized bibliography at the end of the assignment, use 12-pt Times or Times New Roman font. Students may choose which referencing style they prefer to use from the following options: Chicago in-text, Chicago footnoting, and Harvard in-text.

Estimated return date:

Essays will be marked and returned to students as soon as possible.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Response papers

Details of task:

·      Students will be required to write weekly response papers addressing the week’s readings, to be submitted to Wattle no later than 12pm on the day of the tutorials (Wednesday). For example: response paper 1 is due no later than 12pm on the Wednesday in week 2; response paper 2 is due 12pm on Wednesday in week 3, etc.

·      These should not simply be a summary of the reading content, but rather a reflection on the readings, demonstrating engagement with course themes and content: a good place to start might be to answer the questions posed under the weekly topics on Wattle.

·      Certain response papers may vary in format – for example, one response paper may be designed as a practice mini-essay, and another as debate preparation. These ‘special format’ response papers will be announced during tutorials in the week prior to the due date.

·      NOTE: there is no response paper in the first week; the first paper is due in week two (with a total of 10 due throughout the term, weighted to be worth 15% of the final mark). There is also no response paper in week 7, as I will be running additional consultations for the major research essay that week instead.

·      As they are the basis for in-class discussion, response papers cannot be submitted late, and extensions are not possible for this assessment.

Word limit:

Approximately 200 words per paper, or 1 page


10% of the final total mark for the course

Presentation requirements:

Written assignments should be neatly-presented, word-processed, 1.5-spaced or double-spaced, include an alphabetized bibliography at the end of the assignment, use 12-pt Times or Times New Roman font.

Estimated return date:

Response papers will be marked as complete/incomplete by the next week’s tutorial. The first response paper will be returned with written comments, but the rest will receive no written feedback. Students may make a consultation time with the course convenor to receive further feedback on response papers 2-10.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4


Details of task:


·       Attendance at tutorials is a requirement of the course, and active, intelligent and appropriate participation is assessed so as to encourage involvement and develop students’ skills in oral argument.

·       Participation will be assessed mostly against Learning Outcomes 1 and 2, and to a lesser extent/less extensively against Learning Outcomes 3 and 4 as well.

·       Participation will be given a mark out of 10, and counts for 10% of the total final course mark.

·       Participation will be assessed on, and a mark awarded on the basis of, the following (in descending order of importance):

—   How actively a student engages with tutorial discussions and debates. This will measure not how often comments are made but rather how rounded, appropriate and engaging a student’s role is. Students will be given opportunities to contribute in small group discussions as well as larger roundtables.

—   How appropriately a student contributes to a discussion (i.e. how relevant, timely and insightful an observation, comment, or point is); and

—   Whether and how clearly there is evidence that a student has done the readings for the relevant week and absorbed/considered them.

—   Marks are not given for attendance, although obviously it will be impossible to gain a high mark if attendance is poor (or any mark if there is no attendance).


Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Political Economy Analysis

Details of Task:

·       The analysis will be due by 4pm on Tuesday 31 October 2023.

·       It must address the questions and scenario posted on Wattle at 4pm on Friday 27 October 2022.

·       It will consist of two sections: one consisting of five short answer questions (100 words per question) and the other of a longer essay style scenario (1000 word essay). An alphabetised bibliography must be provided at the end of paper and referencing used as appropriate throughout. Further advice on the structure and content of the paper will be provided at one of the lectures or tutorials in the second half of the semester.

·       The analysis will be assessed against all of the Learning Outcomes for the course.

·       It will be assessed on, and a mark awarded on the basis of, the following (in descending order of importance):

—   Whether and how well the questions posed are answered;

—   Whether and how well facts and arguments, as applicable, are presented in the answers;

—   The depth and sophistication of knowledge and understanding demonstrated in the paper; and

—   Technical quality, including the accuracy and consistency of referencing style and bibliography.

Word limit:

1,500 words of main text (i.e. not counting footnotes, bibliography, any appendices, etc), with 10% leeway.


40% of the final total mark for the course

Presentation requirements:

Written assignments should be neatly-presented, word-processed, 1.5-spaced or double-spaced, include an alphabetized bibliography at the end of the assignment, use 12-pt Times or Times New Roman font. Students may choose which referencing style they prefer to use from the following options: Chicago in-text, Chicago footnoting, and Harvard in-text.

Estimated return date:

Marks will be available via Turnitin at the end of semester, however no detailed written feedback will be provided on this assessment.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission of response papers not permitted. Submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, and a mark of 0 will be awarded.

  • Late submission of major research essay and second research essay permitted. 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback on written work as specified in the assessment overviews above will be available via Turnitin. Students may request oral feedback on their tutorial participation throughout the semester.

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 resubmission of assignments in this course.

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).

Tony Allison

Research Interests

Middle East studies, especially politics, sociology, state-society relations, political economy, and international relations in the Gulf

Tony Allison

By Appointment
By Appointment
Tony Allison

Research Interests

Tony Allison

By Appointment
By Appointment

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