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

This intensive course is designed to acquaint students with some of the more important problems, concepts and ideas related to the process of transformation of the Middle Eastern political economies. While paradigms of sustainable economic growth and equitable distribution of wealth will be among the central concerns of the course, its scope will be much broader, dealing with the fundamental questions of where these societies are headed, by which paths, and with what human consequences.

The course will combine theoretical and comparative approaches to change in the Middle East with the advancement of empirical knowledge concerning individual experiences of the Arab states, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Afghanistan. In discussing what constitutes ‘development’ and how it can be measured, various currents in contemporary discourse about development (or in reaction against development) will be examined, using Western and indigenous perceptions. The course will seek to integrate the themes of globalisation, the emergence of new social movements, crises of rentierism and corporatism, and neo-patriarchy into the narrative of change in the Middle East.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. interpret global challenges faced by the world in general and the Middle East in particular;
  2. assess the experiences of Middle Eastern states and societies with "development" and the implications of economic adjustment for communities at the meso- and micro-level;
  3. re-evaluate the concepts and theories contained within the existing "development" and "modernisation" frameworks;
  4. analyse scholarly criticism of developmentalism, both from within the field of development studies, and from outside it; and
  5. examine critically the praxis of development based on the Washington Consensus and neo-liberalism.

Other Information

Issues of Development in Middle East

Indicative Assessment

  1. Development Policy Brief (1,500 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. 15 minute seminar presentation (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Development Policy Assessment (4,000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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, conducted over 5 weeks.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed overview text for this course. Readings will be made available to students at the start of the course.

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

The course assumes only basic background knowledge of the Middle East, and the early few weeks are devoted to background and contextual issues. However, students with no background knowledge are advised to consult a textbook on Middle East politics or political economy before commencing the course. Some books to consult include: 

On Middle Eastern politics in general: Beverley Milton-Edwards, Contemporary Politics in the Middle East (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006, 2nd Edn);

On modern Middle Eastern history: Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, (London: Faber and Faber, 1991) or Peter Mansfield, A History of the Middle East (London: Penguin, various edns);

On Middle Eastern political economy and development: Clement M. Henry and Robert Springborg, Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East, 2nd Ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). 

Students are strongly encouraged to keep up to date with relevant journals on the Middle East, including The Middle East Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, Middle East Report, Journal of Arabian Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of North African Studies, and International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies. All of these routinely have articles on political economy and development issues that are of use for weekly seminar preparation and essay research. 

Broader political science and international relations journals are useful, especially Foreign Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Developing Societies, World Development, Development and Change, The Washington Quarterly, Survival, International Affairs, and International Organization


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

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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