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PPR.334: The Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Politics of the Middle East

Tutor: TBC
Term: Not available 2013/14

Course Description

This course introduces students to politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the major issues, moments and actors in the key states in the Middle East. The course commences by introducing the region broadly in terms of geography, demography, history and religion. We then turn to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine, where the course endeavours to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict - its origins, evolution and possibilities for peaceful resolution. The course then focuses on the emergence of key states and actors in the region, covering the history and politics of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq. Throughout the term watershed moments in the region such as the Iranian Revolution, the Lebanese civil war and the Gulf Wars (Iran/Iraq, Iraq/Kuwait) are examined. We also examine more recent events up to the contemporary situation. These include: the events of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2006 Israel/Hezbollah war and the 2008 Gaza conflict.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Show a detailed analytical understanding of the main developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • Explain the relationship between the major actors.
  • Evaluate the various approaches to understanding the issues raised by the Arab-Israeli conflict.


40% coursework and 60% exam.
Coursework: 1 essay of 3000 words. Exam: 2 hours.

Teaching Method

1 workshop (2 hours) weekly.

Introductory Reading

Cleveland W A History of the Modern Middle East

Milton-Edwards B & Hinchcliffe P Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 (available as an e-book through Lancaster library)

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