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PPR.345  Exploring the Persian Gulf

Tutor: Dr Simon Mabon
Term: Lent

Course Description

The module aims to help students to gain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Persian Gulf.  Specific focus will be upon the key challenges to peace and security within the region.  The module will form an academically informed, independent and critical knowledge of the Persian Gulf and the relations that states within the region have with ‘the West’.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of different approaches to studying the Persian Gulf.
  • Show an academically informed, independent and critical knowledge of key challenges to peace and security in the Persian Gulf.


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

Teaching Method

Lecture (1.5 hours) and seminar (1 hour) weekly.

Introductory Reading

Abir, M.                          Saudi Arabia: Government, Society and the Gulf Crisis,
                                      London, 1993
Ayubi, Nazi N. M.            Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Arab World,
London, Routledge, 1991
Bradley,John R.              Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis,
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
Halliday, Fred                 The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics
                                      and Ideology, Cambridge University Press, 2005
Hinnebusch, R.              The International Politic of the Middle East, Manchester
                                      University Press, 2003
Mabon, S.                       Saudi Arabia and Iran: Soft power rivalry in the Middle East,
                                      London: I.B. Tauris, 2013.

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