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Economics: Middle East


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


This course examines the economy/ies of the contemporary Middle East. It seeks to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the political economy of the region and its economic conditions and equip them to analyse these in a sound and critical manner. The course begins with a broad overview of the ways scholars have conceptualized Middle East economy and an exploration of the economic history of the region. It then tackles particular economic concerns in a thematic way, connecting these with the pertinent historical framework while rooting the discussion in relevant theoretical debates.


  1. Introduction: Conceptualising the Middle East Economy
  2. Economic History and Development
  3. Topics in Economic History of the Region
    4.The Role of the State in the Economy
  4. Region Types and Patterns of Economic Growth
  5. Charting Neoliberalism
  6. Demographic Change and Urban Political Economy
  7. Labour Markets and the Environment
  8. Oil and Rentierism
  9. Wealth Management, FDI, and Aid
  10. Gender and the Economy
  11. Financial Crises and the Uprisings

Course objectives

  • Evaluate the course of capitalism throughout the region

  • Examine legacies of imperialism and their impact on current economic and political conditions

  • Deepen understanding of demographic challenges and opportunities

  • Articulate the costs and benefits of import-substitution industrialisation, neoliberalism, state-led capitalism

  • Discuss the impact of oil on the region and understand the resource curse debate

  • Examine income stagnation, poverty, and rising unemployment

  • Explore gender inequities in the region and the potential development benefits of closing the gender gap

  • Interpret the region’s economy in both state/civil society and state/class paradigms


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; tri-weekly tutorials.

Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform the tutor of the course in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks: 24 hrs

  • Attending attending tutorials 2 hours per three weeks: 8 hrs

  • Assessment hours (midterms and final exam): 4 hrs

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 68 hrs

  • Time for completing assignments, preparation classes and exams: 36 hrs

Assessment method


Midterm Exam:
Written examination with closed questions and short answer questions

Final exam:
Written Examination with close questions, short answer questions, and short essay.


Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40 %

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  1. Melani Cammett, Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards, John Waterbury. A Political Economy of the Middle East, 4th Edition. Boulder: Westview Press, 2015
    1. Adam Hanieh. Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013.
    2. Other course readings are available in electronic format through the library website or from other online sources.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For tutorials
Dr. C.A. Ennis