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. Traveling between University buidlings from Leiden to The Hague takes about 45 minutes.
This course provides an overview of major events and processes that have shaped the contemporary Middle East from the late 18th century until the present. It focuses on political, social and intellectual developments in specific countries and the region as a whole. It analyses the transformation of the political landscape of the region from the decline of the Ottoman Empire to the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Uprisings. It reviews major intellectual debates in the historiographies of the modern Middle East, whilst focusing on specific events and structural phenomena. These include the enduring influence of external powers from European colonial and mandatory rule to the ‘global war on terror’; the emergence and transformation of Turkish, Arab and Persian nationalisms in the 20th century and their impact on the Middle East state-system; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its longstanding consequences on the region; the politics of oil; the Iranian Revolution and the various faces of Political Islam; the Gulf Wars (1990-91; 2003); the 2011 Arab uprisings and the rise of 21st century jihadi movements. The method of the course rests on comparative historiography and analysis of primary documents, historical narratives, and film excerpts to render these developments more tangible to students.
The student has:
Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors and events and has familiarised him-/herself with the academic understanding of history and the history specific to the area, with an emphasis on the last two centuries. Furthermore, the student has acquired a basic understanding of the theories used in the field of History and those with specific relevance to the Area History. Finally the student has acquired the basic research skills, which he/she has put into practice for the first time in the shape of a small individual research project.
Acquired knowledge and understanding of the concepts and conceptual structures relevant for the study of history from an area perspective, i.e. local, national, regional but also transnational and from a comparative, international and global perspective.
A basic understanding of the methodologies used in the field of History. Both the methods and theories will be explained and activated through exercises based on the handbook common to all Area History courses and used for the overall History track in the programme. Robert Williams, The Historian's Toolbox; A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History will be the common frame of reference. The student will make a first attempt to put into practice one relevant method in an individual research project.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor 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).
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 24 hours
Attending tutorials: 12 hours
Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours
Study of compulsory literature: (approximately 7 pages per hour): 64 hours
Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 36 hours
Midterm exam: Written examination with (short) open questions.
Final exam: Written examination with open questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of tutorial, midterm exam and final exam.
The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the resit exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
Cleveland, William. History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2017 (6th Edition) ISBN: 978-0-8133-4980-0
Other selected readings will be made available on Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis can be found here.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.
All other information.