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Economies of the Middle East


Admission requirements



This course examines the economy/ies of the contemporary Middle East. It seeks to provide students with an 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 the political economy of the Middle East, and an exploration of the economic history of the region. It then tackles particular economic issues thematically, connecting these with the pertinent historical frameworks while rooting the discussion in relevant theoretical debates. The course situates the development trajectories and theoretical debates within a broader context of international economic development and transformations in the global economy.

Course objectives

1. Evaluate the path of capitalism throughout the region
2. Examine legacies of colonialism and imperialism and their impact on current economic and political conditions
3. Deepen understanding of demographic challenges and opportunities
4. Articulate the costs and benefits of import-substitution industrialization, neoliberalism, and state-led capitalism, among others
5. Discuss the impact of oil on the region, understand the concept of rentierism, and the resource curse debates
6. Examine income stagnation, poverty, and unemployment
7. Explore debates around gender and the economy
8. Interpret the region’s economy in both state/civil society and state/class paradigms
9. Become familiar with competing perspectives on development outcomes in the region

10. Contribute to a collegial learning/teaching environment
11. Develop strategic reading skills
12. Learn how to identify key arguments and debates
13. Write an argumentative, evidence-based essay using class material


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Partial Assessment Weighing
Mid-term examination 40%
Final assignment/exam 60%

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


There is a resit that counts for 100%.
To be eligible for the resit examinations, students must have taken the midterm and final examination and received a final grade below 5,49 unless they have received an exception from the Instructor or Board of Examiners for extenuating circumstances.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • The reading list will be available in the course syllabus. All required and recommended readings are available through the Leiden University library, on the online library catelogue, or other websites as indicated.

  • The main required books include Cammett, Diwan, Richards, and Waterbury, A Political Economy of the Middle East (4th edition) (2015/2019 online edition), and Adam Hanieh, Lineages of Revolt (2013) Both texts are available online on the Library catalogue.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory. General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office Herta Mohr


Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.


Students should arrive to class early. If late, they should not enter the class until the break. Students should arrive at the lectures having read the required readings, and ready to participate in class discussion.


All written assignments should be 1.5 spaced, with a standard font size (e.g. 12 pt Times New Roman or 10 pt Arial). Students should not go over the maximum page limit and should not adjust page margins.

  • Students must use one reference style accurately and consistently throughout their assignments. Chicago Manual of Style with footnotes or APA are recommended.

  • Late submissions will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hs late = -0.5; 24-48 hs late = -1.0; 48-72 hs late = -1.5; 72-96 hs late = -2.0. No assignment will be accepted more than five days after the deadline, including weekends, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Extensions are granted at the sole discretion of the instructor. Students are advised to back up their work and complete their assignments in advance. Technical difficulties and random last minute mayhem will not be accepted as valid excuses for extension.

  • Plagiarism is a serious offense and could result in a failing grade for the assignment and/or the course as well as disciplinary action by the department or the University. Students are expected to know how to source appropriately. As well, they should neither present someone else’s work as their own nor submit papers that are significantly similar in more than one course. Students should familiarize themselves with the University’s policies on plagiarism. Should they have questions or concerns about what may constitute a violation of academic integrity, they should speak with the instructor.


  • Cell phones and other mobile devices must be turned off and stored away throughout the entire class period.

  • Laptops and tablets will be permitted in the class during lectures only for the purpose of taking notes.

  • Recording is not permitted.