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International Relations in the Middle East (BA)


Admission requirements



The course introduces students to key events, themes, actors and dynamics in the international relations of the modern Middle East, covering the Arab states, Iran, Israel, and Turkey, from 1945 to present. Discussions are driven by students, critically engaging with core concepts, primary news sources, and academic literature. Themes explored include: the emergence of the regional state system; regionalism and challenges to regional order; foreign interventions; regional powers, alliances and hegemonic bids; war- and peace-making.

Course objectives

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • recognize key events, themes, actors, and dynamics in the international relations of the Middle East from 1945 to present based on select readings of academic literature

  • articulate, debate, and critically assess (orally and in writing) reasoned arguments that are historically contextualized and empirically founded

  • discuss complex and controversial questions through structured dialog (explaining one’s position; attentively and respectfully considering others’ perspectives; constructively responding to feedback).

  • Identify, critically assess, and historically contextualize relevant primary news-sources in a specialized digital database (BBC Monitoring)


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


The course is a series of seminar discussions, based on weekly reading and viewing assignments. Students should expect that most of their work for this course is done in preparation for the seminars. Seminar discussions offer the opportunity to question and discuss ideas presented in the readings.
Students are required to prepare for, and actively participate in, all weekly seminars. The course is offered as part of a full-time program of studies, and therefore work commitments, holidays, or overseas travel do not constitute valid reasons for absence.

Assessment method


  • Active participation across the semester

  • Final Written Examination


  • 50% Active participation demonstrated through submission of weekly reading-notes and contribution to class discussions

  • 50% Final Written Examination

The final mark for this course is determined by the weighted average. An additional requirement is that students must pass their Final Written Examination. In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher for their Final Written Examination. The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


A resit is available only to students whose mark on the Final Written Examination was insufficient (5.49 or lower). The resit date will be set at least five working-days after the ‘fail’ grade has been issued.

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 syllabus will be posted on Brightspace two weeks before the start of the course. It is each student’s responsibility to log into the course page well in advance of the first seminar, read through the syllabus, and turn notifications on for the course to ensure they receive announcements posted by the instructor.
To receive notifications for a course on Brightspace, go to your profile in the upper right corner (click on your name), choose Notifications. Under Instant Notifications, check Announcements - new announcement and click Save.


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 information bar on the right.

  • 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.