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Politics, Ideologies, and Societies in the Middle East


Admission requirements

Requirement for BA in Modern Middle East track and successfully passed History of Middle East 1500-present or premaster students.


This course is an advanced survey of the impact of key ideological currents on the politics and societies in the Middle East from late 19th century to the present. It critically reviews how secular and religious ideologies have shaped and justified hegemonic and counterhegemonic political projects in the region. These include different forms of Nationalism (Pan-Arabism, Arab Nationalism and its local declinations such as Ba’athism) to Islamist ideologies (e.g. Wahhabism, the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, Salafism, Political Shi’ism). By adopting a historical approach, the course will also analyse the impact of global ideas and ideologies – such as Communism, Socialism, Liberalism and Neoliberalism – on the politics and societies of the Middle East. The course relies on a review of secondary literature and original documents such as manifestos and treaties.

Course objectives

The purpose of this course is to help students understand the broad political, ideological and social trends of the region, and to critically engage with existing explanations and theoretical approaches in the study of Middle Eastern Politics.


Timetable BA MOS

Mode of instruction

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 13 x 2 = 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature and preparation exam: 74 hours

  • Assignment(s): 40 hours (to do reading, research, writing, and preparing presentation)


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Sharing of reading material

  • Announcements and communication

Assessment method


  • Class attendance and participation

  • Presentation

  • In class exam with open questions

The course is an integrated whole. The in class exam and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


  • Class attendance and participation (20%)

  • Presentation (30%)

  • In class exam with open questions (50%)


There is only a resit opportunity for the in class exam, which will count for 50%.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

To be determined.



Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. M. Calculli