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Prospectus

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Politics: Middle East

Course
2019-2020

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.

Description

This course offers students in the International Studies program an introduction to the Politics of the Middle East. The course will start with a broad overview of the main developments between late nineteenth and early twenty first century, in order to provide a background setting for the next lectures. When possible we will draw on case studies, stressing commonalities as well as diversity among Middle East nations. Additionally, the four tutorial sessions will allow for a more indepth exploration of particular topics.

In every lecture there will be an intermission during which the lecturer will convene a talk show session (‘Shisha Café’) with several students. The students are free to participate and a good performance can earn them a maximum of 0.5 point addition to their final grade.

Course objectives

  • Students get an overview of the historical and contemporary political developments / dynamics in their chosen area and deepen their existing knowledge and understanding of different political systems, political institutions, political processes and actors in the different regions / countries of the region, using the concepts acquired during the course Politics.

  • Students get acquainted with academic debates on selected topics in the specific region.

  • Students learn how to write a literature review (2,500 words).

  • Students critically engage with advanced academic texts (summarise, analyse, and critically reflect on the validity of the arguments made in these texts).

  • Students apply theories, concepts and research techniques relevant to the field of comparative politics.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures

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

Tutorials are held once every three 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. Being absent at more than one of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (30% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first session. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.

Course Load

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

Component Estimated time
Attending lectures 24 hours
Attending tutorials 8 hours
Assessment hours (exams) 4 hours
Study of compulsory literature 64 hours
Completing assignments, preparing for classes and exams 40 hours

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Midterm Exam:

    Written examination with 5 open essay questions (50% of grade) and multiple choice questions (50% of grade).

  • Final Exam:

    Written examination with 5 open essay questions (50% of grade) and multiple choice questions (50% of grade).

  • BONUS:

    maximum of 0,5 point added to the final grade for participation in the ’Shisha Café’. The bonus grade is based on the quality of the written notes on the topic assigned, and participation in a round table discussion. Further details are provided on Blackboard.

Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

End Grade

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 grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.

  • This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.

Resit

If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), 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 2019 – 2020.

Exam review 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 organised.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

Required reading materials will be announced on Blackboard before the beginning of the course.

Registration

  • Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Prof.dr. M.S. Berger LLM

When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.

Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies