Crisis Zone: Middle Eastern Politics

Subject ISLM30015 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

Time commitment totals 170 hours.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Kylie Baxter



Subject Overview:

This subject will examine the interplay of external and internal factors in inflaming conflict and tension in the Middle East, dubbed the 'crisis zone’. It will cover the role of foreign powers in a number of case studies: the Arab/Israeli conflict. Iran-Iraq war. the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the war on Terror, the Arab Uprisings and the rise of the Islamic Sate. These case studies will illustrate the difficulties in separating ‘national’ from ‘international politics’ and provide a nuanced appreciation of international relations in this vital region.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will attain a detailed knowledge of the political history of the contemporary Middle East through a study of regional religions, political movements and case studies, including the colonial period, Arab-Israeli conflict, US foreign policy, Iranian politics, the Gulf Wars and the Arab Uprisings. The major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries will be contextualized within broader international relations.

Develop a strong understanding of the importance of Middle Eastern and Islamic politics in the global order.

Acquire the ability to undertake independent research and develop argumentative writing skills. Time management skills and the ability to produce under pressure through the exam. Enhanced confidence in public speaking skills and the presentation of an argument through continual participation in small group discussions, role playing activities and in class debates.

  • A 2500 word essay due week 9 (50%)
  • A 2 hour written examination due during the examination period (40%)
  • Continuous tutorial participation (10%)

Hurdle requirement: Class attendance is required for this subject; if you do not attend a minimum of 75% of classes without an approved exemption you will not be eligible for a pass in this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Baxter and Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: the rise anti-Americanism, Routledge, 2008

Recommended Texts:

Akbarzadeh Shahram, America’s Challenges in the Greater Middle East, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies Major
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Islamic Studies
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): Islamic Studies

Download PDF version.