Crisis Zone: Middle Eastern Politics

Subject ISLM20015 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment to Study 8.5
Prerequisites: Completion of 12.5 points from any Arts studies area at level one.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh


A/Prof S Akbarzadeh

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 US-led campaign in Afghanistan. and the 2003 war on Iraq and its impact on relations between the West and the Muslim states of the Middle East. 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.

  • have an understanding of the major political issues which have shaped the modern Middle East from the early 20th century.
  • have an appreciation of the impact of external actors in the political history of the Middle East.
  • have an understanding of the ways in which religion has been used by political actors in the region.
Assessment: A 2500 word essay 40% (due mid semester) and a final written 2 hour exam 60% (due during the examination period).
Prescribed Texts:

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

Recommended Texts: None.
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
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • have a critical understanding of the ways in which Middle Eastern politics are represented in the Australian/Western media.
  • have improved oral skills through active participation in tutorials .
  • have improved writing and research skills through the completion of the essay and an enhanced ability to write under pressure through the exam .
Notes: None.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Studies Major
Islamic Studies
Islamic Studies
Islamic Studies
Islamic Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics && International Studies

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