Crisis Zone: Middle Eastern Politics

Subject ISLM30015 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

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:

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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Kylie Baxter


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 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.

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. Also students will build an awareness of the impact of Middle Eastern politics on American and We

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 2,500 word essay 50% (due week 9), a 2-hour written examination 40% (due during the examination period) and continuous tutorial participation 10%

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. 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
Islamic Studies
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): Islamic Studies

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