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POLS210 Politics of the Middle East

An introduction to the crisis-ridden affairs of the Middle East and North Africa, including spillover into the wider world. Political regimes and sources of war and terrorism across the region.

The main concepts and themes covered in the paper include the nature and impacts of tyranny, the drivers of conflict and the struggle for political participation. The course also explores the opportunities and threats to Middle Eastern societies, including the economic, environmental, social-demographic, political and geopolitical problems faced by overwhelmingly youthful populations in this vital region positioned at the centre of global affairs.

Paper title Politics of the Middle East
Paper code POLS210
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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One 100-level POLS paper or 72 points.
Schedule C
Arts and Music
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff

Dr Leon Goldsmith


Recommended readings

  • Hinnebusch, R. & Gani, J. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook to the Middle East and North African State and States System (2019).
  • Harris, W. The Levant: A Fractured Mosaic. 4th edition, Markus Wiener (2015)
  • Sadiki, Larbi (ed.) Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring: Rethinking Democratization (2015).
  • Rowe, Paul (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East (2018)
  • Harris, W. Quicksilver War: Syria, Iraq and the Spiral of Conflict (2018)
  • Gasiorowski, M and Yom, S (eds.) The Government and Politics of the Middle East. 8th edition, Westview (2016)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Reliable and balanced empirical knowledge of the political structures and actors of the Middle East; An emerging theoretical capacity for explaining and interpreting the politics of a crucial region to global affairs.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A3 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 29-34, 36-41
A4 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 29-34, 36-41
A5 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41