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POLS326 Politics of the Arabian Peninsula

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An exploration of the politics of the Arabian Peninsula states. Considers the domestic political landscapes of the various states, the dynamics amongst them, and their interactions with external actors.

The Arabian Peninsula captures the imagination as a timeless land steeped in tradition, culture and faith. It is also the last global sub-region where absolute monarchy is the rule rather than the exception. Yet the states of the Arabian Peninsula constitute a land of immense diversity, rapid change, as well as risk and opportunity. This paper offers an academic and practical journey into this region at the core of the Arab-Islamic world. It supplies students with empirical, conceptual, theoretical, comparative and cultural-linguistic tools to be able to engage with the region on multiple levels.

Paper title Politics of the Arabian Peninsula
Paper code POLS326
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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18 200-level POLS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Basic knowledge of the principles of comparative politics or international relations or political economy would be beneficial.


Teaching staff

Dr. Leon Goldsmith

Teaching Arrangements

The paper involves direct engagement and exchange with partners in the region through online platforms and other forms of engagement. It also includes some basic introductory conversational language instruction.


Text books are not required for this paper. Course readings will be available through e-reserve.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective; Interdisciplinary Perspective; Communication; Information Literacy; Cultural Understanding; Critical Thinking
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Be familiar with key literature and empirical knowledge of the Arabian Peninsula from political, economic, geographical and socio-cultural perspectives.
  • Develop a level of awareness of the unique cultural and religious characteristics of the Arabian peninsula.
  • Capacity for critical analysis of past, present and potential future developments in the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Ability to work in team-based learning groups with the opportunity to engage in constructive cross-cultural discussions, debates, and scenarios.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15-16, 18-22
A2 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10-13, 15-21
A3 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 10-13, 15-21