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POLS210 Tyranny, Terror and the 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 paper explores the comparative politics and international relations of Middle Eastern countries, including non-state and sub-state entities. We investigate state, nation, sectarianism, gender, autocracy, and democracy in the Middle Eastern context. The paper accords special attention to the post-2010 Arab uprisings, the continuing Syria and Iraq crises, jihadism, and Israeli-Palestinian affairs.

Paper title Tyranny, Terror and the Politics of the Middle East
Paper code POLS210
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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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
Professor William Harris

Recommended readings

  • Fawcett, Louise (ed.) The International Relations of the Middle East. 4th edition, Oxford (2016)
  • Gasiorowski, M and Yom, S (eds.) The Government and Politics of the Middle East. 8th edition, Westview (2016)
  • Harris, W. The Levant: A Fractured Mosaic. 4th edition, Markus Wiener (2015)
  • Schwedler, J (ed.) Understanding the Contemporary Middle East. 4th edition, Rienner (2014)
  • MacQueen, B. An Introduction to Middle East Politics. Sage (2013)
Course outline

View a sample course outline for POLS 210. (Students taking this paper should refer to blackboard for the current course outline)

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Nuanced understanding of a different political and cultural environment.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-16, 18-22
Thursday 16:00-16:50 9-16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 10-15, 19-21
A2 Monday 10:00-10:50 10-15, 19-21
A3 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 10-15, 19-21
A4 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 10-15, 19-21
A5 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 10-15, 19-21