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PLT2460 - Crisis Zone: the International Relations of the Middle East

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Shahram Akbarzadeh


Caulfield Second semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This subject will examine the interplay of external and internal factors in conflict situations in the crisis zone of the Middle East. It will cover the role of foreign powers in five main case studies:

  1. Egypt's nationalisation of the Suez canal and the impact of the subsequent war on the radicalisation of Egyptian politics.
  2. Arab/Israeli conflict and the role of the United States. 3. Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War of 1990-1991.
  3. The American-led campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
  4. The war on Iraq and its impact on relations between the West and the Muslim states of the Middle East.


By the end of their study of this subject, students will have:

  1. Deepened their understanding of the relationship between the great powers and Middle Eastern societies.
  2. Understood the significance of major events for relations between the Muslim Middle East and the West, primarily the United States.
  3. Identified, analysed and evaluated the dynamics of relations between the internal politics of the Middle East and external factors.
  4. Gained sufficient information and research skills to formulate their own essay questions.
  5. Developed their own views on the prospects of relations between the Muslim Middle East and the United States.
  6. Gained a holistic appreciation of international relations and will be in a position to apply that analytical tool to the study of other international relations units.
  7. Improved their written skills by producing two well-reasoned and well-documented essays.


1.Research Essay (3000 words): 50%
2.Examination 2 hour (1500 words):40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week