Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPolitics and International Relations
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ben MacQueen


The unit will examine the interplay of external and internal factors in shaping the modern political environment of the Middle East. Starting with an overview of the establishment of the state system during and after the colonial period, this unit examines, in depth, the emergence of the modern state system, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Middle East during the Cold War, the repeated conflicts in Afghanistan, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, external intervention such as the 1990-91 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the unrest that has swept the region since early 2011. In addition, this unit will unpack key thematic issues such as political Islam, democratisation, and human rights.


Upon completion of the unit, 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.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.