Freestanding Courses

Every year CMES offers courses to any student aspiring to a deeper understanding of the political, social, cultural, economic, and religious developments in the contemporary Middle East. These courses have a limited number of seats. To apply please visit

The application period for the Fall courses is mid-March to mid-April.

The application period for the Spring courses is mid-September to mid-October


Courses Spring 2019

CMEN18: Middle Eastern Studies: Exploring Religion in Contemporary Middle Eastern Societies

Course coordinator: Torsten Janson

Religion remains a key factor in Middle Eastern societies, thoroughly affecting public debates, political structures, power mechanisms, gender relations and identity processes. This course provides an opportunity to explore such processes from theoretical as well as empirical perspectives. How do religious norms, debates and practices interrelate with broader socio-economical and politico-strategic factors? And how can we study and evaluate the broader effects of religious discourse and practice (and the critique thereof) in its emergent manifestations? Read further (PDF)

Literature (PDF)

CMEN19: Middle Eastern Studies: Middle Eastern Refugees in the Global North

Course coordinator: Dalia Abdelhady

A substantial number of people from the Middle East migrate to those countries that can be collected under the term ‘the Global North’. Many of these people who travel ‘north’ seek asylum. In 2015 alone, more than a million of forced-displaced people left behind their homes in the Middle East and migrated to, among other Global Northern geographies such as Australia or Canada, the European Union. This course will analyse the cultural, political, economic and legal dimensions of seeking asylum from the Middle East in the Global North. Read further (PDF) 


CMEN21: Environment and sustainable development in the Middle East

Course coordinator: Hussein Hashemi

The course covers the issues of environmental effects of natural resources management and the political, social, and economical dimensions involved. The main objective is to put land and water management and their environmental effects in the Middle East into a holistic and sustainable perspective in view of development. Read further (PDF)

Literature (PDF)


CMEN23: Political Economy and Development in the Middle East

Course coordinator: Darcy Thompson

The course introduces students to the political economy of the Middle East by examining key issues relating to the socio-economic and political conditions, structures, institutions, and policy challenges which characterise the region today. Topics of focus in this course include natural resources, and resource inequality in the region, current and long term economic and development issues, governance struggles, and the influence of external actors in domestic and regional affairs. Read further (PDF)