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. The lectures, course readings and simulation exercises allow students to integrate theoretical and conceptual understandings with empirical examples. The course lectures are organised according to four overarching themes; the economic landscape of the MENA (key characteristics and challenges); socio-political and economic changes in the region over the last decades; the MENA in the international system; and foreign relations in and towards the MENA.
Various assessment methods will be used to evaluate students’ abilities to carry out academic research (which includes the drafting of different types of research texts), to collaborate with peers, to think critically and apply conceptual ideas to present-day case studies and contexts, and to present research findings and outcomes to an audience.