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Sample Courses

MEST 4301 - Politics and Economy of the Contemporary Middle East
This course serves as a general introduction to the politics and economy of the Middle East for both undergraduates (this is a capstone course) and graduates, forming the conceptual and analytical basis for further studies on this region. It covers topics such as the emergence of the state system, political dynamics of key states, the political economy of oil, and major conflicts. 
Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials. They are also expected to familiarize themselves with the readings before coming to class. Students are encouraged to stay informed on all the issues which relate to the weekly themes as events in the region can be fast moving. Time management is key – essay extensions will not be given without a valid reason, so be sure to plan your workload early.

MEST 5201 - A Critical Introduction to Middle East Studies
This is a compulsory introductory course for MA students in Middle East studies. It focuses on some of the major debates and important literature in several of the disciplines that make up Middle East area studies, including: the history and politics of colonialism, Orientalism and Occidentalism; the validity of interdisciplinary area studies as a distinct field of knowledge; gender as a category of historical and social analysis; economic and political development; modernity and globalization; and the national, regional and international politics of the Middle East with special reference to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the role of oil and secularism/Islamism.

MEST 5202 - Interdisciplinary Seminar in Middle East Studies: Mediterranean Politics
This course introduces postgraduate students to the history, institutions and foreign policy frameworks of the EU and the specific issues raised by contemporary EU interactions in the Southern Neighborhood (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia). We consider the complexities of the EU policy-making process across 28 member states. We also assess various EU foreign policy initiatives, such as the European Neighborhood Policy, and the impact of new developments within the EU such as Brexit, and across the neighborhood, such as the Arab Spring.

MEST 5202 - Interdisciplinary Seminar in Middle East Studies: Politics and Power in the Modern Middle East
This seminar engages in the analysis of the contemporary dynamics of politics and power in the Middle East since the onset of the Arab Spring. We survey political economy, war, revolts, regional and international alliances that have underpinned transitions and the status quo (ante). You should focus on what the major issues and debates are, and what domestic, regional and international forces are impacting on each actor's ability to survive and project power and influence. You should be able to present informed and cogent opinions both orally and in writing that shows your familiarity with the material and demonstrates evidence of critical thought.

MEST 5280 - Analysis of the Role of the UN and the Arab League in Middle East Conflicts: Case Studies
This course will examine in some detail the nature of the roles played by the UN and Arab League in a number of the conflicts in the region. It will explore the intricacies and complexities of these roles, their mechanisms and results, by studying milestone documents and resolutions issued by the two organizations and the conflict resolution efforts they exerted, including mediation.
Using a form of a Socratic method and in a workshop format, you will be guided through analytical discussions and critical discourses to address the subject matter of the course and its material.
The instructor will draw on his personal involvement in some of the events covered by the course, as a diplomat in the Egyptian Foreign Minister (in the UN and the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister) and his years in the League of Arab States as Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General.

MEST 5298 - Research Methods in Middle East Studies
The course aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of the social sciences and broad-based training in research methodologies. In particular, the course will focus on the students' ability to:

  • Understand the epistemological foundations and research methods in social sciences and explain the differences between them.
  • Explain the principles and procedures of drawing up a research plan.
  • Define and formulate research questions and decide on the most appropriate research method(s).
  • Analyze various qualitative data including interviews and documents.
  • Discuss and account for ethical and legal issues within social science research.