GV328      Half Unit
Middle East Politics in Transnational Perspective

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Chalcraft CON.5.16


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course is capped at one group. The deadline for enrolments is 12:00 noon on Friday 5 October 2018.


No pre-requisites.

Course content

This course offers an advanced introduction to the contemporary politics of the Middle East and North Africa in transnational perspective. It takes a critical, sociological, historically-informed, and qualitative approach, with a particular focus on cross-border structures of power and forms of resistance. We study such topics as transnational revolutionary movements, the new religious politics, neoliberalism, monarchy and migration, feminism, counter-insurgency, authoritarianism across borders, the regional uprisings of 2011, and horizontalism and radical democracy. Students will develop an advanced introductory understanding of the transnational politics of the region.


15 hours of lectures and 11 hours of seminars in the MT.

There is no teaching scheduled in reading week, but one of the seminars (of the total of 11) will be a (compulsory) essay writing workshop scheduled towards the end of Week 5 (most likely Thursday). In other words, there will be two seminars in Week 5.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

Abdelrahman, Maha. 2011.’The Transnational and the Local: Egyptian Activists and Transnational Protest Networks’ British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, (Dec), Vol.38: 3: 407-424.

Achcar, Gilbert. 2004. Eastern Cauldron: Islam, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq in a Marxist Mirror. New York: Monthly Review Press

Chalcraft, John. 2016. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. Cambridge University Press.

Khalili, Laleh. 2012. Time in the Shadows. Stanford University Press.

Massad, Joseph. 2002. ‘Re-orienting desire: the Gay International and the Arab World’ Public Culture, Vol.14 (2).

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2015. ‘Transnational Feminist Activism and Movement Building’ The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements, Rawwida Baksh and Wendy Harcourt eds. Oxford University Press.

Owen, Roger. 2002. The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Patel, David, Valerie Bunce, and Sharon Wolchik. 2014. ‘Diffusion and Demonstration’ in The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East. Marc Lynch ed. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 57-74.

Rodriguez, Robyn Magalit. 2011. ‘Philippine Migrant Workers' Transnationalism in the Middle East’ International Labor and Working-Class History, No. 79, (Spring 2011), pp. 48-61.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

3000 word essay, 100%

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Capped 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication