IR481      Half Unit
Europe, the US and Arab-Israeli Relations

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Federica Bicchi CLM. 4.13


This course is available on the MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory, MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.


A knowledge of post-1945 world history of the European Union governance system and of Middle Eastern politics is required.

Course content

The course focuses on the foreign policy of the EU and of EU member states towards Arab-Israeli relations (with a special emphasis on Palestinian-Israeli relations), in comparison with the US foreign policy. The main focus will be on the European perspective, but it would be impossible to analyse this subject without taking into account the US position and, to some extent, Transatlantic relations. After an overview of Palestine during the British mandate, the course will cover the period from 1948 to nowadays with a particular emphasis on contemporary issues. The British mandate on Palestine. The partition of Israel and the birth of Israel. Early support for Israel. The Suez crisis. The evolution of European and US policy towards Israel. The Global Mediterranean Policy. The 1973 war, the energy crisis and the Euro-Arab Dialogue. The Venice Declaration. The US and European contribution to the Arab-Israeli peace process in the 1990s. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean. Regionalism as a policy. Democracy promotion in the Middle East. The Arab Spring and its consequences for Arab-Israeli relations. Recent initiatives and their relevance. 


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Two 2,000-word essays during the course, to be marked by seminar teachers. These do not count towards the final mark.

Indicative reading

Students will be expected to read widely in appropriate books and journals. A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course. The following provide a general background to the topic: Bicchi, Federica, European Foreign Policy Making toward the Mediterranean, New York: Palgrave (2007); Fawcett, L. (2009) International Relations of the Middle East, Oxford: Oxford University Press; Lesch, David, ed. The Middle East and the United States. Boulder: Westview (2007), 4th ed. Nonneman, G. (1993) The Middle East and Europe. The Search for Stability and Integration, London: Federal Trust for Education and Research; Pardo, S. and J. Peters (2009), Uneasy Neighbours: Israel and the European Union, Lexington Books; Quandt, W.B. (1993) Peace Process. American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967, Washington /Berkeley/Los Angeles: The Brookings Institution/University of California Press; Roberson, B.A. (1998) The Middle East and Europe. The Power Deficit, London/New York: Routledge; Sayigh, Y. and Shlaim, A. (1997) (eds), The Cold War and the Middle East, Oxford: Clarendon Press; Spiegel, Steven, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict: Making America's Middle East Policy from Truman to Reagan, Chicago, 1985; Youngs, Robert, Europe and the Middle East. In the Shadow of September 11. Boulder/London: Lynne Rienner, 2006.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

The normal length of the examination paper is eight questions, of which candidates are invited to answer any two.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.5
Merit 50.9
Pass 34.5
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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