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

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Federica Bicchi CLM. 4.13


This course is available on the MSc in EU Politics, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory 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 East 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 birth of the "special relationship" between the US and Israel. 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 European Neighborhood Policy. Western democracy promotion and trade. Western aid to the Palestinians. The legalisation of relations with Israel. The collapse of the peace process and attempts at reviving it.


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.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

One 2,000-word essay during the course and one presentation (or alternatively two 2000-word essays), 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. (2013) International Relations of the Middle East, 3rd ed.,Oxford: Oxford University Press; Lesch, David, ed. The Middle East and the United States. Boulder: Westview (2012), 5th ed.; 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; 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.

Teachers' comment

The course makes wide use of media for teaching purposes. Google Earth, a video game simulating Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and video clips, including of interviews with experts, are among the material used to enlighten the debate in lectures and seminars. Other video and audio material is also used and posted on Moodle for personal use.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: 19

Average class size 2015/16: 10

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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