GV328      Half Unit
Middle East Politics in Transnational Perspective

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Chalcraft


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, 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, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. 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. Priority will be given to students enrolling from the Department of Government.


No pre-requisites.

Course content

This course offers an advanced introduction to the politics of the Middle East and North Africa in transnational perspective. It takes a critical, sociological, historically-informed, and qualitative approach. It focuses on cross-border forms of resistance and subaltern activism. We study such topics as transnational revolutionary movements, Third World national liberation, popular movements on the Arabian peninsula, feminism, Salafi-Wahhabism, human rights advocacy, and transnational Palestinian activism. Students will develop an advanced introductory understanding of the transnational politics of the region.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 26 hours across Michaelmas Term. Some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus lectures and classes. 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. 2007. ‘The Nationalization of the Human Rights Debate in Egypt’, Nations and Nationalism, 13(2), pp. 285–300; Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2013. Do Muslim Women Need Saving? Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press; Chalcraft, John. 2016. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. Cambridge University Press; Farquhar, Michael. 2017. Circuits of Faith: Migration, Education and the Wahhabi Mission. Stanford: Stanford University Press; Featherstone, David. 2012. Solidarity: Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism. London: Zed Books; Gill, Stephen. 2000. ‘Towards a Post-Modern Prince? The Battle in Seattle as a Moment in the New Politics of Globalisation’. Millennium, 29, 1: 131-40; Moghadam, V. M. 2012. ‘Global Social Movements and Transnational Advocacy’. In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology John Wiley and Sons, pp. 408-420; Perugini, Nicola and Neve Gordon. 2015. The Human Right to Dominate. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Prashad, Vijay. 2007. The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World. New York: New Press; Pratt, Nicola. 2007. ‘The Queen Boat case in Egypt: sexuality, national security and state sovereignty’ Review of International Studies (2007), 33, 129–144; Tarrow, Sidney. 2001. ‘Transnational Politics: Contention and Institutions in International Politics’ Annual Review of Political Science 2001 4:1, 1-20.


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

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2019/20: 15

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Capped 2019/20: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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