GV328      Half Unit
Middle East Politics in Transnational Perspective

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Chalcraft


This course is available on the BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in History and Politics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Data Science, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy, BSc in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is capped at one group. Priority will be given to students enrolling from the Department of Government.

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 in the Michaelmas Term. 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.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 34
2:1 58.5
2:2 7.5
Third 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2021/22: 15

Average class size 2021/22: 14

Capped 2021/22: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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