GV4J8      Half Unit
Middle East Politics in Transnational Perspective

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Chalcraft


This course is available on the MSc in Gender (Rights and Human Rights), MSc in Political Science (Conflict Studies and Comparative Politics), MSc in Political Science (Global Politics) and MSc in Political Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

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 seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 25 hours in the Autumn Term. There will be a reading week in Week 6 of Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

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

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 PressPratt, 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%, 5000 words) in the WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 21.2
Merit 67.1
Pass 11.8
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2022/23: 15

Average class size 2022/23: 7

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

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