Day School: Middle East - Update

Ref: C3741559

This lecture plus Q & A session will attempt to identify three conflicts which interact with each other to produce the violence and instability evident in many of the two dozen countries in the Middle East and North Africa today. One of these underlying conflicts centres on the rivalry for power within the region by (Sunni) Saudi Arabia and (Shi'a) Iran and their respective allies. A second contest is that between autocratic ruling establishments within countries and populations wanting individual political, economic, and social freedom of choice. Thirdly an element of holy war has emerged since the end of the period of formal colonialism by western powers half a century ago. These three rivalries produce differing outcomes in the countries of the region according to the 'mix' of the three in each case. A fourth major input consists of outside interference by the USA, Russia, Britain and other powers in different Middle Eastern countries.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

This a single lecture plus Q & A session examines what it is about the Middle East which makes it today the world's most violent and politically unstable region.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior expertise is necessary but a readiness to see that simplistic explanations are probably the wrong ones would be good.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify major reasons for conflict in the Middle East.
  • Understand that transnational conflicts produce different outcomes in the two dozen countries.
  • Be aware that conflicts in different places may be linked.
  • Understand that outside powers have a big role in conflict in the Middle East - and why.
  • Understand how Middle Eastern conflict can be expressed in Europe and elsewhere.

How will I be taught?

  • As a single session this presentation will consist of a conventional lecture and Q & A discussion, with some handout material.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • As this is a single session feedback will involve the tutor's reaction to students' questions and comments - plus follow-up comment if desired.

What else do I need to know?

  • The main requirement is a willingness to see things in unfamiliar ways and to accept that simplistic good guy/bad guy analysis is misleading.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • An interest in Middle Eastern news reported in the press and media is a good basis but the session will not assume substantial prior knowledge.

What can I do next?

  • This single session ideally prompts students to look more analytically into news stories and to see that separate events and trends may be linked.

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: Middle East - Update


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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