MEST 5201 – A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO MIDDLE EAST STUDIES
This is a compulsory introductory course for MA students in Middle East studies. It focuses on some of the major debates and important literature in several of the disciplines that make up Middle East area studies, including: the history and politics of colonialism, Orientalism and Occidentalism; the validity of interdisciplinary area studies as a distinct field of knowledge; gender as a category of historical and social analysis; economic and political development; modernity and globalization; and the national, regional and international politics of the Middle East with special reference to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the role of oil and secularism/Islamism.
MEST 5298 – RESEARCH METHODS IN MIDDLE EAST STUDIES
The course aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of the social sciences and a broad-based training in research methodologies. In particular, the course will focus on the students’ ability to:
- Understand the epistemological foundations and research methods in social sciences and explain the differences between them.
- Explain the principles and procedures of drawing up a research plan.
- Define and formulate research questions and decide on the most appropriate research method(s).
- Analyze various qualitative data including interviews and documents.
- Discuss and account for ethical and legal issues within social science research.
MEST 4301 – POLITICS AND ECONOMY OF THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST
This course serves as a general introduction to the politics and economy of the Middle East for both undergraduates (this is a capstone course) and graduates, forming the conceptual and analytical basis for further studies on this region. It covers topics such as the emergence of the state system, political dynamics of key states, the political economy of oil, and major conflicts.
MEST 5280 – POLITICS OF THE GULF
This course introduces the theoretical frameworks, history and geo-strategic significance of the Gulf States, with an emphasis on the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman). It then goes on to examine in detail the major events, actors, trends and policies affecting the Gulf States, and increasingly the policies being pursued by them.
By the end of the course, students should have:
- Demonstrated an ability to locate, appraise and utilize information on the Gulf states
- Demonstrated an understanding of the main issues and concepts related to the politics of the Gulf
- Demonstrated an ability to assess Gulf politics through a variety of analytical approaches
- Demonstrated skills in promoting a line of argument in verbal and written forms
- Demonstrated an ability to analyze and synthesize a variety of information in different forms