The course aims to enable students to achieve a clear understanding of the key issues that have shaped and are characterizing the politics of the region, its role in contemporary international politics, as well as the strategies available and employed by the main international actors towards it. Finally, it aims to investigate the usefulness and the shortcomings of (‘Western’) international relations and political science approaches and concepts to the region, highlighting both the differences and similarities between the Middle East and other political regions. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be familiar with the events, facts, and issues that have shaped and are shaping the politics of the region, and have gained a good knowledge of its trends and specific features. Lastly,students will be able to assess the effects on the region of the strategies that international powers can deploy towards it.
In recent years, the Middle East has arguably established itself as the centre of international politics or, at least, as the region that no international actor can afford to stay away from. Why? How did this happen? This course will explore the politics of the plural and changing Middle East from an international perspective, focusing on its features, internal processes, and the main problematic issues, while emphasizing its relationship with the West, itself a plural entity.