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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Social Movements and Collective Action in the Middle East (PLIT10128)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the role of social movements and collective action in the politics and international relations of the Middle East.

It explores a range of themes and case studies from the region and engages with broader social science debates on contentious politics.
Course description Welcome to Social Movements and Collective Action in the Middle East! The course examines the ideological, organisational and institutional forms people develop and use to dispute, reject or otherwise challenge established rules, norms or power relations. It explores how people have challenged political authority in the region and how states have responded and adapted to these challenges. Collective action of various forms was a key factor in the transition of the Middle East from colonial rule to independence. Authoritarian regimes not only emerged and consolidated power in the context of revolutionary and liberation movements, but have also been challenged by new episodes of contention from the Iranian Revolution to the Arab Spring and beyond. Mobilisations on the basis of class, nation, gender, territorial claims and religion have been a constant feature of Middle Eastern and North African politics over the course of the 20th century up until the present. The course examines, in historical context, a range of country cases (including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Israel) and themes related to social movements and collective action in the Middle East.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012) OR Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates (PLIT08017)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Politics of the Middle East (PLIT10036) OR Modern Middle Eastern History B: Postwar Independence and Conflict (IMES08037)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. As numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  45
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Short essay, 1500 words (30%)
Long essay, 3000 words (70%)
Feedback Essays will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of diverse forms of collective action and social movements in the Middle East, as well as a critical understanding of how relevant social science theories approach issues related to contentious politics.
  2. Critically apply social science theories to cases of collective action and social movements in the Middle East
  3. Demonstrate ability to compare and contrast Middle Eastern social movements in different countries, with an understanding of the importance of historical, cultural, geographical and other contexts.
  4. Use findings from study of contentious politics in the Middle East to inform broader debates on social movements and collective action.
Reading List
Beinin, Joel, and Frederic Vairel. 2011. Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa. Stanford University Press.

Bayat, Asef. 2013. Life as Politics How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.

Chalcraft, John. 2016. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. Cambridge University Press.

Della Porta, Donatella, and Mario Diani. 2006. Social Movements: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing.

Tilly, Charles, and Sidney Tarrow. 2015. Contentious Politics. Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
1. Critically analysing and applying theories of contentious politics, particularly to cases in the Middle East.
2. Communicating orally their own ideas on contentious politics, and engaging constructively with those of their peers.
3. Working independently, and in consultation with others, to identify and scope an area of research and devise research questions on topics related to collective action and social movements
KeywordsPolitics,Middle East
Course organiserDr Ewan Stein
Tel: (0131 6)50 4264
Course secretaryMr Brodie Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)51 3139
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