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

Undergraduate Course: The Persian Gulf in International Relations (PLIT10142)

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
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to the international politics of the Persian Gulf, specifically the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates), Iraq, Iran and Yemen from the protectorate period until the current day. A sub-region of intense and enduring international interest and engagement, the course also considers the foreign policies of external powers (US, UK, Russia and China) towards this distinct important sub-region of the Middle East and the explanatory problems that it presents for International Relations theory.
Course description The geopolitical position of the Persian Gulf ensures that it is an enduring foreign policy interest to states both within and external to the Gulf region. Before delving into contemporary issues, this course begins with an historical overview of the security politics of the Persian Gulf shaped initially by the British Empire's Persian Gulf Residency and its subsequent security conventions.

Each week will then address a contemporary issue in the international relations of the Persian Gulf including: The Iranian Revolution; US, UK, Russia and China policy in the Gulf; Competition for Dominance: Saudi Arabia and Iran; Energy politics: Oil, Gas, Nuclear and the Strait of Hormuz; Collective Security and the Gulf Cooperation Council; Regional Crises: The Iran-Iraq War, The First Gulf War, The Arab Spring, Yemen War, The GCC Diplomatic Crisis 2017. Topics covered will depend on contemporary developments.
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)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who lack the compulsory pre-requisites but have completed comparable courses should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
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:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A 1600 word book review - 30% of the total grade«br /»
A 3000 word essay - 60% of the total grade«br /»
Seminar participation - 5% of the total grade«br /»
Seminar presentation - 5% of the total grade
Feedback - Written feedback on all assessed work shall normally be returned within three weeks of submission.
- Written feedback on the Book Review assessment will be returned before the Essay assessment submission deadline.
- Verbal feedback on participation is available during the course organiser's guidance and feedback hours throughout the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the international relations of the Persian Gulf.
  2. Place contemporary dynamics within a broader historical, social and political context.
  3. Apply this knowledge to larger explanatory controversies in international relations theory.
  4. Demonstrate enhanced communication and critical debate skills through participation in seminar discussions and written assessments.
Reading List
Anoush Ehteshami & Raymond Hinnesbusch (eds.) The Foreign Policies of Middle East States (Lynne Rienner, 2014)

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf : A Cultural Genealogy, (Routledge 2006)

F. Gregory Gause, The International Relations of the Persian Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen Insecure Gulf: the End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era (Columbia University Press, 2011)

Mehran Kamrava (ed) The International Politics of the Persian Gulf (Syracuse University Press, 2011)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students should have developed and strengthened their skills in:
- critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas complex arguments and conceptualisations, and using them to develop an independent line of argument.
- specialist knowledge of IR in the Persian Gulf, demonstrating an understanding of major current issues and relevant IR theories and terminology.
- communication of complex information, presenting it orally, visually and in writing to a range of audiences.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Lucy Abbott
Tel: (0131 6)50 8254
Course secretaryMs Agata Lebiedzinska
Tel: (01316) 515197
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