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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA3163: Politics and Reform in the Gulf

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Aims

The module aims to provide an understanding of political dynamics in the Gulf states in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The core focus of the module is the debate over whether authoritarianism is likely to persist in the region, or whether recent political developments in the region bear witness of the beginning of a so-called ‘Gulf spring.’ Moreover this module is designated to provide you with a better and nuanced understanding of the individual regimes in contemporary Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf in comparative perspective. A further aim of the course is to develop your analytical thinking skills as independent researchers and to develop intellectual ability to place issues discussed in a wider context, beyond common knowledge immediately available in the media.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. locate, appraise and use the main sources of information and data relating to the politics of the states of the Arabian Peninsula and Iran;
2. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the main issues in the politics of the Gulf monarchies, Yemen and Iran;
3. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of different analytical approaches towards the study of the political systems of the region, and a capacity to make informed judgements regarding the similarities and contrasts of different Gulf polities;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. comparatively analyse political factors and dynamics to draw from broader concepts in comparative politics and democratization;
5. draw on the wider area studies sources and literature relating to the Gulf region;
Personal and Key Skills6. demonstrate skills of reasoned and supported argumentation in writing and in oral presentation;
7. demonstrate skills of independent research and teamwork; and
8. demonstrate skills of finding, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources.
9. demonstrate skills of using and appraising knowledge, theory and methodology in a critical, evaluative, analytical and exploratory way.