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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 Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, the syllabus will cover all of the following topics:

  • Pre-oil socio-political characteristics and dynamics of the Gulf states
  • The politics of oil and rent in the Gulf; historical review of political reform trends in the Gulf
  • Politics and reform in Saudi Arabia Politics and reform in Kuwait
  • Politics and reform in Bahrain Politics and reform in Oman
  • Politics and reform in Qatar
  • Politics and reform in the UAE
  • Politics and reform in Iran
  • Politics and reform in Yemen
  • Towards democratisation or liberalised autocracy?

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity 13Lectures and convenor-facilitated discussions regarding materials covered in lecture
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity 9Group presentations and class discussion regarding presentations
Guided Independent Study33Reading for class;
Guided Independent Study95Preparing for assignments through researching, planning and writing an essay.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

  • Gulf States Newsletter (GSN) and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s reports on the Gulf states, electronically;
  • The International Crisis Group’s reports at;
  • Human Rights Watch (Middle East) produces good reports on the Gulf states:
  • Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) (weekly)