POL41920 Political Behaviour in the Middle East and North Africa

Academic Year 2019/2020

The 2011 Arab Uprisings have brought the grievances of Arab citizens to the fore. Youth but also many ordinary citizens that had been excluded from politics for decades participated in large scale demonstrations, and, in some countries, in the first meaningful elections of their lives. While most autocratic regimes came out on top of the crises, the scale of the protests highlighted the important connections between grievances, political participation, and political choice in the Middle East and North Africa.
This module explores political behavior in the MENA both from the perspective of citizens and opposition movements. It makes use of the large array of public opinion data that has been generated in Arab countries over the past decade on issues ranging from views on democracy, support for terrorism, social capital, appraisals of performance of state institutions, and political participation. In the first part of the module, we will use these data to learn about citizens' view of democracy, institutions and their grievances and political participation and combine them with macro-level indicators about different MENA countries. In the second part, we will use content analysis to code party platforms and focus group data to learn whether parties are able to address key grievances of their citizens.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Knowledge of key issues and debates on contemporary MENA political behaviour
- Understand citizen preferences in the MENA
- Appraise the link between grievances and political behavior in the MENA
- Ability to make simple use of Arab public opinion data
- Ability to use content analysis
- Presentation skills
- Research paper writing skills

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
- lectures
- group work
- data analysis
- student presentations 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Project: Term Paper Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Active Participation
Discussion Questions
Country Report
Thematic Presentation
Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.