POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in the Middle East

Academic Year 2021/2022

The Middle East is considered one of the most conflict-laden regions in the world. Why has conflict in this region emerged, and why does it continue to exist? In this module, we explore these questions by studying the psychology of political actors involved in conflict (both violent and nonviolent) in the Middle East and North Africa. First, we introduce psychological frameworks that help us understand conflict more generally. Then we apply these frameworks to recent and historical conflicts in the region, including the rise of violent groups like ISIS, recent mass mobilization against Arab rulers (the Arab Spring), as well as earlier mobilization conducted by opposition movements like the Muslim Brothers, or the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should: - have systematic understanding of the value of psychology to study political conflict, including advantages and limits- be able to evaluate key debates on conflict in the Middle East, and understand their underlying theories- have extensive knowledge of psychological approaches and concepts related to political conflict- be able to critically evaluate these approaches and concepts and apply them to current political behavior- be able to develop and present a small research project, which could be developed into a thesis project

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
active/task-based learning; peer and group work; lectures; debates; case-based learning; student presentations; field trip

In the fall of 2020, the field trip and all other module components will be moved online (due to the Covid crisis). 
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
Continuous Assessment: Writing assignments Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Essay: Final paper Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


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

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

We will discuss the assignments in class (before and after submission).