MENA in International Perspective: globalization and regionalization I
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIPPSB220
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
dr. M.J.M. de Koning
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. M.J.M. de Koning
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.J.M. de Koning
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R. Meijer
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
SEM1  (31/08/2020 to 24/01/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

In the first part, you will acquire the theoretical and practical skills how to analyze the regional and international dimensions of conflicts in the Middle East. The second part provides you with tools to analyse states, and transnational ideologies and movements, culture, art, economic activities, and human movement.

You will become familiar with:

  • different theories of international relations;
  • the role of Europe, the United States, and Russia in regional politics;
  • analyzing the major historical, and current conflicts in the region;
  • the concept of transnationalism (‘from above and below’);
  • processes of Islamic and Pan-Arab revival, and its relation to the diaspora;
  • the influences of intra-regional and extra-regional migration;
  • the roles of women in the flows of people, ideas, and goods.

This course addresses the question how the Middle East is part of international politics, globalization and regional dynamics. The course consists of two parts:

1. the first part deals with the international and regional relations, and is an International Relations (IR) analysis of the regional and international conflicts in the region. It specifically focuses on two interrelated conflicts in the Middle East, the Syrian civil war, and the Iran-Saudi rivalry. Central questions are: what are the roles of regional actors Qatar, Saudi Arabia,  Iran, and Turkey in the Syrian civil war, what are their interests, how do these constantly change, and what are the relations between these regional actors and international actors such as the Russia and the United States? With regard to the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, the focus is on sectarian dimension of the conflict, and how religion is manipulated for political ends.

2. the second part focuses on the flows of people, goods and ideas, modes of belonging, and the emergence of social movements and their relation to the diaspora. We discuss concepts such as transnationalism from above and below, diaspora, cosmopolitanism by looking at flows, routes, places, and borders, and how these are related to political developments at a macro level, in particular the influence of the EU.


Presumed foreknowledge

Test information

This course is part of a three course module in the Philosophy, Politics and Society bachelor programme. Students can only be admitted if they also take the two associated courses during the same semester (retakes excluded). Students who are NOT enrolled in a bachelor, master, or exchange programme of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious studies or in a bachelor programme of the Faculty of Arts cannot register directly for PPS modules. Instead, they can apply for admission by sending an e-mail to Such applications must contain a separate document in which you (1) inform us about your current studies, (2) explain which module you want to take and why it is relevant to your studies, and (3) describe what you bring to the classroom. The document must be written in English.
Required materials
Course guide
1) Chapters from: Louise Fawcett, International Relations of the Middle East (Fourth Edition) (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016). 2) Chapters from: Laïla Vignal, The Transnational Middle East: People, Places, Borders (London/New York: Routledge 2016).
Selection of articles (listed via Brightspace)

Instructional modes

Take Home Exam
Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock SEM1, Block SEM2