Stockholm university
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Politics and Development in the Middle East

This course provides an introduction to the current landscape of the Middle East and North Africa’s political economy.

The course explores the geographic conditions, demography and cultural politics that shaped the last century of transformation in the region. It covers current societies from the perspective of research using gender as a medium of analysis, with particular focus on women's rights in the course of economic change since World War I.

The course also deals with the region's contemporary socio-economic experiences with structural changes taking place since World War II and then again, after the Cold War.  With the rise of the oil industry during the Cold War a particular area of focus, the course considers the conditions for political and economic development in the Middle East and how various factors impact the forms of labor, social organization, and state formation emerging in the region over the last century of change.

By specifically considering issues shaping development in the Middle East around gender, labor, political economy and demography, this course will help students understand the contemporary challenges, such as democratization, for those who live in the region.

This is an online distance course. Language of instruction is English.



  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Lectures and seminars.

    Course details and resources

    The course information for Autumn 23 can be found in the learning platform Athena.

    Please note that only registred students have access to resources, like PDF documents, in Athena.


    The course is examined through a digital assessment with multiple choice questions.

    The language of examination, Swedish or English, will be the language stated for the respective course instance.

    For more detailed information please refer to the course description.


    Isa Blumi

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Do you have questions about the courses in Middle Eastern and North Africa's Languages and Cultures?

    Student Councelor:

    Director of Studies:
    Martin Säfström
    Phone: 08-16 29 43