Accueil > The political sociology of the state in the contemporary arab world

OCMO 2095 - The Political Sociology of the State in the Contemporary Arab World

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 42

Language of tuition : English


Some basic prior knowledge of Middle East politics is preferable, but not compulsory.

Course Description

This course focuses on the political sociology of the State in the contemporary Arab World. Putting the broader theories of the State in conversation with the empirical reality of the Arab world, it describes how a particular model of State developed in the Arab region in the 19th and 20th centuries, as a result of both external influences and internal factors. It discusses some of the dominant features of this model (authoritarianism, rentierism, corporatism, etc.) and shows how the model has been transformed in the last few decades. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the model, the course explains why the Arab States and regimes have been so resilient throughout the 20th century, and why, with the recent ‘Arab revolutions', some of them are now being challenged.


  • LACROIX, Stéphane J. (Associate Professor à Sciences Po)
  • ZEDERMAN, Mathilde (Doctorante)

Pedagogical format

Lectures, with some time for class discussion.

Course validation

There are two options : A take-home exam. The exam will take place at the end of the term (exact dates to be determined) (70%). And a book review (around 2000 words). The book should be chosen within the general bibliography attached to the syllabus (p. 9 and p.10). The book review should consist of a summary (preferably half, but no more than two-thirds, of the total content) and a discussion of the book, putting it into perspective with some of the themes discussed in class and/or with current events (for instance). In this discussion, you may choose to focus on one specific aspect or idea in the book (30%). Or a take-home exam. The exam will take place at the end of the term (exact dates to be determined). 50% of the final grade. And a final paper (4000 to 5000 words). Must include footnotes and a small bibliography. A one-paragraph description of the proposed topic must be submitted by e-mail before class 4. 50% of the final grade.


About 60-80 pages of readings per session.

Required reading

  • OWEN, Roger. State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. Routledge, 2004
  • SALAME, Ghassan, LUCIANI, Giacomo, BEBLAWI, Hazem and al. Nation, State and Integration in the Arab World (4 volumes). Croom Helm, 1987 (Excerpts)
  • AYUBI, Nazih. Over-Stating the Arab State: Politics and Society in the Middle East. I.B. Tauris 1996 (Excerpts)
  • GUAZZONE, Laura, PIOPPI, Daniela. The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization : The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East. Ithaca Press, 2010 (Excerpts)
  • SELVIK, Kjetil, STENSLIE, Stig. Stability and Change in the Modern Middle East. I.B. Tauris, 2011 (Excerpts)