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OCMO 2215 - Rise and Dawn of Nations and Nationalism in the Middle East

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


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

Course Description

This course questions the emergence of a national order in the Middle East. Drawing on theories of nation and nationalism, it explores the ways in which nationalist, religious and ethnic identity politics are at play at the subnational and international level. Taking into account the European colonial and imperial framework, it analyzes whether categories linked to European modernity are valid to examine the formation of Middle Eastern nations. Based on a series of empirical cases, it addresses the variety of nationalisms - while distinguishing between nations as historical political forms and nationalisms as historical ideologies. It assesses the major role played by disputes over land and border, state weakness, religion, authoritarianism and civil war in the rise of alternatives to nationalisms such as Islamic movements.


SALLOUM, Cynthia (Research Associate)

Pedagogical format

First hour is a lecture and the second involves class participation and students' presentations.

Course validation

One oral presentation (a case-study assessment) and class participation (40%); Two essays: one reading note (20%) and one take-home exam (40%).


About 60 to 80 pages of readings per session.

Required reading

  • Gellner, Ernest (2006) Nations and Nationalism. Malden, Mass: Blackwell (2nd edition)
  • Halliday, Fred (2000) Nation and Religion in the Middle East, London: Saqi Books
  • Özkirimli, Umut (2010) Theories of Nationalism: a Critical Introduction, London: Macmillan, (2nd edition°
  • Smith, Anthony D. (1998) Nationalism and Modernism. London: Routledge

Additional required reading

Please refer to the syllabus (will be sent few days before the 1st session)