This module explores the reasons for violence and human rights violations and the possibilities for peace and justice in the Middle East. The module focuses on the case of the Arab-Israeli conflict as the most intractable conflict in the Middle East.
You will be briefly introduced to mainstream International Relations theories (realism, liberalism and constructivism) in addition to decolonial approaches in order to assess key debates in the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including:
• Can the goals of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism be reconciled?
• Is Israel an ‘offensive’ or ‘defensive’ actor?
• What has been the role of the Arab nationalism in driving the conflict?
• Can international law play a positive role in resolving the conflict?
• Why have some efforts at peacemaking succeeded (Egypt and Jordan), whilst others have failed (the Palestinians)?
• Can Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions bring peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians?
The module will also encourage you to critically reflect upon the limitations of mainstream International Relations theories, in terms of reproducing dominant relations in the international system and the possibilities of decolonial approaches to challenge these hierarchies