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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2878 The Arab-Israeli Conflict

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Anne Caldwell

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is mutually exclusive with

ARAB2066Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the most bitter and enduring disputes of our time. The political and military confrontation is accompanied by heated controversies regarding the past that have led to the formation of conflicting historical narratives. The module will address questions which remain perplexing: where are the roots of the conflict to be found? To what extent was the conflict unavoidable? What role did European and global powers play in its evolution?The module will make use of a wide range of primary and secondary sources, approaching a number of key historical events and themes through different historiographic perspectives. It will trace the emergence of Zionism and Arab nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A major theme of the module is Arab-Jewish relations and each community's perception of the other during the Ottoman period, under the British mandate and after the establishment of Israel. The module will analyse different historiographic interpretations of the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Local and global causes behind the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 as well as the Palestinian Intifadas will be evaluated. The module will also examine the rise and fall of the peace process.


To engage students in some of the lively debates surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict in both its domestic and international contexts. To do so by drawing on both secondary literature and primary sources in English.

Learning outcomes
On completing this module students will:
a) have a deeper understanding of the origins of and key developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict
b) be able to illustrate these with concrete historical examples, and therefore
c) be able to provide the historical 'long view' on a current issue
d) have a firm grasp of the historiographical controversies surrounding this topic


Lectures follow a chronological order and track the evolution of the conflict from
the late 19th to the early 21st century. Seminars focus on specific themes such as the rise of
two opposing national movements, and use different historiographic perspectives to
examine key episodes in the conflict.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Researching, preparing and writing assessments; undertaking set reading; self-directed reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly tutorial discussions; group oral presentation of students' research in tutorials; written assignments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000-word essay60.00
Presentation10 minute presentation accompanied by a 1500-word paper40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The resit for the presentation can be a 2000-word essay

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/10/2023


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