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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

The course examines the origins of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its developments from multiple angles in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamic that constitutes ‘the conflict’. The course will investigate the causes of the Palestinian refugee crisis and of the Arab-Israeli wars. It will introduce students to the Arab-Israeli peace process and familiarise students with the polarised historiography surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Alessandra Cecolin

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • History (HI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course aims to provide a historical survey of the development and evolution of what is commonly referred to as the Arab-Israeli conflict. It examines the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict in an attempt to place it in its historical context, while tracing its developments from multiple angles in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamic that constitutes ‘the conflict’. The period under examination covers defining moments of the history of the conflicts from the establishment of the Jewish community in Palestine, the so-called Old Yishuv, through the subsequent history of the State of Israel from 1948 until the present. The course also explores several contemporary dimensions of the conflict, including the rise of Hamas, the Oslo Accords and the position of Israel in the wider Middle Eastern political context.

The course aims at developing analytical skills to frame the Palestine-Israel conflict based on objective analysis. We will study how to interpret historical developments and evaluate events that not only transformed the geography and politics of the region but also shaped the identities of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Online Exam (60%)
750 word Gobbet (20%)
1,000 word Essay (20%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionAnalyse•An informed understanding of the contending explanations for the causes of the Arab-Israeli wars after 1948
ReflectionApply•An ability to apply concepts and principles to the main debates on ‘1948’;
ProceduralUnderstand•A systematic understanding of how and why an Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian peace process developed in the 1970s and 1980s
ConceptualAnalyse•A critical understanding of the historiographical debates on the Arab-Israeli conflict
ReflectionAnalyse•Comprehensive analytical skills through the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict

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