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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Geopolitics: Middle East and North Africa
Module Code GY303
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Gerry O'Reilly
Semester 2: Gerry O'Reilly
Autumn: Gerry O'Reilly
Module TeachersSusan Hegarty
Gerry O'Reilly
Grania Shanahan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Consolidating underlying concepts of sustainable development, citizenship and human rights, and applied professional geography, this module surveys the geopolitics of the MENA – Middle East and North Africa region linked to the geostrategic Mediterranean Sea which lies at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. The region is rich in natural and human resources including oil, gas, fish, agriculture and tourist-related activities. This region has bequeathed an enduring cultural legacy to the world, including the Judaeo-Christian traditions and Islamic civilisation. It encompasses some of the richest and poorest states in the world, and major conflict shatter-belt zones due to economic, political and geopolitical forces. Competition and conflict have debilitated development there, having major impacts on neighbouring regions including Europe, and globally.

Learning Outcomes

1. Analyse how relationships between physical environments, human and political geography intersect creating processes at various scales - local to regional and global – but with specific geopolitical and risk implications.
2. Understand, research and use sources and methodologies in geography, politics and geopolitics.
3. Relate holistic geographical and political perspectives connecting development, war and conflict resolution.
4. Develop analyses from geopolitical perspectives and write reports.
5. Assess the roles of the UN, Inter-governmental and Regional Organizations, and NGOs connected with the region.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Independent Study103Independent study
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Key geographical concepts and theories defining regions and regional science:
Geopolitics, competing centrifugal and centripetal forces, development, war and peacebuilding at local and regional scales, and implications for international security

Its major physical, economic, cultural and geopolitical bridging roles between Europe/EU and MENA/Islamic cultural realms, the USA / NATO, and Central Asian countries

Colonial and post-colonial perspectives on the creation of the MENA states

Causes of conflict - multiple conflict levels ranging from micro-spatial disputes as in Jerusalem, to the Spanish Territories on the Moroccan coast, to geostrategic choke-points as with the Straits of Gibraltar, Hormuz and Bab el Mandeb, to larger territories as in Kurdistan, Western Sahara and Israel/Palestine; and resources including oil, gas and water

Utopia, religion and militant fundamentalisms

Perspectives on the EU and MENA
Perspectives on the EU and MENA

Unity and diversity
Unity and diversity between the Middle East (Mashreq) and North Africa (Maghreb)

Urban and rural environments
Urban and rural environments

Effective academic research, design and production
Effective academic research, design and production

Planning and conducting research on report writing
Planning and conducting research on report writing

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Report(s)Ireland and Islam. Guidelines as in the module workbook.25%As required
Loop QuizQuiz covering multiple aspects of the module.25%As required
Report(s)Question(s) based on one of the major themes of the module.50%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Dodds, K.: 2014, Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, London,
  • O'Reilly, G: 2019, Aligning Geopolitics, Humanitarian Action and Geography in Times of Conflict, Springer International Publishing,
Other Resources

30792, 0, Journal Articles and other resources will be made available via Loop,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BAJHBachelor of Arts (BAJH)
BAJHIBachelor of Arts (BAJHI)
BAJPBachelor of Arts (BAJP)
BAJPIBachelor of Arts (BAJPI)
BAJPNBachelor of Arts (BAJPN) - Intra P
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)

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