The Modern Middle East Studies master’s specialisation at Leiden University focuses on the Middle East and North African regions from the nineteenth century to the present, taking into account the historical and global context of this strategic and important area.
You will cover the theoretical debates in the field, such as colonialism, Orientalism and Occidentalism. The programme offers specialised interdisciplinary courses on the interaction between literature and politics and the Middle East’s relationship with Europe. You can also explore the impact of modernity and globalization on the region and the position of religious minorities in the Middle East. Key issues and themes of Modern Middle East Studies include the impact of the Islamic Revolution (1979) in Iran on the region and its links to the past; the call for democratic reform in the Arab Spring and its resonance in the wider Muslim world; the role of oil in local and world politics; and the secular movement in Turkey and its repercussions for regional politics.
This programme stands out because of its multidisciplinary perspective and broad geographical range, covering the Arab, Iranian and Turkish cultural and political worlds, but also including Islam in the west, south-east Asia and Africa.
It is also possible to focus on Modern Middle East Studies within the two-year Research Master’s programme Middle Eastern Studies.
Check out the programme in Modern Middle East Studies