How is it that events in what at first glance may seem a marginal region have become so important? Has this always been the case? This topic explores the reasons why numerous powers, ranging from the French, the British, the Turks, the Germans and the United States, have attempted to establish and maintain their dominance in the Middle East, broadly defined as including North Africa, the Levant and Gulf regions through to Afghanistan. Apart from studying how power has been projected over the region, this topic will also look at the cultural manifestations of contact with the Middle East, in order to understand not only how power was negotiated, but also how it was articulated. To do this, we must also ponder whether grand imperial designs for the region were compatible with local conditions and local politics in various historical settings.
This topic aims to provide: