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The International Politics of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East


Please note: The course information for next academic year has not yet been updated. Below you will find the course information from last academic year. As soon as we have an update we will immediately change this information.

Admission requirements

Admission to an MA and basic knowledge of International Relations and the contemporary Middle East. When in doubt, please contact the instructor.


The nuclear development of Middle East states ranks high on international security agendas. Supposedly, the destructive capability of nuclear weapons, combined with the volatility of the Middle East politics, requires that the region’s nuclear development is under constant international watch. Though most Middle East states are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), there is no guarantee they will abide by it in absence of an overarching authoritative enforcer. This course investigates the state of nuclear development in the Middle East (including Turkey, Iran and Israel) on the basis of reports by international organizations, and discusses this in relation to NPT provisions. Moreover, in exploring the academic literature on this subject, it analyses the motives behind the nuclear development of Middle East states, and what this development means for the regional balance of power. Equally, the course evaluates the constructivist view that the nuclear threat emanating from the Middle East is socially constructed, and what this means for (international) policy. With regard to the policy, this course analyzes the effect of sanctions as well as negotiations in resolving nuclear issues by use of case studies. Students write a paper on a subtopic relating to the nuclear proliferation of Middle East states, for which they use the literature which they have read for the course as well as additional readings which they collect themselves. In writing this paper, students show their adequate comprehension of the reading material, their ability to relate the contributions of different authors to each other and to critically review these contributions in relation to their chosen topic, as well as their ability to present their own analysis on the basis of course readings and additional readings.

Course Objectives

In successful completion of this course course, students:

  • Have acquired knowledge of past and present developments in nuclear proliferation in the Middle East through academic literature and reports by international organizations;

  • Have acquired knowledge of the main debates and arguments in the academic study of the nuclear proliferation of the Middle East are able to reproduce both the information and analysis presented by the read authors;

  • Have displayed the ability to critically review this literature, as well as to meaningfully relate the analyses of different authors to each other;

  • Have given evidence of their ability to create their own analysis of the nuclear proliferation of Middle East states on the basis of academic literature and reports by international organizations.



Mode of instruction

Two-hour seminars.

Course Load

Lectures: 20 hours
Readings: 170 hours
Literature research: 50 hours
Paper: 40 hours
Total: 280 hours (10 EC)

Assessment Method

  • Participation 10%

  • Weekly reports 30%

  • Final paper 60%

    Resit: Final paper 90% (no resit for participation) ### Blackboard

Communication of the lecturer with the participants in this course primarily takes place via blackboard.

Reading list

  • Reader with compiled academic literature.

  • Open access international reports through Blackboard.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact information

With the coordinator, by e-mail: dr. M. Warnaar.