This module aims to explore the reasons for instability and insecurity in the Middle East through up-to-date case studies. Towards this end, we will discuss some of the key crises and conflicts currently afflicting the Middle East, which may include the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel-Palestine, the Lebanese political crisis and the rise of so-called Islamic State. Amongst the major factors considered as possible drivers of conflict and crisis, we will consider religion and identity, regional geopolitical dynamics, external actors and historical legacies of state formation. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to utilise international relations theories to analyse the topics and to reflect upon the degree to which these theories are useful in the Middle East context. There are no prerequisites for this module.