Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Seat of the course: 
Varese - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)

None. In the first part of the course we shall analyse the geography of the Middle East and Islam in its diversity.

Final Examination: 

Attenders (at least 80% of lessons in class):
The final result is made by one presentation in class and one written exam: 2 long questions concerning the course programme and 1 question on 0the monograph at choice different from the topic presented in class (1 question).
Attenders from remote (80% of lessons from remote, at least) and non-attenders:
The final, written exam will consist on 3 long questions relating to the main textbook (1 question) and the two monographs (one question for each book).
The Final Exam is a written one in order to grant students due time to elaborate proper answers and suitable arguments. Oral capabilities will be tested along the course by either presentations or participation to discussions.

Voto Finale

The course examines the historical development of the International Relations of the Middle East from the early XIX century to current events. Special attention will be paid to Iran and Yemen. At the end of the course, students will acquire a better understanding of a region characterized by complexity.

The first section will provide students with an introduction to the international history of the Middle East from the XIX century till today. The second section will analyse Iran from the beginning of the Pahlavi dynasty (early Twenties) until the nuclear deal (JCPOA). The third part will focus on the current war in Yemen in its domestic and international dimensions as a proxy war between the Saudi-led coalition and Iran.

The detailed programme, day by day, will be shared with students on the first day of class (Tuesday 22 February at 8.30 am).

The main textbook is Louise Fawcett (eds.), International Relations of the Middle East, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013 and later versions.
Section 2 on Iran:
Michael Axworthy, Revolutionary Iran, Penguin, 2013.
Farian Sabahi, Storia dell’Iran 1890-2020, Saggiatore, Milano, 2020.
Section III: Yemen at war
Farian Sabahi, Storia dello Yemen, Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, Rome, 2021, introduction and last two chapters.
Or the following publications:
On the Yemeni Spring:
Medici, Anna Maria (ed.), After the Yemeni Spring. A Survey on the Transition. Milano, Mimesis, 2012.
The text of the National Dialogue Conference is in the Database Peace Agreements of the University of Edinburgh
The transition plan proposed to the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf is here: https://peacemaker.un. org/yemen-transition-mechanism2011.
On the current war:
Peter Salisbury, Yemen: Stemming the Rise of a Chaos State, Chatham House, Research Paper, May 2016.
Helen Lackner and Raiman Al-Hamdani, Talking to the Houthis: How Europeans Can Promote Peace in Yemen, Policy Brief of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Helen Lackner, Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State, London, Saqi Books, 2017.
Helen Lackner, Yemen in crisis. The Road to War, April 2019.
Helen Lackner, How Yemen’s Dream of Unity Turned Sour, May 2020
The Huthis have their Internet website in English: www.ansar
Nadwa al-Dawsari nel Report – Foe Not Friend: Yemeni Tribes and Al-Qa‘idah in the Arabian Peninsula – POMED ( /Dawsari_FINAL_180201.pdf).
Ibrahim Jalal, The UAE may have withdrawn from Yemen, but its influence remains strong, 25 February 2020, en-its-influence-remains-strong.
The letter dated 27 January 2020 of the Panel of Experts on Yemen to the President of the UNSC is here: atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/S_2020_ 70.pdf.
Ahmed Nagi “Will Tribal Customs Save Yemen’s Mahra Governatorate”, Carnegie Middle East Center, 22 November 2019, 22/will-tribal-customs-save-yemen-s-mahra-governorate-pub-80395.
Ashi Al-Kahwati, Peace in Yemen, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, 2019.
Michelle Nichols, Exclusive: U.N. investigators find Yemen’s Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack, New York Times, 8 January 2020.;
Elana DeLozier, Yemen Matrix: Allies & Adversaries. A concise resource guide to the most important relationships in Yemen, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 2020.


The course is based mainly on Frontal Lectures; Ppt and Visual documentaries will integrate the teachings. For those who will attend in class, oral presentations on topics related to the Second and Third sections will take place at the end of each of these. Lectures by guest-scholars will integrate the teachings on specific topics related to the course programme, with the aim to provide different approaches to the events and processes under scrutiny.

Suggested readings, which related to the specific topics of single classes, will be shared with students. These readings will provide students with more differentiated analysis on the topics under scrutiny, with two aims: first, to let them acknowledge the current scientific debate; second, to stimulate active participation to in-depth discussions during classes, both with Professor and colleagues.