POLS 2525 International Politics of the Middle East

I teach this course once a year, usually in the fall. The course covers the politics of the Middle East since World War II. We will discuss broad theories to understand the region, the history and politics of specific countries, and important cross-cutting issues like terrorism and democracy promotion. Each session combines scholarly work with current events, and includes ample time for in-class discussion and debate.

The course proceeds in three units. Unit I is an introduction to the Middle East, including an overview of the course, the history of the region, and broad theoretical approaches to Middle East politics. Unit II is a series of case studies on countries in the region, covering their history, politics and current events. Finally, Unit III covers cross-cutting events and issues like the role of social media, regional rivalries and an extended discussion of the Arab Spring.

Course goals and objectives include:

1. Understanding the dynamics of post-World War II Middle East politics.

2. Critically assessing explanations for aspects of the Middle East including democratization and conflict.

3. Gaining the ability to analyze current international events in the Middle East through the course’s materials and discussions.

In Summer 2018 I taught a condensed version of this course, and may do so again in the future.

Here is the most recent syllabus.