Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | Contemporary Middle East in World Politics
N204 | 27752 | Sinno


This course aims to introduce students to the interaction between
people, governments, and outside powers in the greater Middle East
and North Africa: a vast and complex area that stretches from
Morocco to Iran, and from Turkey to the Sudan. Scholars differ in
the way they refer to this large area and its different sub-regions,
but we’ll call it the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region for
our purposes and include neighboring Afghanistan for convenience.

Topics to be addressed include much of the following: background
(geography, history, culture, and religion); the colonial legacy;
the influence of the global configuration of power on international
relations in the Middle East: the Cold War and post-Cold War eras;
hegemony, cooption, and challengers; the role of resources;
O.P.E.C.; the role of non-state organizations; gender issues; the
role of identity and ideology; the role of diasporas; the Arab –
Israeli Conflict; Zionism and the Palestinian predicament; the Iran –
Iraq War; the Gulf Wars; weapons of mass destruction and other
tools for the projection of power in the region; transnational
movements; international dimensions of religion, ethnicity, and
civil wars; state and religions in the Middle East; the affect of
the flow of goods, people, and services on Middle Eastern states;
the “Arab street”; security issues; A return to Colonialism?; War in
Iraq and Afghanistan; and finally, prospects for the future.