Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | The Contemporary Middle East in World Politics
N222 | 29793 | Sinno, Abdulkader


This course introduces you to the interaction among 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 how they name this
large area and its different subregions, but we’ll call it the MENA
(Middle East & North Africa) region for our purposes, and include
neighboring Afghanistan for convenience. Topics 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, co-option, and
challengers; the role of resources; OPEC; the role of nonstate
organizations; gender issues; the role of identity and ideology; the
role of diasporas; the Arab–Israeli conflict; Zionism and the
Palestinian predicament; the Iraq–Iran 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 religion in the Middle East; the
effect of the flow of goods, people, and services on Middle Eastern
states; the "Arab street"; security issues; return to colonialism; war
in Iraq and Afghanistan; prospects for the future.