History | Iraq and Syria in the 20th Century
H685 | 28230 | K. Martin


Above class meets with NELC-N695

At the close of the twentieth century the proposition that the
Ba`thist regimes of Syria and Iraq had constructed “rogue states”
that lay outside the international system was an axiom of US foreign
policy. This course seeks to engage with this proposition by
examining the modern history of these two states, with special
emphasis on the roles of the United States, France, and the United
Kingdom in the formation of Syria and Iraq, the rise of these
states’ authoritarian regimes, and their eventual isolation and
demonization. This course is a graduate seminar designed for
students who are either in NELC or have a special interest in the
region. It will examine the modern history of two states in the
Middle East, Syria and Iraq, whose experience during the period in
question reflects broader regional and global realities. The course
begins with the final years of the Ottoman Empire, covers the
mandatory regimes in Damascus and Baghdad, the establishment of
independent states, and the processes by which authoritarian
dictatorships came to power in both states. It ends with the early
1990s (the later years of Hafiz al-Asad’s rule in Syria and the
imposition of sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq). It is
hoped that this course will provide students with the historical
context in which to place recent events associated, rightly or
wrongly, with the “Arab” and “Islamic” Worlds.