2018-2019 Catalog

DWA 241 International Relations of the Middle East

A study of Middle-Eastern international relations in the context of three themes that structure the region's modern political history: (1) colonialism: how the reaction against colonialism continued to define and limit Middle-Eastern politics, both internally and in its relations with outside powers, (2) religion: in particular, political Islam (or "fundamentalism") is a key variable in the region's contemporary politics, but by no means all-defining, and (3) nationalism(s): a source of political identity and mobilization. How religious, national, linguistic, and ethnic nationalisms inform conflict and cooperation within the region. 

In the context of these three themes, we will explore the following regional issues with global implications: (1) the Arab-Israeli conflict - the flash point of conflict in the Middle-East, the Arab-Israeli conflict can only be understood on the basis of an informed appreciation of its historical and ideological underpinnings, (2) Iran - the Iranian revolution had an enormous impact on regional and international affairs. Current unrest within Iran is perhaps a harbinger of yet another radical shift in Iranian politics, and (3) domestic upheaval in the region, as seen in the Arab uprisings of 2011-2012.

Despite this being an "IR" class, on-the-ground social and political movements ("domestic," yet transnationally informed) have an enormous impact on the region's politics. This is particularly true in the shadow of the recent Arab uprisings, upon which we will place particular attention.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus