This course begins with a brief historical review of the demise of the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British and French mandate over the Middle East region, the anti-colonialist revolt, the emergence of Israel, Arab-Israeli conflicts, the rise of secular nationalism, and the resurgence of Islamism in all its populist, revolutionary, conservative, and revivalist forms. We will then shift our focus to new modes of thinking about the region grounded in political economy, economic insecurity, youth bulge, and the burgeoning revolts against authoritarianism and the status quo. After examining a myriad of reasons behind social protests and movements in the region, this course will turn to comparative as well as case study approaches by focusing primarily on important changes in the Middle East landscape. We will pay special attention in the second half of the semester to the following cases: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Syria, and Tunisia, as well as Israeli-Palestinian front. We also take a thematic approach to examining causes of social unrest, human rights and democratic struggles, identity formation, and sectarian divide/tensions in the region.
Please note the course description is from Summer 2014