This course is a discussion-based seminar. It provides a deep dive into the historical development and comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It
seeks to answer the following three interrelated questions: how did the modern MENA emerge over the past century? What kinds of states and regimes exist in the region?
And why does democracy seem so scarce in the MENA, despite many popular struggles for change? In answering these questions, this class takes a thematic approach in studying the region, with each weekly seminar devoted to a different topic, such as post-colonial state formation, the effects of oil wealth, the impact of religion and Islamism, the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the legacies of the Arab Spring. In tackling these topics, students will engage in close readings of scholarly texts, discuss these ideas and debates in class, and complete various assessments (such as presentations, response papers, and a final research essay).
Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.
Subfield: Comparative Politics
Instructor: Hicham Alaoui
Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior Status.