This is an online course in the Graduate Program in International Relations. Specific topics include Islam, nationalism, the foreign relations of Middle Eastern states, the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and prospects for democratization.
Here is a sample of how the course is organized:
Week 5 The Middle East in the International System
- Cleveland & Bunton, Modern Middle East, Ch. 22 and 25, p. 441-462 and 505-521.
- Haleh Anvarijune, “The Fetish of Staring at Iran’s Women,” The New York Times, 16 June 2014 (Evernote).
- Andrew J. Bacevich, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005, Ch. 7, “Blood for Oil,” p. 175-204 (library e-reserve).
- Mona Eltahawy, “Why Do They Hate Us? The Real War on Women Is In the Middle East,” Foreign Policy, 23 April 2012
- Rashid Khalidi, Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, Beacon Press, Boston, 2009, Ch. 3, “The Middle East and the International System,” p. 70-100 (library e-reserve).
- Jodi Rudoren, “Standoff at Western Wall Over Praying by Women,” The New York Times, 10 May 2013 (Evernote).
- “Head to Head: Do Arab Men Hate Women?” Al Jazeera English, 21 February 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bomCMNGfs1I.
- “Zainab Al-Khawaja: On the Front Line in Bahrain,” Front Line Defenders, 12 December 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOQgvw7TGjk.
Reading response questions:
- Are Middle Eastern states now trapped in a “World War IV” being fought by the USA? Why? If so, how should they respond to this entrapment, and why? (Bacevich; Cleveland & Bunton)
- Of Khalidi’s four main points about the place of the Middle East in the international system, which is most correct? Why? Which is least correct? Why? (Khalidi; Cleveland & Bunton)
- How are the bodies of women used (or abused) as tools of politics? What are the effects of this? (Anvarijune; Eltahawy; Rudoren; “Head to Head” and “Zainab Al-Khawaja” videos)
Week 6 The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- Cleveland & Bunton, Modern Middle East, Ch. 17 and 23, p. 322-343 and 463-486.
- Avraham Burg, “Israel’s Fading Democracy,” The New York Times, 5 August 2012 (Evernote).
- Ben Ehrenreich, “Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?” The New York Times, 15 March 2013 (Evernote).
- Charles D. Freilich, “National Security Decision-Making in Israel: Processes, Pathologies, and Strengths,” Middle East Journal 60, 4 (Autumn 2006), p. 635-663.
- Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006, Ch. 5, “Fateh, the PLO, and the PA: The Palestinian Para-State,” p. 140- 181 (library e-reserve).
- Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, U of Michigan Press, 2006, Ch. 13, “If So Bad, Why So Good? Explaining the Paradox of the Israeli Success Story,” p. 564-597 (library e-reserve).
Reading response questions:
- Why has Israeli Zionism, and not pan-Arabism or Palestinian nationalism, been victorious in Palestine? (Cleveland & Bunton; Khalidi; Maoz)
- Will the PLO, Hamas, or some other force be the dominant player in Palestinian politics over the next two decades? Why? (Cleveland & Bunton; Ehrenreich; Khalidi; Maoz)
- Is a “two-state solution” actually a solution for Israel and the Palestinians? Why? (Burg; Ehrenreich; Freilich; Khalidi; Maoz)