4 credit hours
This course seeks to understand one of the most important factors shaping the modern and contemporary politics of the Middle East: the complicated relationships between Arab countries, and the interaction between inter-Arab dynamics and other dimensions of Middle Eastern political life such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Great Power penetration, and the rise of political Islam. Employing both "realist" and "constructivist" theories of international relations, it will analyze the evolution of the system from its infancy at the beginning of the 20th
century, through the pan-Arab heyday of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s, and the subsequent consolidation of a more permanent and normative state system. In examining inter-Arab dynamics against the background of challenges posed from within the Arab world, by non-Arab regional actors – Israel, Turkey and Iran – and by Great Powers, the course will seek to understand matters such as the changing nature of modern Arab identity, Arab state formation, the effect of supra-national and sub-national ideologies on the behavior of Arab elites, and the underpinnings of the foreign policies of Arab states.