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POL 348 Politics and Conflict in the Middle East (3 credits)

This course explores the dynamics of politics and conflict in the Middle East since 1945, surveying the major developments and issues. With respect to domestic politics, the course will examine the emergence of authoritarianism, nationalism, and theocracy in various Muslim states as well as the nature of Israel’s democracy. It will also investigate the violence between Israel, the Arab States, Iran, and the Palestinians, the Sunni-Shi’ia split which has spawned internal as well as external (Iran-Iraq) conflict, the rise of terrorism as a tool of groups in the region, the impact of American intervention, particularly the wars with Iraq (1991 and starting in 2003). Finally, the course will take up the recent popular uprisings against authoritarianism and seek to understand the sources of these movements and the prospects for the future.