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300-Level Interdisciplinary Course  
UI-350      Middle East Politics
Catalog Description

A survey of social, economic and international forces that influence politics of Middle Eastern societies with particular emphasis on Egypt, Israel, Syria and Turkey.

Course Content
  1. Modernization and Political Development: A Theoretical Perspective
  2. The process of modernization and Change in the Middle East: An Historical Overview
  3. States, Beliefs and Ideologies: The Contradictions
  4. Competing Interests: Groups, Classes and Elites
  5. Institutional Infrastructure: Militaries, Bureaucracies and Legislatures
  6. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Territorial Claims over the Holy Land
  7. Intra-Arab Conflicts: The Search for Authority and Unity
  8. The Politics of Oil and Energy: Paradox of Development
Nature of Course

The political and social scene of Middle Eastern societies is a strange mosaic where traditional rulers, revolutionary command councils, authoritarian military regimes and religious governing elites coexist side by side, where lavish wealth exists alongside poverty, where sociopolitical dissatisfaction sparks internal violence, and where interregional conflicts backed by religious and territorial claims threaten the stability of the region.


The answer to these questions is not simple and requires an interdisciplinary explanation. The politics of turbulent change and revolutionary upheaval in the Middle East is an outgrowth of dialectical clash between the forces of modernity and persisting strength of traditionalism. The primordial relationships and social structure are fastly losing their place, while the new value systems are yet to be formed. The subject matter will deal with dialectical relationship of socio-economic and political dynamics that shape the politics of the region. The material will be integrated in a manner that may lead the students to probe beyond simplistic generalizations and explanations.

Student Expectations
  1. Active, informed participation in class discussions.
  2. Satisfactory performance on examinations.
  3. Demonstration of critical thinking skills in all written assignments and oral presentations.
  4. Timely completion of all assignments.

Political Science 103 or 104; and one course in Economic or Social Systems.



Credit Hours 3