POLS 059. Middle East Politics

This course offers an introduction to the politics of the Middle East and North Africa from World War I to the present. As a region that is popularly perceived as an arena for intractable ethnic and religious conflict, authoritarian political regimes, and social and economic underdevelopment, the Middle East has long been a critical site in global affairs. Recent events such as the toppling of long-standing governments in places like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya during the so-called "Arab Spring," the electoral successes of Islamist political parties in countries with a history of secular rule such as Turkey, and the repercussions of the on-going civil war in Syria, including the displacement of millions of persons, renewed bids for Kurdish autonomy, and the rise of ISIS have raised new and pressing questions about the future of the region. This course aims to help students contextualize and better understand the current political climate by tracing the roots of these conflicts to the longer history of state and nation formation in the Middle East. Throughout the semester students will learn about political, economic, social, and cultural developments within a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Topics covered include colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism, political Islam, revolutions and social movements, the Arab Spring, and U.S. involvement in the region. No prior knowledge of the Middle East is necessary. 
Social Sciences.
1 credit.
Fall 2018. Balkan.
Spring 2019. Balkan.
Catalog chapter: Political Science
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/political-science

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses

Check the Fall 2018 Schedule of Courses

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