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PSC 6377 Comparative Politics of the Middle East

Amr Hamzawy

Wed 5:10 – 7:00 PM

This course will concentrate on four aspects of the comparative politics of the Middle East: Islam and politics; regime type and change; political economy; and ideology. These aspects will be woven together rather than addressed as separate topics.

Wed 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Religion and Society in the Middle East

Attiya Ahmad

Mon 5:10 – 7:00 PM

Special Topics in the Middle East

Mon 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378: Arabic for International Affairs

Khalil Derbel

Thu 5:10 – 7:00 PM

Arabic for international affairs is designed to enable students to further their proficiency in Arabic in all four language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) at the advanced level of proficiency while also deepening their competency in Arab culture. Students in this course will engage with global issues such as democracy, human rights, migration, diplomacy, and conflict within the geopolitical and cross-cultural contexts in which they are examined. Class activities will include discussions and debates, presentations, and pair and group work.

Thu 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Democracy and Autocracy in the Middle East

Amy Hawthorne

Wed 7:10 – 9:00 PM

This course explores the factors behind the persistence of autocracy in the modern Arab world, the struggles of the region’s people for democracy and universal human rights, and the role of the U.S. government in preserving the status quo. We will examine the scholarly and policy debates over why autocracy has remained the norm in the region, focusing mainly on the current regime and opposition landscape but also analyzing movements before, during, and after the 2011 Arab Spring. Among other cases, we will look at Tunisia, which was the only country to emerge from the 2011 Arab Uprisings as a new democracy but which since July 2021 has been sliding back toward autocracy. We will also explore the role of outside powers like the United States, which has supported Arab authoritarianism in recent decades while very occasionally pushing for democratic change, versus local and regional dynamics. The course is intended for students interested in the politics of the modern Arab world; comparative authoritarianism and democratization; and U.S. foreign policy and democracy and human rights promotion abroad. Students should leave the course with an understanding of key factors contributing to and pushing against Arab autocracy and the challenges (and opportunities) that U.S. policy makers face in developing appropriate policies toward the promotion of democracy and human rights in the Arab region. For those students interested in policy writing, there will be exercises in short-memo writing applicable to the U.S. government sector.

Wed 7:10 – 9:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Conflict and Humanitarian Crises

Basma Alloush

Tue 7:10 – 9:00 PM

Protracted conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have increased the vulnerability of millions of people and created staggering levels of humanitarian need. The effects of conflict are compounded by recurring and extreme weather conditions, water scarcity, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These shocks have combined to exacerbate political and economic instability, increased rates of poverty, hunger, and inequality and created the conditions for prolonged humanitarian crises and massive migration and internal displacement. This course will examine the historical, political, economic and environmental root causes of humanitarian crises in the MENA region and explore the relationship between conflict and humanitarian need and suffering in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq among other countries. With a focus on humanitarian policy and programming, the course will consider the role of the state, non-state actors, and international and regional organizations in responding to crisis and conflict; and how security challenges, counterterrorism laws and sanctions and geopolitical interests affect humanitarian access.

Tue 7:10 – 9:00 PM

IAFF US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Charles Dunne

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

The United States has been the most powerful external actor in the Middle East and North Africa for much of the last 70 years, defending and advancing what generations of US policymakers have identified as vital national interests. Today, however, most Americans, and even the American government itself, seem to have grown weary of wars, crises, and expensive military commitments in the region. Iraq, Afghanistan, and the intractable Arab-Israeli peace process—not to mention the perception of numerous American policy failures—all have led successive US administrations to the conclusion that the United States should pare its involvement and focus its attention elsewhere. But is this the right course of action? When US attention lapses, emergencies in the region have a way of drawing America back in. It’s undoubtedly an arena of competing interests involving the United States, Russia and China, which increasingly bears implications for US global policy. Taught from a practitioner’s viewpoint, this course will focus on the history of and present-day rationale for US engagement in the region; we will have active class discussions on current developments, debate opposing views, and hold a simulation that will pull these strands together in a policymaking exercise with real-world implications. At the end of the course, you’ll know what the US is doing there and why it matters.

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

ANTH 6707 Making and Living Change in the Middle East: Anthropological Perspectives

Ilana Feldman

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

This course is an anthropological exploration of political and social change in the Middle East. We will consider how people work to make change in their communities, countries, and world and how they live with change as a dynamic process that they may not have sought and certainly do not control. In the first part of the course, we will work to build a conceptual vocabulary through which to consider the varied dynamics of political and social change in the region. We will consider temporality, scale, political imaginaries, and structural blockages in order to better understand how people experience change as a process, goal, and, sometimes, disappointment. When we turn to ethnographies on the Middle East, our themes will include: activism, protest, revolution, changing environments, and the aftermath of change.

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Arabic Dialects: North African

Khalil Derbel

Mon 2:20 – 3:35 PM
Wed 2:20 – 3:35 PM

This course helps students build proficiency in and command of the Moroccan dialect. The course’s focus is developing communicative functions in Moroccan Arabic and increasing cultural competency in Moroccan culture. Prerequisite Beginning Arabic II (ARAB 1002) or equivalent.

Mon 2:20 – 3:35 PM
Wed 2:20 – 3:35 PM

IAFF 6378 Arabic for Humanitarian Assistance and International Development

Khalil Derbel

Wed 5:10 – 7:00 PM

This course equips students with the necessary linguistic and cultural tools to pursue successful careers in the Foreign Service, public sector, private or international organizations specializing in humanitarian assistance and international development. Besides helping students to develop their communicative abilities and advance their skills in Arabic for humanitarian assistance and international development, this course trains students within the contexts in which these efforts are carried out in formal and informal settings. This course is intended for students at the Intermediate High level of proficiency and focuses on promoting proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as acquiring specialized terms pertaining to humanitarian work and international development. Prerequisite: Advanced Arabic (ARAB 3001) or equivalent.

Wed 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Climate Change and Environmental Politics in MENA

Jackson Perry

Thu 5:10 – 7:10 PM

This course offers a survey of political landscapes in the Middle East and North Africa related to contemporary environmental issues, particularly those shaped by global climate change. Informed by the region’s past and engaged in its present, it provides students with the historical perspective and environmental context needed to understand state and societal responses to the effects of climate change in the region. Organized thematically, this interdisciplinary course covers topics such as green-belt and solar projects in the Sahara, climate urbanism in the Gulf states, environmental dimensions of the Israel/Palestine conflict and the Syrian civil war, and the national and trans-national politics of water management around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Themes of resilience, ecological degradation, state capacity, civic engagement, and regional and global interdependencies run throughout the course. It is intended for students interested in the modern MENA region and/or contemporary environmental politics.

Thu 5:10 – 7:10 PM