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IAFF 3188 U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Ambassador Gordon Gray

Wed 12:45 – 3:15 PM

This course examines U.S. engagement in the Middle East since World War I by studying the evolution of U.S. policy, reviewing key decisions, and assessing 21 st century challenges. Students will build on this foundation to determine what U.S. national security interests are – and what U.S. priorities should be – in this region, and how the current inflection point in the global world order affects them. The course also seeks to provide an analytical framework for better understanding differing perspectives on U.S. policy. Student presentations, writing assignments, and active class discussion will help students improve the analytical, written, and oral communications skills essential for a successful career in international affairs. The instructor is a former career diplomat who served as a U.S. Ambassador and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Wed 12:45 – 3:15 PM

IAFF 6378 North Africa After the Arab Spring

Ambassador Gordon Gray

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

The popular protests that began in Tunisia over a decade ago catalyzed the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East that came to be known as the Arab Spring. The outcomes in the four countries of North Africa – Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia – have been dramatically different. They therefore offer a fascinating platform for understanding the challenges of transition and stabilization. This course will examine the unique characteristics and policies of each country, as well as the drivers of popular discontent that they share.  It will also look at how foreign actors and transnational issues (e.g., migration and terrorism) continue to affect developments in these four countries. By the end of this course, students will have developed an analytical framework to assess current and future developments in North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. They will be able to identify core U.S. interests in the region, understand the different tools available to policymakers, and explain how best to orchestrate those tools. The instructor served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco and as the U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia when the Arab Spring began there.

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 Persian for Arabic Learners

Zohreh Mirsharif

Tue 3:45 – 5:00 PM
Thu 3:45 – 5:00 PM

This innovative new course will be offered during the Spring Semester at the Elliott School (ESIA). This course is intended for students who have had at least one year of Arabic (or the equivalent), with the purpose of giving students a basic understanding of Persian (Farsi). This course is being taught by Dr. Mirsharif, a native speaker of Persian (Farsi). She is a really wonderful teacher and scholar, and she has a really dynamic personality. We think this is going to be a great course and will broaden the knowledge-base of our students. Moreover, as you know, one of the marvelous features of Persian (Farsi) is that the Arabic script is used to write it (although the phonemic values of the letters are slightly different, of course)....thus, you won't need to master a new alphabet...rather, you can jump right into learning the language!

Tue 3:45 – 5:00 PM
Thu 3:45 – 5:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Arabic for Diplomacy

Dina El-Hefnawy

Mon 5:10 – 7:00 PM

This course examines the ever growing state and public realm of modern diplomacy. It builds on global interest in enhancing state and public diplomacy in today’s diplomatic climate. We will examine how government officials working in foreign affairs and political leaders communicate in a modern world of globalization, conflict, and complex policy issues. We will read and analyze articles from multiple media sources, focusing on TV interviews of Arab leaders and officials. This course is designed to help students engaging in the study of international affairs and diplomatic relations expand their Arabic language skills and cultural competence. This course is of special interest to students studying global communication, international relations, and media studies.

Mon 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6379 MES Capstone

Marc Lynch

Fri 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Second in a two-course sequence with IAFF 6377. A project-oriented course, designed to synthesize the skills and knowledge that students have acquired in their graduate study. Restricted to students in the MA in Middle East studies program.

Fri 4:00 – 5:00 PM

IAFF 6378 Oil: Industry, Economy, & Society

Robert Weiner

Mon 7:10 – 9:40 PM

This course takes a multidisciplinary approach (primarily political economy and management) to oil and its effects on business, nation-states, and the world economy. The first half of the course adopts a top-down viewpoint, examining the global oil environment. The second half is more bottom-up, using cases to grapple with industry issues. The course is conducted in a mixture of seminar and lecture formats. A group proposal, paper, and presentation, as well as active class participation are expected, and constitute over half the assessment.

Mon 7:10 – 9:40 PM

IAFF 6378 Conflict & 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 6378 US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Ambassador Gordon Gray

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

This course examines U.S. engagement in the Middle East since World War I by studying the evolution of U.S. policy, reviewing key decisions, and assessing 21 st century challenges. Students will build on this foundation to determine what U.S. national security interests are – and what U.S. priorities should be – in this region, and how the current inflection point in the global world order affects them. The course also seeks to provide an analytical framework for better understanding differing perspectives on U.S. policy. Student presentations, writing assignments, and active class discussion will help students improve the analytical, written, and oral communications skills essential for a successful career in international affairs. The instructor is a former career diplomat who served as a U.S. Ambassador and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Tue 5:10 – 7:00 PM

IAFF 6378.16 Political Economy of the Middle East

Shana Marshall

Thu 7:10 – 9:00 PM

This course will introduce students to the political foundations of the region’s economy. We will examine how the economy of the MENA has been shaped by encounters with external actors (foreign traders, colonizing governments, transnational firms, international financial institutions, development agencies, etc.) but also how the region has impacted the global economy, with a special focus on the Gulf states and their role in shaping global financial markets. We will examine the legacy and ongoing impact of Western development and reconstruction agencies and their discourses, with special attention to the region's agrarian zones as well as zones transformed by imperial wars. Other important regional actors such as militaries, oil companies, sovereign wealth funds and labor movements will also be examined. This course will introduce students to mainstream political economy approaches concurrently with their critiques, in order to provide an understanding of the evolution of theories and practices of economic development and their political origins.

Thu 7:10 – 9:00 PM