MES 381 • POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
This seminar will critically examine various Western (Weberian, Marxist, and post-structural) approaches to the study of politics in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly within the Arab world. We stress theoretical assumptions about politics as well as the content of contemporary everyday politics in the region because our understanding of the everyday may be victim of our own intellectual tastes and prejudices. For instance, is "Islamism" an ideology like Marxist-Leninism? Are the Bolsheviks or extremists bound to win out? We tend to think by analogy, and it is important for us to be award of our underlying assumptions.
Three oral presentations 30% Two 2500-word papers 30% each Quality (not quantity!) of discussion in class or via internet, to be posted on Blackboard 10%
Course packet; Overstating the Arab State: Politics and Society in the Middle East; International Relations of the Middle East; Master and Disciple: The Cultural Foundations of Moroccan Authoritarianism.