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Pitzer College    
  Feb 25, 2018
2016-2017 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POST 139 PZ -Politics of the Middle East

Institution: Pitzer

Description: As the holder of one of the world’s largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas, the Middle East has been the focus of regional and international competition for millennia. In this course we will investigate Western powers’ domination of states and societies of the Middle East after the decline of the Ottoman Empire during the early 20th century. We will then examine the implications of imperialist intervention for societies in this region, including diverse responses to Western colonialism. Next, we will analyze ideologies, actors, and events that have shaped the domestic, regional, and international policies of states of this region up until the present.  

Some of the questions we will examine in this course are the following:  Who are the major players in the political arena of the Middle East and what are the key issues of conflict and cooperation among states in the region and the world outside of the Middle East? What are the domestic and international obstacles to democratization in the region? What are the grounds behind the persistence of authoritarianism in the Middle East?  What factors triggered the rapid rise of diverse forms of Islamist currents across the region and how can we explain the causes of violent sectarian conflicts in countries like Iraq and Syria?  And finally, what are the economic, political, and geostrategic reasons behind the struggle for power and domination among local and foreign actors in the Middle East? 

For up-to-date information on current course offerings and details, please refer to the Pitzer class schedule on MyCampus2 Portal.

Please check course schedule for requirements.

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