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LIST 589: Issues in the Contemporary Middle East

Instructor: Dr. Bob Kramer

Course Description
This course is designed to introduce students to the most pressing issues in the contemporary Middle East, namely: the rise of political Islam (or “Islamism”), as evidenced by al-Qa’ida and the Muslim Brotherhood; the resurgence of Shi’ite power in the Middle East since the Iranian revolution of 1979; the Arab world’s uprisings since 2011 (“Arab Spring”) and its consequences; and the limitation of American influence and power in the region.  Our discussions will touch on a number of countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and Israel, and will consider the significance of large youth populations (the “youth bubble”) and modern social media.

Required Book List
  • James Gelvin. The Arab Uprising: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.   ISBN: 978-0199891771