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Politics of the Middle East

POL 222

Politics of the Middle East

POL 222

Course Description

Examines the internal and external dynamics that shape the politics, economy, and social make-up of Middle Eastern societies. Uses a multidisciplinary approach to explain and evaluate the politics of the region. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate an understanding of the Middle Eastern societies.

Objectives:

  • Understand the patterns of the Middle East by looking at the social, economic, and political fermentation of the region.
  • Explain the undercurrents of the Middle Eastern politics by analyzing the social and economic forces that shape the politics of the region.
  • Evaluate the contextual basis of politics in these societies.

Analyze the causes, patterns, and directions of development or decay.

Objectives:

  • Understand the process of development in the Middle East societies.
  • Explain the causes of development or decay by applying theoretical rigor to the context of the Middle East.
  • Evaluate the level, process, and direction of development by focusing on major groups, role of elites, rural-urban distribution of resources, and distribution of political power and influence.

Analyze similarities and differences between countries of the Middle East.

Objectives:

  • Understand differences between and among countries of the Middle East by drawing a comparison of political systems, rules of governance, and level of participation.
  • Distinguish political regimes according to the ruling elites, the nature of governance, and the relationship between the rulers and the ruled.
  • Evaluate durability/sustainability of the political regimes, and issues related to the legitimacy of rule.

Analyze the role of religion in the social, economic, and political milieu of the Middle East.

Objectives:

  • Relate the social mosaic of the Middle Eastern cultures to the role and importance of religion.
  • Explain the relationship between religion and politics.
  • Evaluate the importance of religion in the Middle Eastern context.

Analyze the role of natural resources in shaping the internal and external dynamics of the Middle Eastern politics.

Objectives:

  • Understand the role of oil in regime durability.
  • Explain the social and political divide between haves and have-nots.
  • Evaluate the political/strategic importance of the region in terms of foreign policies of the industrialized world.

Analyze the causes of conflict and tension in the Middle East

Objectives:

  • Understand the root cause/s of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • Explain the regional religious-cum-political diversity and territorial claims.
  • Evaluate the political perceptions on both sides.

Access and evaluate information on major developments in the region.

Objectives:

  • Locate information from diverse printed and electronic sources.
  • Assess the quality of these materials.
  • Use information in making informed decisions, critiques, and conclusions.

Use critical thinking skills to reason and evaluate.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate the credibility of sources of information.
  • Analyze and evaluate theories, positions, viewpoints, and policies.
  • Generate and assess solutions to problems.

Write effectively for specific audience and purpose.

Objectives:

  • Understand and analyze information in written form.
  • Explain the subject matter in a coherent writing style.
  • Evaluate the information and develop effective communication skills.