International Relations Courses

CAS IR 503 (PO 570) – United States Policy in the Middle East
Examines the historical development and present status of the United States’ association with the Middle East: American commercial, economic, political, military, and humanitarian interests in the area and their interaction.

CAS IR 504 – The Persian Gulf/Arabian Peninsula
Prereq:  Limited to juniors, seniors, and graduate students.  The Persian Gulf/Arabian Peninsula system as a major focus of international concern. An in-depth examination of the political, economic and societal evolution and dynamics of these states: their interrelationships; superpowers’, European, and Japanese policies toward them.

CAS IR 507 – The Muslim and Western Worlds – Prospects for a “Clash of Civilizations.”
This course explores the perennially troubled relationship between the Western and Muslim worlds. Its central aim is to shed light on the realities and mutual misperceptions, both past and present, that come together to give credence to Samuel Huntington’s prediction of a clash across the cultural fault line he perceived between Muslims and Westerners. Armed with this understanding, students may be better able to judge the meaning of the September 11, 2001 catastrophe and to decide for themselves whether the questions being raised about the seemingly intractable hatred and scorn each side seems to harbor for the other are the right ones to ask.

CAS IR 508 – Islamic Political Movements and U.S. Policy
This course studies the origin and impact of Islamic political movements and their intersection with U.S. foreign policy. It examine the ideologies of various Islamic revivalist movements; their role during and after the cold war; their view of the U.S. and western civilization, and how the have contributed to the rise of terrorism.

CAS IR 509 – Islam in Middle East Politics
There is little question that the major opposition forces in the contemporary Middle East are populist Islamist movements. In this seminar we shall attempt to understand the roots, the motives and the significance of these movements.

Proceeding from an introduction to Islam– the religion of about one billion people worldwide–a number of key questions will give shape to the seminar. Informed observers, and even informed scholars, are prone to take as given a number of generalities about Islam and politics, although at least some of the “givens” do not stand up to scrutiny. These generalities, in turn, reflect a political ideology that bears reflection and study, especially since the wide social base of the Islamists precludes either ignoring or successfully isolating them. There is no mistaking the fact that many of the leaders of the Islamic movements are preparing to posit themselves as the new rulers. Thus, there is not only relevance in examining the Islamists’ critique of the present governments, but also in investigating the theory of government that would under gird Islamist rule.

CAS IR 511 – The Middle East Today (Summer Term)
A critical survey of the rise and development of modern nations, states, and economies in the Middle East and North Africa since 1900 that provides context and perspective essential for understanding contemporary issues (e.g., peace process, gender relations, religion’s roles, democracy).

CAS IR 514 – Major Themes in Middle East Peace Process
Examines the opposing parties’ positions in the Arab-Israeli conflict and efforts by the U.S. and the United Nations to try to resolve them. Analyzes the Camp David negotiations leading to the peace treaty of 1979, the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza since 1987 and proposes solutions for a comprehensive peace treaty.

CAS IR 539 – State-Formation and Nation-Building in Southeastern Europe
Prerequisite: Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students. Course examines the politics of Southeastern Europe in terms of the twin processes of state-formation and nation-building. The course covers the following countries—Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Greece, and Turkey. The basic aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the region’s unity and diversity as this relates to internal development of Southeastern Europe and to region’s relationship with Europe as whole. Students will leave the course with the foundational knowledge and critical analytic tools necessary for continuing or advanced study of Southeastern Europe.

CAS IR 584- Muslim Republics in Central Asia and Caucasia

CAS IR 586 – Islam in South Asian Politics
Prereq: limited to seniors and graduate students except by consent of instructor. Examines the relations among state, politics, and Islam in South Asia, with particular focus on the unsolved conflicts over Kashmir and Afghanistan.

CAS IR 587 – The Political Economy of the Middle East
Eurocentric students of 19th Century history thought of the Ottoman Empire as “the sick man” of Europe. The modern Middle East, with its wars, its wealthy few and impoverished millions, its stagnant economies and authoritarian politics seems to many to have inherited that title on the world scene. The purposes of this course are to: 1) seek an understanding of the issues and problems facing the societies, economies and states of the region; 2) assess the successes and failures of public policy aimed at dealing with those concerns and difficulties; and 3) examine scenarios for the future. While the course is centered primarily on what is going within in the region, rather than on the Middle East’s place in the international politics and the world economy, it is not possible to think coherently about subjects such as oil and political Islam without reference to region’s complex interaction with the outside world.

CAS IR 591 – The Making of the Modern Middle East
Seminar focuses on the rivalry between the Great Powers of Europe in the Middle East, commencing in 1798; and on the resolution of these conflicts in the First World War and its immediate aftermath. The focus is on 1914-1922, the formative years of the modern Middle East. In the age of imperialism, the big decisions in world politics were made by the European Powers; so this seminar is mainly about the Europeans and the conflicts among them, even though it answers, in the end, the question of how the modern Middle East, with its new countries and frontiers, emerged from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire and the other Muslim regimes that had held sway in the past. The arena of conflict between the Great Powers was the Middle East as defined, not in a geographic, but in a geopolitical sense: it was the road to British-ruled India, a road that England was defending and that England’s rivals were attempting to sever. As so defined the Middle East included northern Africa, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Persia (Iran), as well as Turkish and Arabic speaking western Asia.

GRS IR 705- Modernization in Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan

GRS IR 706- The Iranian Revolution and its Impact on the Middle East
This course examines the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its impact on the Middle East. The first third of the seminar focuses on Iran and, subsequently, the Iran/Iraq war. Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, and Israel will be studied as they are affected by Iran’s upheavals.

GRS IR 707 (PO 750)- Political Reform in the Middle East
Seminar analyzes and rethinks Middle East politics. Authoritarian governments rule most of the Middle East, but internal and external pressures for change are mounting. Given the tenuousness of the status quo, political reform will be hard to avoid.

GRS IR 757- Transnational Shi’ism
Begins with the original split in Islam that generated Twelver Shi’ism, discusses key features of the religion, such as Muharram rituals and the existence of a quasi-clergy, and ends with a discussion of individual Shi’ite countries and relations between them.

GRS IR 762- Turkey and the European Union: The History and Contemporary Aspects of Turkey’s European Path
This course examines the relationship between Turkey and the European Union (EU) in terms of European integration. Interaction of two data sets is considered: key concepts, actors, concerns and issues of European integration; historical and contemporary hallmarks of Turkey’s political, economic, cultural, and military development.

GRS IR 897- History of Modern Iran