International Relations Courses

CAS IR 325 – The Great Powers and the Eastern Mediterranean
Looks at the Eastern Mediterranean as a center of Great Power confrontation, and considers its impact on wider international relations; the domestic political results; the role of sea power; and the origins, conduct, and resolution of wars.

CAS IR 328 – Turco-Persia in the Twentieth Century
The twentieth century history of the non-Arab Muslim Middle East, i.e., Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Analysis of the constitutional revolutions in Turkey and Iran, Kemalism, the Islamic revolution in Iran, and communism in the Soviet Union and Afghanistan.

CAS IR 329- History of Iran Before 1900
Meets with CAS HI 385. History of Iran from the Muslim conquest to 1900. Examines political developments; Persian literature, visual arts, and culture; Irannian Islam, and religious minorities.

CAS IR 381 – US-Pakistan Relations

Pakistan, once described by President Eisenhower as ‘the most allied of US allies,’ is now viewed as one of America’s most difficult partners. Pakistan sits at the crossroads of Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia. Its strategic location and its complex role in the Muslim world necessitate understanding of its foreign and security policies as well as its view of its national interests. American military presence in Afghanistan, the global war on terrorism and the deepening ties with Pakistan’s neighbor and rival India have all enhanced Pakistan’s importance to the US. This course examines American policy towards Pakistan and Pakistan’s relationship with the US as a critical issue in contemporary US foreign policy.

CAS IR 382 – Understanding the Middle East
Introduces the contemporary Middle East, including the Arab World, Iran, Israel, and Turkey; examines the systems of government; the role of external powers; the origins of the state system; the sources and objectives of opposition forces; the prospects for political reform, including democratization; and the prospects for future cooperation or conflict.

CAS IR 383 – Understanding Modern North Africa
Considers political, cultural, economic, and social developments in the modern states of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya as they struggle to gain independence from colonial domination and to consolidate viable, secure, and legitimate states and prosperous national communities.

CAS IR 397- History of Modern Iran: 1900-Present
Geographical/historical background; social structure, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversities; Anglo-Russian interventions; consequences of tobacco concession; constitutional revolution and reform; Qajar legacy; centralization, secularization, modernization under Pahlavis; oil and Mossadeg; autocracy and revolution; liberals, communists, fundamentalists, and Islamic revolution.

CAS IR 503 (PO 570) – The U.S. 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 – Seminar: 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
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 539 – State-Formation and Nation-Building in Southeastern Europe: From Byzantium to Brussels
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 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.