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«Carleton University Winter 2012 Department of Political Science PSCI 5915X Selected Topic in Political Science: International Relations and Conflict ...»

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Carleton University Winter 2012

Department of Political Science

PSCI 5915X

Selected Topic in Political Science: International Relations and Conflict in the Middle East

Tuesday 14:35 - 17:25

Please confirm location on Carleton central

Instructor: Prof. Hamid Ahmadi Office: Loeb B641

Phone: 520 2600 X 3052 OHs: Tuesday 11:30-2:15

Email: hahmadi1@connect.carleton.ca

Description: The course focuses on the unfolding of multi dimensional nature of conflicts in the contemporary Middle East. A swift glance at the present situation of the Middle Eastern conflict studies reveals that they mostly emphasize on the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus neglecting other important types of conflicts in the region. While acknowledging the importance of the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis and its effects on the Middle Eastern politics in general, the course concentrates on other sources of the conflict, either among Middle Eastern states themselves or at the extra regional level between the Great powers and countries of the region. Among these, ethnic conflict in national and regional levels, territorial conflicts and boundary disputes, conflict over scarce natural resources, water in particular, and finally the cultural conflicts, both in religious and civilizational terms are considered the most important manifestations of conflict in the Middle East.

Synopsis: The Middle East has been considered the most conflict laden and “penetrated” regional subsystems in the last two centuries. This rule has maintained its credibility in the first decade of the Twenty First Century. The culture shift in international relations studies can be explained partly by looking into the nature of the political conflicts in the post cold war Middle East. The September 11, the consequent wars in Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), and the ongoing “war against terror” have been the best manifestations of the effects of the cultural norms and values on international politics. For a long time, the Middle Eastern experts and elites have been raising the argument that one basic factor behind all different aspects of conflicts in the region stems from the lack of democracy and the persistent forms of authoritarian rule.

According to this explanation, authoritarian states have used territorial, cultural, religious and ideological issues as useful pretexts in order to create conflicts, thus to deviate the public opinion from the their real socio-political and economic problems. The Arab Spring and the consequent fall of the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East would be good criteria for assessing the credibility of that argument.

Organization: This is a graduate seminar, thus, I would like the readings for the week to be discussed in class. The first part of every session will be devoted to the discussion of the readings for the day, by presentation of one student and the subsequent participation of all in discussing the issue. Then, I will lecture on the topic at hand, but would welcome discussions during the lecture.

Required Text(s) Fred Halliday, The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Peter Hinchcliffe, Beverley Milton-Edwards, Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 (London:

Routledge, 2007).

Raymound Hinnebusch, The International Politics of the Middle East (Manchaster: Manchester University Press, 2003).

Course Requirements To obtain credit for this course, students must meet all the requirements; attendance, a presentation, a book review, and a final paper. Students who do not meet these criteria will be assigned a grade of “F.” Late reviews will be penalized one fraction of a grade (i.e., B to B-) for each weekday they are late. All works must be handed to the instructor. Marks will be calculated

as follows:

–  –  –

*Each review should be about 3-4 pages (double-spaced and typed). Books to be reviewed are the required texts. If anyone desires to review a book other than the assigned texts it is fine, provided it is related to the course and cleared by the instructor (Any of the books in the recommended reading would do). The content of your review should address the following questions: What is the main objective of the author? What is the methodology utilized? Did the author achieve the stated objective(s)? Answer to each question obtains is worth 4% and presentation (clean and clear writing) obtains 4%.

** The short paper can be the extension of the presentation each student gives in the class.

However, she or he should go beyond the mere description of the texts and by focusing on specific issue, make an argument as a contribution to the Middle Eastern studies. The final paper should be a well-argued research paper, focusing on an individual scholar of the Middle Eastern studies. By criticizing or appreciating each scholar’s works, her or his contribution to the discipline of Political Science or International Relations in general, and Middle Eastern studies in particular must be explained. Papers are to be 14-18 pages, double-spaced and the deadline is April 5th.

*** Participation is evaluated based on regular attendance and active engagement in class discussion.

Course Calendar Session 1 (Jan 10): Introduction and Orientation: Middle East in international politics Introducing the Course Film: Promises and Betrayal


Peter Hinchcliffe, Beverley Milton-Edwards,” Superpowers conflict in the Middle East: war by proxy”, in Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 (London: Routledge, 3 edition 2007), pp.36Fred Halliday, “Introduction: world politics, the Middle East and the complexities of area studies”, in The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp.1-21.

Eugene L. Rogan, “The emergence of the Middle East into the modern state system”, in Louis Fawcett, International Relations of the Middle East (Oxford; Oxford university press, 2005),pp.


Raymound Hinnebusch, “Introduction to the international politics of the Middle East” in the International Politics of the Middle East (Manchester: Manchester university press, 2003), pp.


Bahgat kourani, “the Middle East since the cold war: torn between geopolitics and geoeconomics” in Louis Fawcett, International Relations of the Middle East, pp. 59-75.


Bahgat Korany, the Arab States in the Regional and International System: II. Rise of New

Governing Elite and the Militarization of the Political System (Evolution) available at:

http://www.passia.org/seminars/96/arab_statesII.htm.; Fred Halliday, “The Middle East and International Politics”, in Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics in the Middle East (1996, 2003), pp. 11-42.; Davison, Roderic H., “Where is the Middle East,?” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 38, (1960) pp. 665 -675.; Douglas Little, American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East since 1945. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002), Ch. 1.; Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East: the History and Politics of Orientalism. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004) pp. 182-241.

Session 2 (Jan 17): The Middle Eastern studies: the State of the Art


F. Gregory Gause III, “Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring”, Foreign Affairs, (July/August 2011).

Seismic Shift:

Lisa Anderson, “Scholarship, Policy, Debate and Conflict: Why We Study the Middle East and Why It Matters,” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 1(2004).

Gerges, Fawaz, “The Study of Middle East International Relations: A Critique,” British Journalof Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (1991), pp. 208-220.

Lisa Anderson, “Policy-Making and Theory-Building: American Political Science and the Islamic Middle East,” in Hisham Sharabi, ed., Theory, Politics, and the Arab World: Critical Responses (New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 52-80.

Recommended Martin Kramer, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, (Washington DC: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001), chs. 2-6.; James A. Bill, “Comparative Middle East Politics: Still in Search of Theory,” PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 27, No. 3 (1994), pp. 518-519.; Christopher Shea “Political Scientists Clash Over Value of Area Studies,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, (January 10, 1997).

http://chronicle.com/che-data/articles.dir/art-43.dir/issue-18.dir/18a01301.htm.; Lisa Hajjar and Steve Niva. “(Re)Made in the USA Middle East Studies in the Global Era,” Middle East Report, No. 205 (1997), Middle East Studies Networks: The Politics of a Field, pp. 2-9.

Session 3 (Jan 24): Studying Middle East in the Light of IR Theories


Fred Halliday, “International Relations theory and the Middle East”, in The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology, pp.21-41.

Raymound Hinnebusch, “Core and periphery: the international system and the Middle East”, in the international Relations of the Middle East, pp.14-54.

--------------------------------, “Identity and sovereignty in the regional system”, in The International Politics of the Middle East, pp. 54-73.

Thomas Juneau, “Power, perceptions, identity and factional politics: a neoclassical realist analysis of Iranian foreign policy, 2001-2007”, (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian political Science Association, Ottawa, Ontario, May 27-29 2009).


F. Gregory Gause III, “Systemic Approaches to Middle East International Relations,” International Studies Review, Vol. 1, Issue 1, (Spring 1999): 11-31.; Treq Ismael, “The Middle East: a subordinate system in global politics” in Tareq Y Ismael, The Middle East in World Politics: A study in Contemporary International Relations (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1974), pp. 240-257.;. L. Carl Brown, International Politics and the Middle East: Old Rules, Dangerous Games (New Jersey: Princeton University press, 1984), pp. 3-18. Peter Sluglett, “the Cold War in the Middle East” in Louise Fawcett, pp. 41-56.; Simon W. Morden, “the Pax Americana in the Middle East”, in Islam, the Middle East and the New Global Hegemony, (London: Lynne Rienner, 2002), pp. 43-93.

Session 4 (Jan 31): Conflict in the Middle East: Concepts, Theories and Classifications


Jack S. Levy, “International Sources of Interstate and Intrastate War.” In Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall, eds., Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World. (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007). Pp. 17-38.


---------------, “Preventive War and Democratic Politics.” International Studies Quarterly, 52, 1 (March 2008): 1-24. (Presidential address, International Studies Association) http://faspolisci.rutgers. edu/levy/Levy%20- %20Preventive%20War%20&%20Democratic%20 Politics.pdf O Ramsbotham, "The analysis of protracted social conflict: a tribute to Edward Azar". Review of International Studies (Cambridge University Press) 31 (2005): 109-126..

http://journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=274633 Louise Fawcett, “Alliances, cooperation and regionalism in the Middle East”, in International Relations of the Middle East, pp. 173-191.

Raymound Hinnebusch, “war and order in the regional system”, in International Politics of the Middle East, pp. 154.204.

Typology of conflicts in the Middle East: Comments by professor


Jack S. Levy, "Domestic Sources of Alliances and Alignments: The Case of Egypt, 1962-1973."

International Organization, 45, 3 (Summer 1991): 369-395. [with Michael N. Barnett], http://fas-polisci.rutgers.edu/levy/1991%20Domestic%20Sources%20of%20Alliances.pdf, ;’ ---The Causes of the Iran-Iraq War." In James Brown and William P. Snyder, eds., The Regionalization of War. (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1985). Pp. 127-143 http://faspolisci.rutgers.edu/levy/1984%20Iran-Iraq%20War.pdf.; ---------------, "The Causes of War: A Review of Theories and Evidence." In Philip E. Tetlock, Jo L. Husbands, Robert Jervis, Paul C.

Stern, and Charles Tilly, eds. Behavior, Society, and Nuclear War, vol. I. New York: Oxford University Press (for the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council), 1989. Pp.

209-333. http://fas-polisci.rutgers.edu/levy/1989%20Causes%20of%20War.pdf.;

Session 5 (Feb 7): The Arab-Israeli Conflict


Mehran Kamrava.The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War (Berkeley : University of California Press, 2005) [DS62.8.K365 2005].chapter 7.

Charles Smith, “the Arab-Israeli conflict,” in Louis Fawcett, pp. 217-241 Gary Sussman, “The Challenge to the Two-State Solution” Middle East Report, No. 231 (Summer 2004): 8-15. http://www.merip.org/mer/mer231/sussman.html.

Michael Barnett, “The Israeli Identity and the Peace Process: Re/creating the Unthinkable,” in Telhami and Barnett, Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East, (Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2002) pp. 58-87.


Natoya Mitchell, Conflict in the Middle East: Its Origin and the United States' Role in the Peace Process, (Proquest, Umi Dissertation Publishing, 2011).; Itamar Rabinovich, The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, 1948-2011 (Brookings, 2011).; William B.

Quandt (2001), Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict since 1967 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2001), pp.321-376.; John Quigley, the Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2010).;

Avraham Sela, the Decline of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Middle East Politics And the Quest for Regional Order (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998).; George E. Irani, Islamic Mediation Techniques for Middle East Conflicts, MERIA: Journal, Volume 3, No. 2 –( June 1999).;

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