- To ensure a favorable outcome of WWI and to secure its long-term national interest in the Middle East at the end of the war, Great Britain embarked upon a series of conflicting initiatives and agreements that shaped the landscape of the Middle East and simultaneously became fertile grounds for intense and protracted conflicts. List and explain these agreements and examine their impact on the nature and scope of Middle Eastern state boundaries. To what extent these agreements have advanced or impeded the processes of state formation and nation building in the Middle East? Explain whether Great Britain behavior was compelled by structural determinants as the neorealist perspective argues or could Great Britain have, according to the liberal school of thought, behaved differently by overcoming challenges posed by the “prisoner’s dilemma,” or yet was motivated by a constructivist theory. Identify at which level of analysis was Great Britain operating, and explain to which school of thoughts Eugene Rogan subscribes.
- Peter Mandaville asserts that, “Indeed, Islam has often functioned, not in opposition to, but as a form of, national cohesion.” For all of the countries of the modern Middle East, this assertion reflects the ongoing tension between two set of identities which, according to Mandaville, function as explanatory factors to their foreign policy and international affairs: religion (particularly Islam) and nationalism (secular nation state). What is, according to Mandaville, the nature and scope of the relationship between Islam and the secular nation state and what are the ramifications of this relationship on the foreign policies of Saudi Arabia and Iran on the one hand and Egypt and Turkey on the other hand? Outline the evidence that Mandaville provides to support his contention that the identity perspective is the determinant variable of the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Explain the extent to which Mandaville’s contention is more applicable than other schools of thoughts of international relations.
- When it comes to the issue of democratization, the Middle East, argues Richard Norton, “is trapped in some ways outside global trends.” Norton detects several challenges and obstacles which explain why the Arab world has been slow to democratize. List those factors and explain their ramifications on the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Explain why the issue of democratization is relevant to the study of international relations of the region. Which perspective argues about the importance of democratization and what evidence does it provide to support its contention?
- Many scholars studying the role of the modern Middle East in international relations, the sources of its conflicts and wars, and the ramifications of the region’s constituent countries’ foreign policy on world politics have concluded that an extensive explanation and analysis of these aspects cannot be based on utilizing only one paradigm of international relations. Janice Gross Stein argues that the “modern Middle East has proved to be the graveyard of many contemporary theories of international relations.” Raymond Hinnebusch maintains that the Middle East’s unique features create a complex reality that defies analyses based on any one conceptual approach to international relations. Therefore, he adds, it is imperative to deploy a combination of several perspectives. “Heeding” Hinnebusch’s advice, and by a way of explaining the conceptual and practical utility of the perspectives in international relations for understanding the international politics of the Middle East, analyze the nature, scope, and evolution of a particular Middle Eastern country’s foreign policy toward one event (Israeli-Arab conflict or any other regional conflict) or phenomenon (democratization, terrorism, globalization). Make sure that you first define perspectives and level of analysis, list the paradigms studied in this course and explain their key concepts and outline and explain the types of level of analysis
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