Comparative Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

In the middle of a wide-open, elaborate room, six men covered in fabric from head to toe stand behind a similarly-garbed gentleman who holds a binder.

On May 21, 2017, a delegation of the Leaders of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Countries presented an agreement of understanding to the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Image courtesy of The White House on flickr. This image is in the public domain.)


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Spring 2017



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Course Description

This course surveys both classic and cutting-edge work on the politics of the Middle East, broadly defined. Topics include the causes and consequences of political and economic development, authoritarianism and democratization, the influence of social movements, the role of women in Middle Eastern politics, regional inter-state relations, Islamism, terrorism, colonialism and foreign occupation, state-building, resistance and rebellion, and the Arab uprisings.

Related Content

Fotini Christia, and Richard Nielsen. 17.568 Comparative Politics and International Relations of the Middle East. Spring 2017. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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