Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Topics & concepts to define and explain. If you can use the textbook The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

q Imperial history of MENA region

q What does Caliph (Khalifah) mean in Arabic?

q Emergence of modern MENA (Middle East and North Africa) states

o Colonial legacy that shaped the modern MENA map

o Significance of Sykes-Picot Agreement and Hussain-McMahon correspondence

q What is a hybrid regime? (Ch #1)

q Distinctions between Sunni and Shi’a Islam

q Oil and Politics in the Middle East [Luciani and Ross’ oil curse]

q What is Political Islam (Islamism)?

q Issues, challenges of democratization in the MENA

o Kuru’s main findings about persistence of authoritarianism in MENA

o What is a rentier state? To what extent does “rentier economy” help explain

democratization in the MENA region?

o Hamid’s main arguments about Political Islam (how is/has Islamism evolving/ed?)

o Key points from Dalia Mogahed’s TED presentation

q Syria

o Identify key players in the Syrian conflict

o How did the Ba’th (Ba’ath) party came to power in Syria (Ch #2, p.50)

o Relationship between Political Islam and Ba’th party of Assad (Ch#2).

o What is “Mukhabarat” and how did the Assad family used it over the years (Ch #2)

o Causal factors that led to the brutal civil war in Syria

o Why would IRAN and RUSSIA support Assad? What do they want?

o Critical thinking question (no right or wrong answer): should the US withdraw troops from

Syria (an issue that led to the resignation of General Mattis in late 2018)? Why?


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