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
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?