HIS 3171 Themes in History of the Middle East

Course Description:
This course treats the emergence of the modern Middle East from the late 18th century to the present. It deals with reformist attempts to meet the European challenge, the age of colonialism, the rise of Nationalism, development strategies of Socialism and Capitalism, the impact of Israeli and Palestinian Nationalism, the petroleum factor, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the Gulf War and the war on terror.

Learning Objectives:
The course covers the history of the early modern Ottoman Empire, the history of Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and the Arab-Israel conflict. Through this, the course will deal with issues such as the Ottoman reforms and World War I, the rise of Sunni Islam, the petroleum revolutions, nationalism and sectarian politics, and the rise of terrorism.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the historical changes in the Middle East
• Link the impact of colonisation to the changes that took place in the Middle East
• Explain how the rise of sectarian politics influenced the historical differences and affects the security of the region and world in general

Course Content:

1. The Early Modern Ottoman Empire and the Arab World
2. The Ottoman Reforms to World War I
3. Turkey: Kemalism and the Military Cycle
4. Egypt from Monarchy to Republic
5. Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
6. Iraq: Colonialism, Monarchy and Revolution
7. Iran: Revolution and Islamic Republic
8. The rise of Sunni Islam
9. Baathist Iraq
10. Petroleum Revolutions in the Middle East
11. The Second Intifada and the Oslo Process
12. Nationalism and Sectarianism in Lebanon and Syria
13. Turkey: Secularism, Capitalism, Ethnic Conflict and Islam
14. Al-Qaeda and Muslim Radicalism


Attendance 10%
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%

Recommended Readings:
Abrahamian, E (2008) A History of Modern Iran, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ahmad, F. (2003) Turkey: The Quest for Identity, Oxford: One world Press.
Smith, C. C. (2007) Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Confli, 6th Rev. Edn., UK & Canada: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tripp, C. (2007) A History of Iraq, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.