Seattle Central Community College
Winter 2008

Course: POL 255 (Governments and Politics of the Middle East)
12:00 PM-12:50PM , room 4118
Professor: Jawed Zouari
Office: 4110
Ph: 587-6985
Office hours: Tue & Thu 1:00PM-3:30PM

Required Textbooks

Long, David E. et al. ed. The Governments and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 5th edition, 2007.

Spencer, William. The Middle East. Guilford, Connecticut: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 10th or 11th edition, 2007.

Course Description
This course surveys the political and social history of the modern Middle East. It will follow a comparative approach in assessing the patterns and processes of social, political, and cultural developments in various Middle Eastern and North African States and societies. The course will focus on several key issues such us colonialism, nationalism, cultural reform, the role of oil in Middle Eastern/ Western relations, the role of religion, and the Arab Israeli conflict, and the progress of the ongoing peace process between Palestinians and Israelis.

The course will draw from several disciplines including, political science, sociology, history, anthropology,, and political economy. The goal of this interdisciplinary approach is to help students acquire a critical understanding of the region’s rich history and form educated opinions about Middle Eastern states and societies.
In addition to the required outlined readings, students are strongly encouraged to read on a regular basis one or more publications that address Middle Eastern and North African  issues. A list of suggested titles and INTERNET addresses will be provided throughout the quarter. Every Thursday the class will be held in the computer lab, room 3167 for required in-lab assignments.

Note: If you need course adaptations and accommodations because of a disability; if you have emergency medical information to share with me; if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated: Please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Course Requirements

All students are expected to complete each week’s reading assignments on the first class meeting of that week and participate actively in class meetings and discussions. All students are also required to complete every course assignment on time. No late assignments are accepted.

Evaluation Formula


-Participation and attendance                        10 points (10%)
-Lab Assignments                                               20 points (20%)                                 
-Mid-Term-Exam                                              35 points  (35%)
-Final Exam                                                        35 points  (35%)

Total points for the course                              100 points (100%)



Course Schedule

First Week           Introduction
The Middle East: An Introduction

Long, ch. 1
Spencer, pp.  2-26                               
Note: For Spencer, exact page numbers vary slightly depending on edition number
Friday: Video # 1, Islam: The Empire of Faith, part 1

Second Week       The Arabian Peninsula
Long, ch. 4, Kingdom of Suadi Arabia
Spencer: Saudi Arabia
Video # 2, Islam: The Empire of Faith, part 2

Third Week         From Caliphate to Republic

Long, ch. 5, The republic of Iraq
Spencer: Iraq
Friday: Video 3, The Empire of Faith, part 3

Fourth Week       The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel

Long, ch. 10
Spencer: Jordan and Israel
Friday: Video 4, Holy Warriors
Holiday: Monday 21 January

Fifth Week           The Rise of the Modern State System after WWI

Long, ch. 2, The Republic of Turkey
                                Spencer: Turkey

Sixth Week           Arab Nationalism and the movement for Self-Determination

Long, ch. 13, The Arab Republic of Egypt
Spencer: Egypt
Mid-Term Exam: Thursday 7 February
Friday: Video 6, The Battle of Algiers, part 1

Seventh Week      Nationalism and Democratization
Long, ch. 15, 16, and 17
Spencer: Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia
Friday: Video 7, The Battle of Algiers, part 2

Eighth Week        Political Islam
                                Long, ch. 3, The Islamic Republic of Iran
Spencer:  Iran
Friday: Video 8, TBA
Holiday: Monday 18 February

Ninth Week          Front Line States
                                Long: ch. 8 and 9
                                Spencer: Syria, Lebanon
                                Friday: Video 9,  TBA

Tenth Week         International Relations in the contemporary Middle East

Long: ch. 12, The Palestinians
                                Friday: Video 10, The People and the Land


Eleventh Week    The Prosperous Gulf Microsates
                                Long, ch. 6, Eastern Arabian States
Spencer, United Arab Emirates

Final Exam: Tuesday 18 March at 12:00pm-12:50pm,  Room 4118