- Explain the impact of European Imperialism, and more recent Western interventions, in shaping the political geography and ideological trends and reactions in the Middle East.
- Analyze the evolution of rivalries among Middle East actors and how these have shaped the region’s geo-culture and geo-politics
- Discuss the factors that drive the international relations of key Middle East states, particularly, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey
Choose one of the following Essay topics related to the learning objectives above (or suggest a topic):
1. The regional impact/Implications of the U.S. intervention in 2003 Gulf War
2. The factors behind and implications of the Israel-UAE Normalization Agreement.
3. The factors behind and implications of the Israel-Bahrain Normalization Agreement.
4. The factors behind and implications of the Israel-Sudan Normalization Agreement.
5. Israel’s relations with the Palestinians during the Trump Administration.
6. The Trump Palestinian-Israeli Deal of a Century
7. The Trump Maximum Pressure Policy towards Iran
8. The Iranian Response to the Trump Maximum Pressure Policy
9. Turkey and the Kurds in Syria
10. Turkey and Libya
11. Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian Ties
12. Qatari and Turkish Relations
13. UAE foreign policy in Libya
14. UAE foreign policy in Yemen
15. Saudi Arabia and Yemen
16. Reaction of Middle East States (Israel, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Arab-League etc.) to the Indian policy in Kashmir or to the rise of Hindu Nationalism
17. Viewpoints and policies of Israel, Turkey and Iran towards Nagorno-Karabakh
18. Reaction of Middle East states (Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.) to China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim population
19. Turkey’s and its Sunni Arab rivals
20. The U.S. military presence in Syria since the defeat of ISIS
21. The Middle East and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
22. Response of Middle East states to Macron, recent events in France
1-10 Points: For content and analysis. Your essay should not be journalistic (descriptive of current events). Tie the issue in with what you know of the region and its history where possible. What are the motives that drive the policies of the states (domestic, economic, geo-strategic (to stump a regional rival), etc.). Back your thoughts up with examples, details. Offer different viewpoints where possible.
1-5 Points: Organization: Your ideas must flow and connect well to one another from paragraph to paragraph. Do not submit a first draft!
1-3 Points: Writing: Use proper vocabulary to make sure points. Structure your sentences well so that your meaning is clear. Also, watch for typos, grammatical errors, or misspelling
1-5 Points: Sources!!: Give credit to your source’s ideas angle by citing them properly, providing author name, date of publication, source of publication and page number. Make sure you are citing proper authorities on your topic. Use academic articles or book chapters from peer reviewed sources. Search think tanks for more recent analysis. Know who your sources are, and what credentials they have to speak on a topic (look up the author and his/her expertise). Try to incorporate a variety of viewpoints, so you don’t miss an angle.
You do not have to take a position on an issue, nor argue in one way or another. I just expect you to look at these issues and to write a thoughtful essay that is well-argued and backed up with proper examples.