Explores the major political, economic, social, and security challenges facing - and emanating from - the Middle East. Particular attention paid to the causes of the so-called Arab Spring and the prospects for genuine democratization. Explores the role of colonial legacies, Islam, peculiarities of the physical environment, demographic patterns, cultures of patriarchy, the distortions of foreign aid and oil wealth, and the machinations of great powers in generating the region's particular pattern of political development. Embraces a variety of theoretical and empirical literatures, including translated works by Middle Eastern commentators, politicians, and social theorists. Students will emerge from the course with both an understanding of a changing region whose geopolitical importance - to the United States and the world - shows no sign of waning, and a grounding in some of the principal analytic approaches in the study of comparative political systems.
This graduate seminar explores the transformation of Islamic institutions in the modern period, such as religious endowments (Awqaf), sharia courts, and Islamic education. We will engage with the historiography of these institutions and with primary sources in Arabic that will help us open new paths for research.
This is a course about how democracy comes into being and how it breaks down, and about what citizens, activists, and policymakers around the world can do to make the former more likely and the latter less so.... Read more about Getting and Keeping Democracy
This is a course about fundamental problems of participation, democratic governance, and conflict in contemporary political systems. It will provide students with an analytical toolkit for understanding and acting on the political dimensions of policy problems.... Read more about Political Institutions and Public Policy
Architecture of the eastern Mediterranean basin (at Italian, Ottoman, and Mamluk courts) with emphasis on cross-cultural encounters and transmission of the Romano-Byzantine heritage, science and technology, architectural practice, ornament, urban design, military, religious, and domestic architecture.