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POL 115 — Forces of Change in the Middle East

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 11
Unit: 1
Tuition: $395
Instructor(s): Emad Mekay
7:00—8:50 pm
Jun 28—Aug 16
8 weeks
Drop By
Jul 11
1 Unit
Emad Mekay
This course will help students decipher the latest trends and forces reshaping the Middle East now and anticipate future scenarios as the region looks set for further upheaval.

As most ruling Arab elites adopt a new posture aimed at preventing a repeat of the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring, new players, forces, policies, and adversaries are rising. How will those new actors influence the future of this geopolitically important region?

This course will explain trends such as adventurism by Riyadh’s new de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; the Arab Wealth Funds, which have reportedly been used to influence US Middle East policy; the role played by the military economy and the persistent muzzling of dissent in Egypt; the possibility of a peace treaty between Gulf Arab nations and Israel; the unprecedented Arab calls for a joint Arab-Israeli action against Iran; the rise of a Turkish-Qatar axis rivaled by a Saudi-led coalition that seeks to enlist Israel; and how young secular democrats and the Islamic political movement are adapting to heavy-handed tactics to restrain their activities. By the end of the course, students will be able to detect political and economic undercurrents and better identify the Middle East’s new generation of political and economic players.

Emad Mekay, Founder, Editor, and Publisher, America in Arabic News Agency

Emad Mekay is a former correspondent with The New York Times and Bloomberg News in the Middle East, and covered the Arab Spring for the International Herald Tribune and the Inter Press Service. He is also an investigative reporter who in 2006 started a news agency that helped expose corruption in regimes in Egypt and Iraq. Mekay has written for the Financial Times, MSNBC, The Sydney Morning Herald, and several international publications. He is a former Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.