PSPA 323 Minorities Politics in the Middle East by grapieroo13


									                               PSPA 323
                 Minorities & Politics in the Middle East

Course Description
This course deals with ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East. The course
begins by looking at modern group formation and the political emergence of minorities
as nationalistically maladaptive groups. The main grievance voiced by minorities
pertains to the disadvantageous power relationship between them and the dominant
group, usually Sunni Arab (except in Iran and in Israel). The course examines the
background and demands of major minorities in the Middle East such as the Kurds, the
Berbers, the southern Sudanese, the Shi’is, the Maronites, the Copts, and the

Learning Objectives
By the end of the course, you should understand:
*The theoretical aspects of minorities
*The origins of the Middle East’s minority question
*The impact of regional and international factors on aggravating the minority question
*The nature of minority demands
*Regime responses to minority demands
*Future prospects for Middle Eastern minorities.

Grading System
Participation                30%
Book Review                  15%
Term Paper                   55%

Yitzhak Nakash, The Shi’is of Iraq.
David McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds.
Rosemary Sayigh, Too Many Enemies: The Palestinian Experience in Lebanon.
Michael Brett, The Berbers.
Edward Wakin, A Lonely Minority: The Modern Story of Egypt’s Copts.
There are, in addition, several readings on reserve in Jafet Library.

Gerard Chaliand, ed. A People without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan.

Henry J. Barkey, et al. Turkey’s Kurdish Question.
Martin Van Bruinissen, Agha, Shaikh and State: The Social and Political Structures
of Kurdistan.

Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds and the Future of Turkey.

Francis Mading Deng, Seed of Redemption: A Political Novel.

_________________, War of Visions: Conflicts of Identities in the Sudan.

Wai M. Dunston, Southern Sudan: Problem of National Integration.

David M. Hart, Tribe and Society in Rural Morocco.

Alan Keohane, The Berbers of Morocco.

Mohamed Heikal, Autumn of Fury: The Assassination of Sadat.

John H. Watson, Among the Copts.

Kyriakos Mikhail, Copts and Moslems under British Control.

Fouad Ajami, The Vanished Imam: Musa Al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon.

Rainer Brunner, ed. The Twelver Shia in Modern Times: Religious Culture &
Political Culture.

S. H. Jafri, Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam.

Moshe Ma’oz, Asad: The Sphinx of Damascus.

Useful Web-Sites
Reading Schedule
Week 1: Introduction
Hilal Khashan, “Christian Minorities in the Arab World: An Introduction,” see

Week 2: Minorities and Majorities: Some General Guidelines
Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (reserve)
Chapter 4: The Transition to an Age of Nationalism
Chapter 5: What is a Nation?
Chapter 7: Typology of Nationalisms

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of
Nationalism (reserve)
Chapter 3: The Origins of National Consciousness
Chapter 8: Patriotism and Racism

Youssef M. Choueiri, Arab Nationalism (reserve)
Chapter 1: Nationalism and its Theories
Chapter 2: Narrating the Nation

Anthony D. Smith, Myths and Memories of the Nation (reserve)
Chapter 3: The Problem of National Identity: Ancient, medieval, and Modern
Chapter 5: Nation and Ethnoscape

Week 3: Minorities under Islam: The Ethnic and the Religious
Uriah Furman, “Minorities in Contemporary Islamist Discourse,” Middle Eastern
Studies, vol. 36, no. 4, October 2000, pp. 1-20 (reserve)
“The Nature of Ottoman Rule,” see
“Islam and Minorities,” see

Weeks 4 & 5: The Kurds & the Impossible Nation State
David McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds.

Week 6: The Southern Sudanese & the Scramble for Identity Formation
Richard Lobban, “Slavery in the Sudan since 1989,” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 23,
no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 31-39 (reserve)

Week 7: North African Berbers & Awakened Identity
Michael Brett, The Berbers.

Weeks 8 & 9: The Copts of Egypt & the Politics of Integration
For week 8 read Edward Wakin, A Lonely Minority: The Modern Story of Egypt’s
For week 9 read Meir Hatina, “On the Margins of Consensus: The Call to Separate
Religion and State in Modern Egypt,” Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 35-
67, 2000 (reserve).
“The Copts in Egypt at the End of the 20th Century,” see

Weeks 10 & 11: The Shi’is & the Quest for Recognition
Yitzhak Nakash, The Shi’is of Iraq.

Weeks 12: The ‘Alawites’ Spectacular Rise to Power
Nikolaos Van Dam, The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad
and the Ba’th Party (reserve)

Weeks 13 & 14: Palestinians in Lebanon, the Forgotten Minority
For week 13 read Rosemary Sayigh, Too Many Enemies: The Palestinian Experience
in Lebanon.

For week 14 read Farid El Khazen, “Permanent Settlement of Palestinians in Lebanon:
A Recipe for Conflict. See

Rex Brynen, “Imagining a Solution: Final Status Arrangements and Palestinian
Refugees in Lebanon,” see

Rosemary Sayigh, “Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Implantation, Transfer or
Return?” Middle East Policy, vol. 8, no. 1, 2001, pp. 94-105.

Week 15: Conclusion

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