Special Course Descriptions
POL 394-12: SpTp: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
The course begins by outlining the historical backdrop to current events: the "Near
East Question" of the 19th century in which the Ottoman, Persian, Russian, and British
empires engaged in a competitive "Great Game" from the Balkans to India. It will then
deal with the evolution of United States policy toward the Middle East since World War II,
identifying basic American interests and investigating how the U.S. has pursued those
interests in the context of issues including conflicting nationalisms (such as the
Arab-Israeli, Iraqi-Iranian, and Turkish-Greek disputes), the role of Turkey and Iran in
the regional balance of power, the Islamist revival, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Finally, it will investigate the question of whether recent developments such as the post-9/11
"war on terror" and the potential new "Great Game" in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia
herald a fundamental transformation in U.S. Near East policy.
Prerequisite: Political Science 101.