THE UNITED STATES AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Professor Aharon Klieman
Course Outline, Weekly Discussion Topics & Reading List
Arguably no region of the world so sorely tests America's capacity for hegemonic leadership and alliance management than the contemporary Middle East. In order to explain America's difficulties the seminar will focus analysis on both sides of the uneasy relationship: U.S. policy premises and perceptions toward the region, offset by the contemporary politics of the region itself.
A broader historical perspective teaches that mastery over the Near and Middle East has eluded all external Great Powers from ancient times through the 20th-century era of British, French and Soviet Russian expansion. So, too, are the Middle East's present-day dilemmas sufficiently complex, problematic and irreconcilable in themselves as to defy the "hard" and "soft" power capabilities as well as the staying power of any outside actor.
Compounding this, however, is America's own ambivalence toward the Middle East, alternating between studied indifference and neglect to the other extreme of what Paul Kennedy calls "imperial overstretch", as reflected by direct military intervention in Iraq and the self-professed role of "indispensable" peacemaker in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. Seminar discussions, oral presentations and individual research will help to deepen our understanding of the specific dilemmas the U.S. confronts in the Middle East and how American policymakers are attempting to grapple with them.
Regular weekly attendance and active participation in classroom discussion are standard requirements. Each participant will be asked, in addition, to undertake an independent research project -- approved and supervised by the instructor -- resulting in: an oral seminar presentation of the major research findings and conclusions; and submission of a written paper 20-25 pp. in length.
Required Course Texts:
Michael B. Oren. Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present (W.W. Norton, 2007)
Aaron David Miller. The Much Too Promised Land (Bantam Books, 2008)
** Please note: Both books provide important background for our classroom discussion of specific Middle Eastern issues. They are meant to be read at your own reading pace, and in the above sequence
Weekly Seminar Topics
24 February FIRST PRINCIPLES: Where Is the “Middle East”? ...
Is There a “Middle East”? ...
And, If So, Whose Middle East Is It?
· Roderic H. Davison, "Where is the Middle East?", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 38 (July 1960), pp. 665-675
· “Alfred T. Mahan’s Outlook on the Twentieth Century”, in William A. Williams (ed.). The Shaping of American Diplomacy (Rand McNally, 1973), 2nd edition, vol. I (1750-1914), pp. 363-365
· Richard N. Haass, “The New Middle East”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 85, No. 6 (November/December 2006), pp. 2-11
3 March THE “NEAR & MIDDLE EAST” IN WORLD AFFAIRS.
HISTORICAL PATTERNS AND PRECEDENTS
· L. Carl Brown. International Politics and the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 1984)
- Part One. “The Classical Eastern Question: 1774-1923”, pp. 21-79
v Adda B. Bozeman. Politics and Culture in International History (Princeton University Press, 1960)
- Chapter 1. “The Ancient Near East in International Relations“, pp. 17-36
v Bernard Lewis. What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and
Modernity in the Middle East (Harper Perennial, 2002)
10 March PAST AND PRESENT AT THE CREATION: BRITAIN’S LEGACY,
ARABIA’S IMMEDIACY, WASHINGTON’S HESITANCY
· David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace. Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914-1922 (Andre Deutsch, 1989)
- Chapters 57-58 pp. 493-529
- Chapter 61 pp. 558-567
17 March CHANGING OF THE GUARD: THE UNEASY ANGLO-AMERICAN
TRANSITION OF POWER
· Inis Claude. American Approaches to World Affairs (University Press of America, 1986)
- Chapter 1. “Continuity and Change in the American Approach to World Affairs”, pp. 3-17
· Barbara Tuchman, “The American People and Military Power in an Historical Perspective”, Adelphi Papers, Vol. 22, No. 173 (1982), pp. 5-13
· Rashid Khalidi, “America and the Middle East: Resurrecting Empire”, The World Today, Vol. 60, No. 11 (November 2004), pp. 9-11
24 March WHEN SOVIET-AMERICAN RIVALRY MEETS INTER-ARAB
CONFLICT: THE TWO COLD WARS – CONVERGENCE OR
· Efraim Karsh, “Cold War, post-Cold War: does it make a difference for the Middle East?, Review of International Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1997), pp. 271-291
v Malcolm Kerr. The Arab Cold War, 1958-1964 (Oxford University Press, 1965)
31 March WHO LOST EGYPT? A CASE STUDY OF SUPERPOWER
MISPERCEPTIONS, 1952 – 1972
· Manfred Halpern. The Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa (The Rand Corporation, 1963)
- Chapter 4. “The New Middle Class as the Principal Revolutionary and Stabilizing Force”, pp. 51-78
· Vali Nasr. Forces of Fortune. The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World (Free Press, 2009).
- Chapter 10. "Winning the Future". Pp. 252 – 263.
· Craig A. Daigle. “The Russians Are Going: Sadat, Nixon and the Soviet Presence in Egypt, 1970-1971”, MERIA (Middle East Review of International Affairs). Vol. 8, No. 1 (March 2004), pp. 1-15
7 April WHO LOST IRAN? THE POST-COLD WAR AND THE MYTHS OF
UNIPOLARITY AND AMERICAN HEGEMONY
· Charles Krauthammer, “The Unipolar Moment”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 70, No.
1, America and the World 1990/91 (1990/1991), pp. 23-33
v David W. Lesch. 1979. The Year That Shaped the Modern Middle East (Westview Press, 2001)
28 April ON THE WESTERN PERIPHERY – WHO MAY BE LOSING
· Ahmet Davutoglu, ”Turkey’s Zero-Problems Foreign Policy”, Foreign Policy,
20 May 2010
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/20/turkeys_zero_problems_foreign_policy http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/20/turkeys_zero_problems_foreign_policy http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/20/turkeys_zero_problems_foreign_policy http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/20/turkeys_zero_problems_foreign_policy5 May ON THE EASTERN PERIPHERY – IRAN’S ASCENDANCY TO
REGIONAL (AND NUCLEAR) POWER STATUS
· Michael N. Barnett. Dialogues in Arab Politics. Negotiations in Regional Orders (Columbia University Press, 1998).
-- Chapter 7. “The End of the Arab States System. Arab Politics Since
the Gulf War”. pp. 213-236
· James M. Lindsay and Ray Takeyh, “After Iran Gets the Bomb”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 2 (March/April 2010), pp. 33-49
12 May CONFRONTING MULTIPLE THREATS: STABILIZATION VS.
DEMOCRATIZATION AT THE CENTER OF THE ARAB WORLD
Non-State Actors, Leadership Succession and Fundamentalist Islam
· Fouad Ajami, "The Strange Survival of the Arab Autocracies", Defining Ideas. A Hoover Institution Journal (13 December 2010).
· United Nations Development Programme. Arab Human Development Report 2002 (New York, 2002). Creating Opportunities for Future Generations. “Overview”. pp. 1-13
· President Barak Obama, “A New Beginning”. Address in Cairo, Egypt, 4 June 2009
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/presidents-speech-cairo-a-new-beginning http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/presidents-speech-cairo-a-new-beginning http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/presidents-speech-cairo-a-new-beginning http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/presidents-speech-cairo-a-new-beginning http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/presidents-speech-cairo-a-new-beginning
19 May THE U.S., THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE PALESTINE PROBLEM (I)
· Dennis Ross. The Missing Peace (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004).
- Chapter 24. “The Camp David Summit”, pp. 650-711
- Chapter 26. Learning the Lessons of the Past and Applying Them to the Future”, pp. 759-779
26 May THE UNITED STATES AS PEACE SPOILER (II)
· Aharon Klieman, “With Special Reference to the United States:
Peacemakers as Peace Spoilers”, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol.
4, No.3 (2010), pp. 10-19
2 June NOT TO LATE TO LEARN: LESSONS FROM IRAQ AND
· Maureen Dowd, “The Great Game Imposter”, The New York Times, 23 November 2010
· John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby”, London Review of Books, Vol. 28, No. 6 (23 March 2006), pp. 3-12
· John Mearsheimer. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (W.W. Norton, 2001).
- Chapter 7. “The Offshore Balancers”, pp. 238-261
9 June SHAPING A REALISTIC U.S. STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE
· Thomas L. Friedman, “Mideast rules to live by,” in The International Herald-Tribune, 20 December 2006)
v James A. Baker, III. The Politics of Diplomacy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995)
- Chapter 16. “Building the Coalition”, pp. 275-299