POL S 538
Political change in the area within the context of comparative politics; breakdown of traditional political systems; new range of choice expressed in competing ideologies; governmental and nongovernmental instrumentation of change; and problems of international relations and regional conflict and integration.
Description: This class will address the Arab spring. Although it will focus on Egypt it will also address events in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen as well as unfolding events in Syria. This is not a current events class, however. We will also read much of the theoretical literature on revolution and transitions from authoritarianism. A reading knowledge of Arabic and French is not required but there will be optional readings in those languages.
Student learning goals
Address Egyptian history over the longue duree of the 20th century
Understand the weaknesses of existing theories of revolution
Think critically about the utility of concepts such as "transition" and "authoritarianism" or "hybridity"
General method of instruction
Either a familiarity with European and Asia history (France, Russia/USSR, China) or with some aspect of the theoretical literature on social movements, revolution, or transitions.
Class assignments and grading
Grading: The grade for the course will be based on six-page critical essays of two of the three required books, an annotated bibliography of at least 20 items on one theme, and a 20-page paper to be handed in on the date of the final exam.