GOVT331_syllabus - Middle Eastern Politics GOVT 331 NES 350...

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Middle Eastern Politics GOVT 331 / NES 350, Spring 2008 Lectures MWF 11:15 12:05, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall 166 Professor David Siddhartha Patel Office Hours: Wed 2 4 in White 218 Department of Government or by appointment White Hall 218 [email protected] Teaching Staff: Julie Ajinkya [email protected] Leila Mohsen Ibrahim [email protected] Deondra Rose [email protected] Overview: This course introduces students to contemporary Middle Eastern politics. The goal is to provide students with historical background and theoretical tools to answer the following core questions: (i) Why does authoritarianism persist in the Middle East more than elsewhere? (ii) Why have Islamists become prominent opposition forces in and across some countries? (iii) Why do some Middle Eastern countries suffer from high levels of political violence while others are spared? (iv) What accounts for the region’s current economic underdevelopment? (v) Would the adoption of Western style political institutions improve governance and stability in the region? We will evaluate possible explanations by scrutinizing the internal logic of theories and testing them rigorously against data. Lectures: Attendance in lecture is essential for success in the class. Lectures will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:15 in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall 166. Lectures will reinforce and supplement the readings. Current events: Students are expected to follow day to day events in the Middle East. Regional events covered on the BBC’s website will be assumed to be common knowledge and may appear on exams. Peruse daily: Additional on line news sources will be provided on Blackboard. Assignments: Map quiz (10% of your grade): A short quiz on “basic facts” will take place in the first half of class on Monday, February 4. Students will be expected to know the names, locations, and capitals of all Middle Eastern and North Africa countries, as well as be able to locate important geographical features of the region. 1
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Midterm exam (20%): The midterm will take place in class on Friday, March 7 and will cover the material in units one, two, and a portion of unit three. The exam will include multiple choice, identification, and short essay questions. Final exam (30%): The final exam, scheduled for Friday, May 9 from 2:00 4:30 p.m., will cover all material in the course with a special emphasis on topics since the midterm. The exam will include multiple choice, identification, short answer, and essay questions. You must be available to take the final at the designated time. Section participation (15%): Sections will meet once a week – Wednesday or Friday – at a place and time to be arranged. You must attend and actively participate in discussion section each week. Be sure to read the assigned texts and any additional material assigned by your TA before section. Your TA will assign your participation grade, which
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