790-452 - 790/685:452 Advanced Topics in Middle East...

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790/685:452 Eric Davis Advanced Topics in Middle East Politics Spring 2009 Iraq: Political Development, Sectarian Identities and Democracy Iraq has dominated US foreign policy since Saddam Husayn’s Ba c thist regime was toppled in 2003. One of the world’s largest oil producers, possessing extensive human capital and water resources, and occupying a strategic position between Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf oil producers, Iraq will remain critical to the stability of the Middle East for the indefinite future. Although it began a democratic transition in 2003, Iraq continues to experience sectarian based violence as it works to institutionalize a new political system. This course examines the future prospects of Iraq’s political development, with particular focus on democratization and the role of youth in that process. Will Iraq become a successful democracy or will the violence that has characterized the post-2003 period persist, resulting in continued political instability and possibly a return to authoritarian rule? In seeking answers to these questions, particular attention will be paid to Iraqi youth who constitute 60% of the population under the age of 25. Large segments of Iraqi youth continue to suffer from unemployment and lack of education that are a legacy of the UN sanctions regime (1991-2003) which was imposed on Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. While some youth have turned to violence, many others seek a peaceful, tolerant and pluralistic Iraq. A positive trend is the tremendous demand for higher education since 2003, that has required establishing a new private university system to parallel public institutions that cannot meet the demand. In addition to written texts, this course will make use of blogs, Iraqi websites, television
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This note was uploaded on 07/25/2009 for the course POLS 101 taught by Professor All during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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790-452 - 790/685:452 Advanced Topics in Middle East...

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