Seminar on Politics and Conflict in the Middle East >> Content Detail



Below is the final exam for the course. Students have the option of taking the exam in place of a long research paper or three short review essays. If the exam is chosen, it is worth 60% of the final course grade, as are the other two options.


  1. Please answer three (3) of the following four (4) questions. It is expected that, to the extent relevant, you do draw heavily on the readings across weeks (as this is a way of ensuring content coverage). Please be sure to note references if or when you draw on readings or on lectures.
  2. Aside from the reading time you require to prepare for the actual writing, there is no need to spend more than 3 hours of writing per question (this is not a time limit but a suggestion).
  3. Suggestion page coverage - about 3-5 pages per question. Please use this only as very rough guide. You can write as little or as much as you see necessary to convey your points.
  4. Due, one week after Lecture 11.


  1. What are the major systems of conflict in the Middle East? Then please select 2 systems, review and describe, and indicate the ways in which they might interact with each other.

    In your response, please define the conflict(s) and indicate if you are dealing with these as individual conflicts or as systems of conflict.

  2. Please address the following:

    Describe the changes in the political landscape and power relations in the Middle East region during (a) the interwar period (i.e. years between World Wars I and II), and (b) immediately following World War II (i.e. years between 1945 and 1960). Then identify differences and similarities.


    Review the major political features and developments of the Middle East region (a) during the period between 1960 and 1990 (roughly) and
    (b) from 1990 to the present. Then please identify and explain differences and similarities between the two periods.

  3. Write an essay tracing the evolution of conflict between Israel and the Arabs since the establishment of the State of Israel. Please focus on the landmark events, the type of conflict, and their regional and international implications (if any).

  4. Please write an essay on two of the 'three Iraq wars': 
    • The Iran-Iraq War
    • The Gulf War, 1991, and
    • The war with Iraq, 2003

      Discuss the nature of the conflicts, the key 'causes', some of the consequences, and implications for the United States and US foreign policy.

  5. Compare and contrast two of the following countries - Egypt, Iran Turkey, Libya - with respect to:
    • Historical context & background
    • Socio-economic and political conditions since World War II,
    • Strategic alliances (if any), and
    • Implications for 
      • US Policy or
      • Regional Stability


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