NS3345 International Relations of the Middle East

The Middle East is one of the most conflict-prone regions of the world. Great powers now, as in the past, view the Middle East as an arena for local alliances and competition by proxy actors. In this general survey course, we will study the international politics of the Middle East from WWI to the present. We will explore how the great powers have shaped the region's borders, identities, and conflicts. It will also make sense of the foreign policies of pivotal regional states such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. 


No prerequisites required

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Quarter Offered

  • As Required


  1. Describe how the modern Middle East state system came into being and what role imperial powers and local actors played in the formation of state boundaries since WWI.
  2. Outline the major interests of the US in the Middle East during the Cold War and explain how they have evolved in the last three decades.
  3. Explain why territorially revisionist ideologies such as Pan-Arab Nationalism and Pan-Islamism failed to transform the modern Middle East state system.
  4. Derive lessons from past great power competition in the Middle East and discuss how they might inform U.S. strategy today.
  5. Conduct an independent research project on a subject relevant to interstate relations in the Middle East.