What makes a country a democracy? A dictatorship? How do we know? In this course, we take a comparative approach toward the regimes of the Middle East and North Africa in order to critically examine the history, politics, religions, demographics, and economies of different case studies. Students will learn to identify key characteristics of contemporary governments of prominent Middle Eastern countries, the extent to which they can be called democratic, and the different degrees and nuances of authoritarianism. With the 2011 Arab Spring and its aftermath in mind, students will also explore academic debates over why regimes do, or do not, respond to popular pressure for change as they continually adapt and upgrade their capacities to remain in power.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; EN H; FA HUM; AR HUM