Sept. 17, 2013: readings


  1. Patrick Tyler, chapter 1 (“A World Of Trouble Arab Awakening”, pp. 19-63)
  2. David Painter, “The US and Mossadegh 1951-1953

Dec. 04, 2012: Re-imagining the future of US relations in the Muslim World & Middle East

General David McKiernan will discuss American strategy vis-à-vis the Muslim world

General David D. McKiernan entered the Army in 1972 with an ROTC commission.  General McKiernan led all ground forces into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2002-3, removing Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party from power, with a 160,000 joint and coalition formation. During his final command assignment in Afghanistan, 2008-9, he was responsible for over 100,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Special Forces in both a NATO ISAF (42 contributing nations) and US Operation Enduring Freedom role.


EmpireThe post-American Middle East: What is the future for US Relations with the Arab world and beyond?   Al-Jazeera program


  1. Ussama Makdisi, Faith Misplaced Epilogue Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of US-Arab Relations: 1820-2001.  New York: Public Affairs, 2010.
  2. Robert FiskRegardless of whether Obama or Romney wins, America’s relations with the Arab World will change
  3. Rolf Ekéus and Målfrid Braut-HegghammerDon’t Go Baghdad on Tehran

November 27, 2012: Revolution, Islamism and Social Change in Tunisia & Egypt

Prof. Sullivan is very pleased to welcome back to the Open Classroom the distinguished scholar, Dr. Melani Cammett.

Dr. Cammett (see full bio here) is Associate Professor of Political Science, the Dupee Faculty Fellow at the Watson Institute, and a faculty associate at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. She specializes in the political economy of development and the Middle East and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on comparative politics, development, and Middle East politics.


  1. Laryssa Chomiak. “The Making of a Revolution in Tunisia.” Middle East Law and Governance 3(2011): 68-83.
  2. Melani Cammett. “The Limits of Anti-Islamism.” Foreign Policy Online, October 31, 2011.
  3. Rikke Hostrup Haugholle and Francesco Cavatorta. “Beyond Ghannouchi: Islamism and Social Change in Tunisia.Middle East Report  no. 262 (Spring 2012): 20-25.
  4. Nathan Brown, “Snap analysis on Morsi’s power-grab“, The Arabist Blog, 24 November 2012
  5. Issandr El Amrani, “To break deadlock, Morsi wields a clumsy hammer“, The National, 25 November 2012
  6. VIEW:  Tarek Massoud, Harvard University (on MSNBC) 
  7. A Way Out of Egypt’s Transitional Quicksand“, International Crisis Group, 26 November 2012

November 13, 2012: Hearts and Minds: U.S. Engagement with Iran and Afghanistan


Dr. Kimberly Jones- Afghanistan and the U.S.: the Hearts and Minds in Context – background to the current conflict; key challenges faced, including the interconnections between militants, governance, corruption, drug trafficking, and, perhaps, US violations of human rights and humanitarian law.  


Dr. Lauren Brodsky- American broadcasting efforts in Iran during the 2009 elections: Overview of public diplomacy, American international broadcasters (organizations and their goals); reporting during the Iranian election of 2009:  “Winning hearts and minds,” promoting democracy, communicating with the Iranian audience, amplifying the message of the Green Movement?


  1. Tom Woods, U.S. Still Needs Radio for Public Diplomacy in the Internet Age
  2. Philip Seib, In the Middle East, a Tipping Point for U.S. Public Diplomacy
  3. David HoffmanBeyond Public Diplomacy
  4. Andrew ExumHearts and Minds in Afghanistan: Explaining the Absence of Victory
  5. Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix KuehnSeparating the Taliban from al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan

RESCHEDULED to NOV. 6: Rami Khouri, “From Dictatorships and ‘Security Regimes’ to People Power, Good Governance, and the Rights of Citizens”


  1. The Arab Spring Still Bloomsby Moncef Marzouki
  2. Fear and Loathing in the Emiratesby Christopher Davidson
  3. All the King’s Islamistsby Maati Monjib
  4. This Is Not a Revolutionby Hussein Agha & Robert Malley
  5. Kuwait Youth Emerge as a Force in Protests Against the Stateby Rima Baghdadi
  6. Libya’s Constitutional Twilight, by Carmen Geha & Gilbert Doumit
  7. Kuwait Enters an Uncertain and More Violent Era, by David Roberts
  8. Egypt’s Constituent Assembly: Contempt and Counterrevolution, by Paul Sedra
  9. A Boiling Kettle:Kuwait’s Escalating Political Crisis, by Fahed Al-Sumait
  10. The Arab Spring and the Balance of Power in the Middle East, by Kayhan Barzegar

October 23, 2012: The Uprising in Bahrain and the Search for Democracy in an Arab Monarchy


Nada Alwadi is a Bahraini journalist, writer and researcher.  She has been working in print media since 2003 covering politics and human rights issues in Bahrain and the Middle East. Alwadi covered the recent crackdown in Bahrain for several international media outlets including USA Today. In 2011, she was one of the recipients for the first James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Alwadi co-founded the Bahraini Press Association with other prominent Bahraini journalists last year. This Association focuses on defending local and international journalists who have been attacked or targeted by the Bahraini authorities.


Matar Matar is a former MP of Al Wefaq, the opposition party in Bahrain. Along with 17 other opposition MPs, he resigned in protest against government crackdowns on demonstrators in early 2011. Following his resignation from Parliament, Matar was detained for three months and prosecuted for taking part in “unlawful” anti-government protests. Matar was eventually acquitted, and no government officials have yet been held accountable for his ill-treatment in prison. Matar supports a gradual transition to democracy in Bahrain with a clear road map facilitated by regional and international actors.


  1. Bahrain Deteriorating, by Brian Dooley
  2. Slouching Toward Democracy, by Vanessa Tucker
  3. Bahrain: We Take Human Rights Violation Seriously, by Fahad A. Albinali
  4. UK Struggles to Balance Ties with Gulf Arabs, by Frank Gardner
  5. Bahrain Profile: A Chronology of Key Events (note: the timeline on Bahrain protests begins at 2011 February) 


  1. The US and the New Middle East: The Gulf
  2. Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark (WARNING: the first 10 minutes present graphic images of people injured and killed by the Bahraini police)

Oct. 09, 2012: Syria’s tragedy

The tragedy of Syria and the U.S. response: from Arab Spring to Civil war.  We will look inside Syrian politics and society as well as outside Syria, to see the impact of the Syrian tragedy on neighboring states, especially Turkey and Jordan.


  1. Syria’s Long War, by Patrick Seale
  2. The Shredded Tapestry: The State of Syria Today, by Ammar Abdulhamid
  3. Call for a Cease Fire as Starting Point of a Political Process, by Wilhelm Langthaler
  4. Syria Inaction Could Ignite a Fragile Region, by Sinan Ülgen
  5. The Damascus Strategy: A Sober Reassessment?, by Marc Pierini