Fall 2012 Schedule

December 04, 2012: Re-imagining the Future of US Relations in the Muslim World and 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.

View:

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

Reading:

  1. Ussama MakdisiFaith Misplaced Epilogue Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of US-Arab Relations: 1820-2001.  New York: Public Affairs, 2010.
  2. Robert Fisk, Regardless 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

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

Reading:

  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

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

Speakers:

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.  

and

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?

Reading:

  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

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JOINT OPEN CLASSROOM WITH GOV. MIKE DUKAKIS, WEDNESDAY November 07: Election Day Results and the Next President’s Policies toward Muslim Societies and the Middle East.

SAME CLASSROOM, SAME TIME:  20 WEST VILLAGE “F”, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Reading:

  1. Chuck Freilich, Inside Bibi’s Bunker and ‘Never Again’

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NOVEMBER 6: From Dictatorships and “Security Regimes” to People Power, Good Governance, and the Rights of Citizens

Reading:

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

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

Speakers:

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.

and

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.

Reading:

  1. Brian DooleyBahrain Deteriorating 
  2. Vanessa TuckerSlouching Toward Democracy (the first one is the introduction page, plus Egypt – then go to Page 2 for discussion on Bahrain) Page 2
  3. Fahad A. AlbinaliBahrain: We Take Human Rights Violation Seriously
  4. Frank Gardner, UK Struggles to Balance Ties with Gulf Arabs
  5. Bahrain Profile: A Chronological of Key Events (note: the timeline on Bahrain protests begins at 2011 February) 

Video:

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

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October 17, 2012: Foreign Policy and Homeland Security: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan

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October 09, 2012: The Tragedy of Syria and the U.S. Response: From Arab Spring to Civil War

Reading:

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

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October 02, 2012: Mohamad Bouazizi’s Life and Death: Microcosm of Conditions Leading to Arab Uprisings

Reading:

  1. Cincotta, Life Begins After 25: Demography and Societal Timing of the Arab Spring (Foreign Policy Research Institute, Jan. 2012)
  2. Awadallah & Malik, The Economics of the Arab Spring (Centre for the Studies of African Economies, Dec. 2011)
  3. From Resilence to Revolt: Making Sense of the Arab Spring (Research and Documentation Centre [WODC], Jun. 21, 2012), Chapter 2 (Surprise, Surprise!) and Chapter 4 (Engendering Transformations)

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September 25, 2012: US media coverage of Islam and the Arab World

In one of his most famous books – Covering Islam – Dr. Edward Said looks deeply into Western media’s representations of Islam during the 1979-81 “hostage crisis”, when Iranian students occupied the US Embassy in Tehran.  Said wrote that Islam is treated with “patent inaccuracy” and “expressions of unrestrained ethnocentrism, cultural and even racial hatred [and] hostility.”  Fifteen years later, in his introduction to the 2nd edition of that book, Said returned to this issue and found that “the media’s portrayal of Islam had grown even more exaggerated.  ’Sensationalism, crude xenophobia, and insensitive belligerence are the order of the day, with results on both sides of the imaginary line between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that are extremely unedifying.’” (Bayoumi & Rubin, p. 170 – see first reading below).

Reading: 

  1. Bayoumi & Rubin, The Edward Said Reader, chap. 6 “Islam as News”
  2. Khouri, The Arab Story: The Big One Waiting to Be Told (Niemen Reports, Summer 2007);
  3. Khouri, The Arab Awakening (The Nation, Sept. 12, 2011), http://www.thenation.com/article/162973/arab-awakening
  4. Burgard (ed.), Preface; Intro; Chaps 1 (The Challenge of Covering Islam), 2 (Religion & Nationalism, Rami Khouri) and 3 (Lessons from Iraq)

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September 18, 2012: Muslim & Arab Uprisings, post-WW2

With the rise of the Cold War, America’s engagement with the Muslim world was viewed mostly through the same lens it used for the entire globe: American competition with the Soviet Union and “world Communism”.  From 1953-56, Iran and Egypt were the two most significant Muslim nations that fell into this Cold War competition.  Prof. Sullivan will discuss America’s overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr. Mohammed Mossadeqh, and the “saving” of President Gamal Abdel-Nasser from Israeli-British-French aggression in 1956.  Rami Khouri will explore how the 1970s and 1980s were a transitional period in the Cold War.

Recommended Readings: 

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

Recommended videos:

History of Iran, 1953 – 1979 – ?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=fy3KDYE5KQE
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5459468 (Living in Tehrangeles, 2006)

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September 11, 2012: “The Muslim World – a misnomer?”

“The Muslim World – a political geography overview”. America’s early encounters with the Arab & Muslim worlds.  (Sullivan)

Main issues that matter to Arabs/Muslims vis-à-vis the U.S.; 9/11 from 2001 – 2012  (Khouri)

Reading: 

  1. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Mapping the Global Muslim Population, October 2009 http://pewforum.org/Muslim/Mapping-the-Global-Muslim-Population.aspx
  2. Ussama Makdisi, Intro. & Chapter 1 (Reclaiming Bible Lands)

Listening:

America Abroad: Religious minorities in the Middle East