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Course Description:

This course explores the modern history, domestic and foreign politics and social structure of Syria. The course examines these issues in light of the international and regional environments, ideologies and economic conditions in which modern Syrian was established and has evolved. We will study the various political, sectarian, and cultural trends which have contributed to the ways in which modern Syria has developed, highlighting the changing relationship between the state and society, the impact of Western economic, political and culture on the Syrian nation, the linkage between the Arab-Israeli conflict and the domestic political arena in Syria, the search for Syrian political and cultural unique identity, and finally, economic transformation and development. We will investigate the formation of the Syrian state and the ruling regimes, societal power bases and systems, socio-political movements and ideologies, legitimacy and modern state power, and the scope and opportunities for political participation, liberalization and inclusion/exclusion. Finally, we will conduct a comparative analysis of the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011 and will try to understand why the Syrian uprising has so far failed in achieving the goals of regime change and democratization.

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