History 443: Modern Middle East History

Modern Middle East History

Department of History                   University of Michigan
History 443                      Winter, 2010


Course Title: Modern Middle East History            Office Hours: Th 1:30 - -2:30
Instructor: Juan Cole                  Telephone: 763-1599; e-mail:

The modern Middle East has been one of the more dynamic and geo-politically crucial areas of the world. This exciting course covers the past two centuries and right up to the present. It treats not just high politics but the compelling stories of the people at all levels of society--including women, peasant farmers and workers--who made this history. It deals with Ottoman reformist attempts to meet the European challenge, the age of British and French colonialism, the rise of nationalism, development strategies of socialism and capitalism, the impact of Israeli and Palestinian nationalism, the petroleum factor, the emergence of Muslim fundamentalism, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the US war on terror. Grading is based upon class attendance (required), a midterm, and a final.

Required texts: (Available at Shaman Drum, 313 S. State St., tel. 662-7407, and at Reserve Reading Room, Shapiro Undergraduate Library):

Ervand Abrahamian. A History of Modern Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot, A History of Egypt: From the Arab Conquest to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn., 2008.

Charles C. Smith. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 6th Rev. Edn. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. A balanced examination of the Palestine issue that employs both Israeli and Arab sources to construct a synthetic narrative.

Charles Tripp. A History of Iraq (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, rev. edn. 2007).

Erik J. Zurcher, Turkey: A Modern History, London: I. B,. Tauris, 2005, rev. edn. .

A short coursepack will be available at: Dollar Bill

Lecture Topics

Jan. 7            Orientation

Part One: Background to the Modern Middle East

Jan. 12            Historical Background and Islamic Civilization

Marsot, pp. 1-47
Jan. 14            The Early Modern Ottoman Empire and the Arab World
Marsot, pp. 48-64.
Zurcher, pp. 9-29
Part Two: Economic Transformation and Bureaucratic Reform 1800-1914

Jan. 19             Ottoman Reform to World War I
Zurcher, pp. 30-111
Jan. 21             From Ottoman Egypt to British Egypt
Marsot, "The Beginnings of the State System, pp. 65-97

Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Wahhabis, "Unbelievers and the Problems of Exclusivism." Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2. (1989), pp. 123-132.

Jan. 26            The Levant in the 19th Century
Leila Fawaz, "The City and the Mountain: Beirut's Political Radius in the Nineteenth Century as Revealed in the Crisis of 1860 International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4. (Nov., 1984), pp. 489-495.

Smith, Palestine, chs. 2 & 3

Jan. 28             Iran: Qajars to the Constitutional Revolution
Abrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 1-62
Feb. 2             Ottoman Baghdad
Tripp, Modern Iraq, pp. 8-57

Juan R. I. Cole; Moojan Momen, "Mafia, Mob and Shiism in Iraq: The Rebellion of Ottoman Karbala 1824-1843," Past and Present, No. 112. (Aug., 1986), pp. 112-143. (

Part Three: European Colonialism and Nationalist Response, 1914-1979

Feb. 4             Turkey: Kemalism to 1950
Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 111-220
Feb. 9             Egypt from Monarchy to Republic
Marsot, Egypt, pp. 98-155

Feb. 11             Iraq: Colonialism, Monarchy and Revolution

Tripp, pp. 57-82; 97-185
Feb. 16             Rise of Israel and Palestinian Response
Smith, Palestine, pp. 111-225
Feb. 18             Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict to 1967
Smith, Palestine, chs. 6 & 7
Feb. 23             Class Discusssion

Feb. 25             Midterm Examination

Mar. 9             Iran: Capitalist Dictatorship
Abrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 63-154
Mar. 11             Israel and Palestine 1967-1984
Smith, Palestine, chs. 8 & 9

Mar. 16 Turkey: Militarism versus Democracy, 1950-1980
Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 221-277
Part Four: Globalization: Nationalism, Imperialism, Islam 1979-2001

Mar. 18             Iran: Revolution and Islamic Republic
Abrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 155-195

Mar. 23             Petroleum Revolutions in the Middle East

Gwenn Okruhlik , "Rentier Wealth, Unruly Law, and the Rise of Opposition: The Political Economy of Oil States," : Comparative Politics, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Apr., 1999), pp. 295-315. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/stable/pdfplus/422341.pdf

Gerd Nonneman, " Saudi-European Relations 1902-2001: A Pragmatic Quest for Relative Autonomy," International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs Vol. 77, No. 3, Changing Patterns of European Security and Defence (Jul., 2001), pp. 631-661

Roy Licklider, "The Power of Oil: The Arab Oil Weapon and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and the United States," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 205-226

Mar. 25             The Rise of (Sunni) Political Islam
William Ochsenwald , "Saudi Arabia and The Islamic Revival," International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3. (Aug., 1981), pp. 271-286. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0020-7438%28198108%

Saad Eddin Ibrahim. "Egypt's Islamic Activism in the 1980s." Third World Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2, Islam & Politics. (Apr., 1988), pp. 632-657. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28198804%

Ziad Abu-Amr. "Hamas: A Historical and Political Background." Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4. (Summer, 1993), pp. 5-19. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X%28199322%2922%3A4%

Andrew Hartman. 'The Red Template': US Policy in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3. (Jun., 2002), pp. 467-489. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28200206%2923%3A3%

Mar. 30             Nationalism and Sectarianism in Lebanon and Syria
John F. Devlin. "The Baath Party: Rise and Metamorphosis." The American Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 5. (Dec., 1991), pp. 1396-1407 Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8762%28199112

Elaine C. Hagopian. "Maronite Hegemony to Maronite Militancy: The Creation and Disintegration of Lebanon." Third World Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, Ethnicity in World Politics. (Oct., 1989), pp. 101-117. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28198910%2911%3A4%

Dona J. Stewart. "Economic Recovery and Reconstruction in Postwar Beirut." Geographical Review, Vol. 86, No. 4. (Oct., 1996), pp. 487-504. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0016-7428%28199610%2986%3A4%3C487%

Augustus Richard Norton, "Hizballah and the Israeli Withdrawal from Southern Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1. (Autumn, 2000), pp. 22-35. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X%28200023%2930%3A1%

Apr. 1             Baathist Iraq
Tripp, Modern Iraq, pp. 186-276
Apr. 6             Oslo, the Second Intifada and the Oslo Process
Smith, Palestine, chs. 10, 11
Apr.. 8             Mubarak's Egypt
Marsot, Egypt, pp. 156- end
Apr. 13             Turkey 1980- : Secularism, Capitalism, Ethnic Conflict and Islam
Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 278- end
R. Quinn Mecham, "From the Ashes of Virtue, a Promise of Light: The Transformation of Political Islam in Turkey," Third World Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2004), pp. 339-358
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/stable/pdfplus/3993685.pdf

Part Five: The Middle East in the 21st Century

Apr. 15             Al-Qaeda and Muslim Radicalism
Robert S. Snyder, "Hating America: Bin Laden as a Civilizational Revolutionary," The Review of Politics, Vol. 65, No. 4. (Autumn, 2003), pp. 325-349.

Apr. 20 Class Review

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