“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Thursday, November 30, 2017

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: From American Missionaries to the Islamic State

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: From American Missionaries to the Islamic State
Edited by Geoffrey F. Gresh, Tugrul Keskin 
Routledge – 2018 – 344 pages 

The dawn of the Cold War marked a new stage of complex U.S. foreign policy involvement in the Middle East. More recently, globalization and the region’s ongoing conflicts and political violence have led to the U.S. being more politically, economically, and militarily enmeshed – for better or worse—throughout the region.
This book examines the emergence and development of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East from the early 1900s to the present. With contributions from some of the world’s leading scholars, it takes a fresh, interdisciplinary, and insightful look into the many antecedents that led to current U.S. foreign policy. Exploring the historical challenges, regional alliances, rapid political change, economic interests, domestic politics, and other sources of regional instability, this volume comprises critical analysis from Iranian, Turkish, Israeli, American, and Arab perspectives to provide a comprehensive examination of the evolution and transformation of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.
This volume is an important resource for scholars and students working in the fields of Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Islamic, Turkish, Iranian, Arab, and Israeli Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction—US Foreign Policy in the Middle East  Geoffrey F. Gresh 

PART I—Historical Cultural and Economic Interests     
1) From ‘Heathen Turks’ to ‘Cruel Turks’: Changing American Perception and Foreign Policy towards the Middle East by Ozlem Madi-Sisman and Cengiz Sisman     
2) How Big Tobacco Used Islam and Modernity to Conquer Saudi Arabia by Sean Foley     

PART II—Cold War Challenges     
3) How Geography and Ideology Shaped US Foreign Policy during the Cold War by Nickolas A. Spencer      The Ties That Bind: Postwar US Foreign Policy toward Turkey by Gökser Gökçay
4) American Atomic Policy and Hashemite Iraq, 1954-1958 by Elizabeth Bishop     

PART III—Balancing Regional Alliances     
5) Understanding the US-Israeli Alliance by Jeremy Pressman     
6) The United States’ Strategic Relationship with Iran and Turkey: Implications for Cold War and Post-Cold War Order by Suleyman Elik     
7) American-Qatari Partnership in the Post-Gulf Area: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship by Fatma Aslı Kelkitli     
8) US-Gulf Cooperation Council Relations in the Age of the Obama Doctrine by Michael McCall     

PART IV—Rapid Political Change and the Spread of Regional Instability     
9) When Partisanship Captured Strategy: American Foreign Policy and the War in Iraq by Russell A. Burgos     
10) The United States and Political Islam: Dealing with the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in the Arab Revolutions by Mohamed-Ali Adraoui     
11) Promoting or Resisting Change? The United States and the Egyptian Uprising (2011-2012) by Ahmed Ali Salem     
12) Set-up for Failure: The Syria-United States Relationship by Ethan Corbin     
The United States and Iran: The View of the Hardline Conservatives in the Islamic Republic by Hamad Albloshi     
13) Losing Hearts and Minds: The United States, Ideocide, and the Propaganda War Against ISIS by Kelly Gleason     
14) An Imperial Design or Necessity of Political Economy?: Understanding the Underpinnings of a Trump Administration  by Tugrul Keskin 

Middle East Studies after September 11: Neo-Orientalism, American Hegemony and Academia

Middle East Studies after September 11: Neo-Orientalism, American Hegemony and Academia

Edited by Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University

Brill, 2018 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Understanding American Society and Politics - Basic Movies

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Color Purple (1985) Official Trailer - Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg

The Firm (1993)

American Beauty (1999)

Forrest Gump ( 1994)

 Taxi Driver (1976)

 Citizen Kane (1941)

American History X (1998)  

To Kill a Mockingbird Official Trailer Gregory Peck Movie (1962)

Smoke Signals - Trailer 

Buffalo Soldiers Trailer 1997

A Beautiful Mind - Trailer 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Understanding American Society and Politics - Basic Readings

Bowling Alone The Collapse and Revival of American Community By ROBERT D. PUTNAM

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000). In a groundbreaking book based on vast data, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures– and how we may reconnect.  Putnam warns that our stock of social capital – the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities.  Putnam draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over the last quarter century to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often. We’re even bowling alone. More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues. Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women’s roles and other factors have contributed to this decline.  America has civicly reinvented itself before — approximately 100 years ago at the turn of the last century. And America can civicly reinvent itself again – find out how and help make it happen at our companion site, BetterTogether.org, an initiative of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 


Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power By G. William Domhoff


This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators. The most striking numbers on income inequality will come last, showing the dramatic change in the ratio of the average CEO's paycheck to that of the average factory worker over the past 40 years.
First, though, some definitions. Generally speaking, wealth is the value of everything a person or family owns, minus any debts. However, for purposes of studying the wealth distribution, economists define wealth in terms of marketable assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds, leaving aside consumer durables like cars and household items because they are not as readily converted into cash and are more valuable to their owners for use purposes than they are for resale (see Wolff, 2004, p. 4, for a full discussion of these issues). Once the value of all marketable assets is determined, then all debts, such as home mortgages and credit card debts, are subtracted, which yields a person's net worth. In addition, economists use the concept of financial wealth -- also referred to in this document as "non-home wealth" -- which is defined as net worth minus net equity in owner-occupied housing. As Wolff (2004, p. 5) explains, "Financial wealth is a more 'liquid' concept than marketable wealth, since one's home is difficult to convert into cash in the short term. It thus reflects the resources that may be immediately available for consumption or various forms of investments."


The Power Elite By C. Wright Mills


First published in 1956, The Power Elite stands as a contemporary classic of social science and social criticism. C. Wright Mills examines and critiques the organization of power in the United States, calling attention to three firmly interlocked prongs of power: the military, corporate, and political elite. The Power Elite can be read as a good account of what was taking place in America at the time it was written, but its underlying question of whether America is as democratic in practice as it is in theory continues to matter very much today.  What The Power Elite informed readers of in 1956 was how much the organization of power in America had changed during their lifetimes, and Alan Wolfe's astute afterword to this new edition brings us up to date, illustrating how much more has changed since then. Wolfe sorts out what is helpful in Mills' book and which of his predictions have not come to bear, laying out the radical changes in American capitalism, from intense global competition and the collapse of communism to rapid technological transformations and ever changing consumer tastes. The Power Elite has stimulated generations of readers to think about the kind of society they have and the kind of society they might want, and deserves to be read by every new generation.


The Census Bureau


The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. Keeping pace with our dynamic economy and society constantly challenges the Census Bureau's data collections. Our users want more data, and want it sooner. The cost of using our existing methods keeps going up, while statistical budgets are tight. We stay current by making research the basis of everything we do at the Census Bureau. Our researchers explore innovative ways to conduct surveys, increase respondent participation, reduce costs, and improve accuracy. They analyze the data we collect and uncover trends that give us a deeper understanding of our complex society.  This investment in our nation's statistical infrastructure enables our leaders to make decisions based on the best information available. We've designed these pages to give analysts, academic researchers and policymakers improved access to the data tools and research they need to move our country forward.

READ MORE...... 

Social Inequality and Social Stratification in U.S. Society By Christopher B. Doob


Social Inequality and Social Statification in US Society, 1st edition uses a historical and conceptual framework to explain social stratification and social inequality.   The historical scope gives context to each issue discussed and allows the reader to understand how each topic has evolved over the course of American history. The authors use qualitative data to help explain socioeconomic issues and connect related topics.     Each chapter examines major concepts, so readers can see how an individual’s success in stratified settings often relies heavily on their access to valued resources–types of capital which involve finances, schooling, social networking, and cultural competence.   Analyzing the impact of capital types throughout the text helps map out the prospects for individuals, families, and also classes to maintain or alter their position in social-stratification systems.

Table of contents: Chapter 1: The Road to Social Inequality: A Conceptual Introduction  Chapter 2: In Marx's Wake: Theories of Social Stratification and Social Inequality  Chapter 3: Repeat Performance: Globalization Through Time and Space  Chapter 4: Foundation for Social Inequality: Concepts and Structures  Chapter 5: Heading the Hierarchy: Upper Class or Superclass?  Chapter 6: The Badly Besieged Middle Class  Chapter 7: Working Class: Estranged from Entitlement  Chapter 8: American Poverty: The Dream Turned Nightmare  Chapter 9: Racism: A Persistent American Presence  Chapter 10: Women's Oppression: Sexism and Intersectionality  Chapter 11: Astride with the Best and the Wisest


American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass By Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton


This powerful and disturbing book clearly links persistent poverty among blacks in the United States to the unparalleled degree of deliberate segregation they experience in American cities.  American Apartheid shows how the black ghetto was created by whites during the first half of the twentieth century in order to isolate growing urban black populations. It goes on to show that, despite the Fair Housing Act of 1968, segregation is perpetuated today through an interlocking set of individual actions, institutional practices, and governmental policies. In some urban areas the degree of black segregation is so intense and occurs in so many dimensions simultaneously that it amounts to “hypersegregation.”
Table of contents: 1. The Missing Link 2. The Construction of the Ghetto 3. The Persistence of the Ghetto 4. The Continuing Causes of Segregation 5. The Creation of Underclass Communities 6. The Perpetuation of the Underclass 7. The Failure of Public Policy 8. The Future of the Ghetto


History of the American Economy By Gary M. Walton and Hugh Rockoff


Tying America's past to the economic policies of today and beyond, HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY 12e presents events chronologically for easy understanding. Get a firm foundation in the evolution of the American economy with this ever-popular classic. Few text packages have the staying power of HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, 12E, the text that has helped generations of students understand how the American economy evolved. Completely updated, this classic text ties our past to the policies and debates of today and beyond. A variety of visual aids and provocative statistics encourage interest in the study of economic history.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Modern Kurdish Nationalism: Transregional Movement in the Context of US Foreign Policy

Modern Kurdish Nationalism: Transregional Movement in the Context of US Foreign Policy
Tugrul Keskin
Associate Professor at the College of Liberal Arts
Shanghai University
People’s Republic of China
This paper was presented at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies in May 2017.

The Kurdish conflict in the Middle East is the last remaining issue inherited from the colonial conditions left by European imperialist powers at the beginning of the 20th century. Modern Kurdish Nationalism is a more recent phenomenon than Arab, Persian/Iranian and Turkish nationalism which were each established in response to British imperialism in the region; in contrast to Kurdish Nationalism which is based on transregional ethnic and primordial ethno-nationalism rather than cultural nationalism. Kurds populate four different countries in the Middle East; Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq and lived mostly in feudal, traditional and tribal social structures in the mountainous areas of these countries until the 1980s. However, the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 led to significant changes in US foreign policy toward the Middle East, and specifically on the Kurdish issue. In response to these changes, US policy makers began to invest in Kurdish groups in Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Although an early relationship between Kurds and US policy makers was established in the late 1960s, the US did not pay much attention to Kurdish nationalism because of the Cold War Policy of the US and its strategic interests in Turkey. Turkey is a key country for the Kurdish conflict in the region, because without Turkey, Kurds could not have an independent state in these countries; therefore, the Syrian conflict should be understood in the context of US Foreign policy toward both the Kurds and Turkey. Turkey is the third strategic piece of US foreign policy toward the Kurdish issue and the last piece is the Iranian Kurds. In this presentation, I analyze US foreign policy vis a vis Kurdish nationalism, and argue that Kurdish nationalism is used against Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey by the United States for its strategic national interests.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kill Him Silently - Part 1 - 2 - Al Jazeera World

Kill Him Silently - Part 1 - Al Jazeera World

Kill Him Silently - Part 2 - Al Jazeera World

Filmmaker: Yaser Abu Hilalah 
On September 25, 1997, the Israeli secret service tried to kill Khaled Meshaal, the Palestinian political leader of the Hamas movement.  A six-member team had arrived in the Jordanian capital, Amman, a week before the date set for the assassination of the head of the Hamas political bureau who was living in exile.  The Israeli agents had entered through Jordan's Queen Alia International airport from Amsterdam, Toronto and Paris using false Canadian passports.  Interviewed in the film, Meshaal says: "The Israeli threats started that summer. Israel had tried but failed to prevent Palestinian operations. So it escalated its threats especially against Hamas leaders abroad. With hindsight, those threats reveal what the Israelis were planning. But at the same time we felt relatively at ease since Israel had never carried out an operation in Jordan."  Mossad's move to assassinate Meshaal came in the wake of a series of suicide bombings Hamas carried out in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The attacks had left over 20 Israelis dead and hundreds injured.  Israel was enraged and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, called for an urgent meeting with his security services, including Mossad. He wanted a significant and telling strike against Hamas.  The objective was clear: retaliation.  At the same time there was a growing sense of mutual irritation at the heart of the Jordanian-Israeli relations. With this backdrop, Netanyahu gave the green light for the Mossad covert operation against Meshaal.  It was to involve a slow-acting but lethal poison that would gradually shut down the brain's respiratory centre, leading to death. The plan was to spray the toxin into Meshaal's ears, leaving no apparent trace of any weapon, and leading to death within 48 hours.  One of Meshaal's bodyguards, Muhammad Abu Saif, had chased the two Mossad agents who had carried out the operation and, with the help of a passing Palestinian Liberation Army officer, later captured them.  The failed assassination proved to be one of the greatest fiascos in the history of special operations, and a pivotal moment in the rise of Hamas.  This two-part film features exclusive interviews with Meshaal himself as well as with Danny Yatom, the then head of the Mossad, who masterminded the attempt to kill the Hamas leader, and who later fled to Jordan with the antidote that saved Meshaal's life.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Global and Regional Development - Think Tanks, International and Non-Governmental Organizations - Winter 2017-18 Shanghai University


Of the many influences on the US foreign policy formulation, the role of think tanks is among the most important and appreciated.
Richard N. Haass
The current president of CFR and a former Director of Policy and Planning - U.S. Department of State    

Course Description and Objective:

In this course, we will examine the emergence and development of think tanks and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from a comparative perspective. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of the modern state emerged out of the growth of capitalism and industrialization, and led to the creation of a complex bureaucracy and an interconnected social, political and economic environment within the global political arena.  However, WWI and II gave birth to the UN (originally the League of Nations) as a venue for negotiation between nation-states in the international arena in order to prevent political conflicts.
Particularly after the 1929 economic crisis, and the move from Keynesian capitalism to the neoliberal era in the second half of the 20th century, we started to see the materialization of political institutions above and beyond the state bureaucracy. The result was the Washington Consensus, which created the World Bank and the IMF. Over the next half-century, the world economic community was dominated by the policies of these institutions. In the 1950s, we also saw the birth of the European Union as a new political actor within world politics. This led to the rise of regional economic, political and cultural competition over economic resources.
Think tanks (semi-governmental institutions) are the other important economic and political actors within and between the modern nation-state. We will review the concept of the nation-state in this class. The emergence of think tanks or policy institutes dates back to the time of imperial Britain. These institutions were affiliated with security studies at the beginning stages of their emergence because they support the colonial dream of imperialism; however, this has changed slightly with the establishment of American think tanks and the rise of the US as a global power. Hence, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910), the Brookings Institute (1916), the Hoover Institution (1919), The Century Foundation (1919), the Council on Foreign Relations (1921) and the Rand Corporation (1946) were all founded in the first half of the 20th century. They were, and still are affiliated with the security establishment of the US. However, these organizations started to play a more effective role within domestic politics in the second half of the 20th century, because of the rise of the neoliberal economy. Less Keynesianism in the modern American Economy led to an increase in the power and number of these policy-oriented institutions, and they expanded to the social and economic field within the US. As a result, the Heritage Foundation (1973) and Cato Institute (1974) were established. However, the power of think tanks did not become apparent until the first half of the 1980s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, think tank politics began to dominate the American political landscape inside the beltway, taking on issues like drug policy to immigration, foreign policy and health care. This power led to considerable attention from American corporations. As a result of this trend, many more think tanks were established, and some changed their structures to collaborate with and meet the needs of corporations. Private funding has poured into these policy institutions ever since, and the term, ‘inside the beltway politics,’ coined in the 1980s and popularized in the 1990s, describes these circumstances. Today, the power and role of think tanks cannot be ignored, and should be studied academically from the standpoint of their origins, particularly their domestic and now international political usage.
We will also study the emergence, development and role of non-governmental organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. All of these organizations are fairly new to the global social and political arena.    
Required Readings:
1.     Think Tanks: The Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy By Kubilay Yado Arin (2014).
3.     NGOization Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects (Edited) By Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor (2013)

First Week

·       Introduction to Course and overview syllabus
·       Behind Closed Doors: Elite Politics, Think-Tanks and US Foreign Policy By Tugrul Keskin and Patrick Halpern (Posted on D2L)
·       Methodological Approach: Typologies of Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Policy Communities, Advocacy Coalitions and Epistemic Communities (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Introduction to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)
·       A guide to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)
Second Week

·       Do Think Tanks Matter? Opportunities, Constraints and Incentives for Think
Tanks in Canada and the United States By Donald E. Abelson
·       Demanding Information: Think Tanks and the US Congress. Anthony M. Bertelli and Jeffrey B. Wenger. (Posted on D2L)
·       The Role of the Think Tanks in the US Foreign Policy. U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda Volume 7 An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State Number 3. http://photos.state.gov/libraries/vietnam/8621/translations/ej112002.pdf
·       The World Trade Organization (Ian Hurd)
·       Theoretical Explanations for the Political Influence of Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)  
·       Fragmentation of the Political System and Veto Players (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Third Week

·       US Think Tanks and the Politics of Expertise: Role, Value and Impact Mahmood Ahmad. (Posted on D2L)
·       A Challenge to Washington Think Tanks Murray Weidenbaum.
·       The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (Ian Hurd)
·       CFR, Brookings and the Neoconservative Advocacy Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Elite Theory (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Reflection Paper – 1

Fourth Week

·       British think tanks: advancing the intellectual debate? Philippa Sherrington. (Posted on D2L)
·       Players Beyond Borders? German Think Tanks as Catalysts of Internationalisation. Martin Thunert.
·       Think Tanks and Their Impact. Robert O'neill.
·       The United Nations I: law and administration (Ian Hurd) 
·       Government Contractors - Frontrunners of the Military-Industrial Complex (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Foundations, Corporate Philanthropy and Political Advocacy  (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Fifth Week

·       Think Tanks in Transitional China. Xufeng Zhu and Lan Xue. 
·       China's International Relations Think Tanks: Evolving Structure and Process. David Shambaugh. 
·       China’s Foreign Policy Think Tanks: Changing Roles and Structural Conditions. Pascal Abb. GIGA Research Unit: Institute of Asian Studies No 213 January. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2350136
·       The Role of China’s Think Tanks in Policymaking. Chinabusinessreview.com
·       The United Nations II: international peace and security (Ian Hurd)
·       Advocacy Tanks Acting like Policy Entrepreneurs (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Role of Neoconservative Think Tanks in US Foreign Policy (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Reflection Paper – 2

Sixth Week

·       Does Israel Need Think Tanks? by Hannah Elka Meyers. http://www.meforum.org/2061/does-israel-need-think-tanks
·       The Israel Lobby John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby
·       The International Labor Organization (Ian Hurd) 
·       The Clinton Administration (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Bush Administration (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Introduction - NGOization: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects - Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor
·       Saving Biodiversity, for Whom and for What? Conservation NGOs, Complicity, Colonialism and Conquest in an Era of Capitalist Globalization - Aziz Choudry (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Seventh Week

·       The Ties That Used to Bind The Decay of American Political Institutions. Francis Fukuyama. http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2013/12/08/the-decay-of-american-political-institutions/
·       Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? Lee Fang. http://www.thenation.com/article/178460/shadow-lobbying-complex
·       International Court of Justice (Ian Hurd)
·       The Bush Doctrine, the Neoconservative Concept for Primacy? (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Neoconservative Think Tanks, an Advocacy Coalition (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Social Action and NGOization in Contexts of Development Dispossession in Rural India: Explorations into the Un-civility of Civil Society - Dip Kapoor (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations - Sharon H. Venne (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Reflection Paper – 3

Eighth Week

·       The International Criminal Court (Ian Hurd)
·       Conclusion: American Politics and the War of Ideas (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       From Radical Movement to Conservative NGO and Back Again? A Case Study of the Democratic Left (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor) Front in South Africa - Luke Sinwell (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       Philippine NGOs: Defusing Dissent, Spurring Change - Sonny Africa (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Ninth Week

·       Regional organizations: EU, AU and ASEAN (Ian Hurd)
·       Disaster Relief, NGO-led Humanitarianism and the Reconfiguration of Spatial Relations in Tamil Nadu - Raja Swamy (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       Seven Theses on Neobalkanism and NGOization in Transitional Serbia - Tamara Vukov (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Reflection Paper – 4

Tenth Week

·       Conclusion (Ian Hurd)
·       Emergence, development and future trajectories of Civil Society and NGOs By Tugrul Keskin
·       Peace-building and Violence against Women: Tracking the Ruling Relations of Aid in a Women's
·       Development NGO in Kyrgyzstan - Elena Kim and Marie Campbell (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
Alignment and Autonomy: Food Systems in Canada - Brewster Kneen (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)



A New Graduate Course: China and the Middle East Winter 2017-18 Shanghai University

China and the Middle East 
Winter 2017-18
Thursday 13:00 – 16:30
Tugrul Keskin PhD, Associate Professor
College of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University
Email: tugrulkeskin(at)t.shu.edu.cn  

Between 1949 and the late 1970s, interactions between China (PRC) and Middle Eastern countries were limited. After China started to implement economic reforms in 1978, however, the country opened up to the global economy in general and the Middle East in particular. Since the 1980s, the new Chinese economic dynamic, as a result of its economic reforms, has significantly increased China’s footprint in the region. China’s distinct approach has been to secure access to natural resources and new markets while, at the same time, making sure not to get bogged down in the Middle East’s political conflicts. However, as we will examine in this class, China’s role has by now become so prominent that it will be increasingly difficult for China to maintain its low-profile role. By analyzing the development of China’s role in the region generally as well as its specific relations to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Israel, we conclude that China is likely to become a more active player in the region.