Middle Eastern Affairs

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of 2 questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory. Some of the questions may ask about one reading, but the goal is to integrate many of them into the answer and mine them for key points.

1. (1) There ere are debates about whether democracy is the best form of government for all societies and cultures. Some Arab Spring movements indicated that, at least in some countries, citizens are interested in some kind of more inclusive government and representation. Just as there are variations in democratic institutions in the West, democratic institutions in a MENA country would probably look different from those in Western states, given differences in societies, political cultures, and historical contingencies. Using your readings and citing supporting information, pick one specific country in the region. Evaluate the status of its political system, with reference to relevant historical events as needed, and discuss the degree to which democratic characteristics are, or could be, applied and customized to that country.

2. What does Hinnebusch (2003) mean by “center-periphery relations” or “core-periphery relationships” and how does this concept apply to the Middle East? Is the Middle East still locked into such a structure in the 21st century?