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HIST232: Modern Middle East and Southwest Asia

Unit 8: The Middle East and Southwest Asia in the 21st Century   In this final unit, we will examine some of the key developmental challenges that nations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia face today.  We will also look at the growing tensions between secular Islamic states and supporters of Islamic fundamentalism.  Finally, we will examine the role that such external political agents as the United States and the European Union continue to play in the development of the region.  Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian nations continue to struggle with political, economic, and social problems in the 21st century.  Many of these nations remain economically underdeveloped and continue to depend on oil revenues as their major source of income.  American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has further inflamed regional tension and has encouraged militant Islamic fundamentalist movements, such as al-Qaeda, to plot terrorist attacks on American allies in the region.  In Iran, conflicts between political moderates and extremists boiled over during the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections.  For nations with a tradition of democratic rule, such as Israel and Turkey, the first decade of the 21st century has been a period of economic success tempered by internal ethnic and social unrest.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 6.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 8.3: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.4: 2 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Identify important contemporary political, economic, and social trends in the Middle East and Southwest Asia based on an analysis of the region’s history.  - Identify the emergence, growth and current status of al-Qaeda.

8.1 Oil and Economic Development   - Reading: Oil and Economic Development The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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8.1.1 Uncertain Power of OPEC   8.1.2 Uneven Distribution of National Wealth   8.1.3 The Gulf States   8.1.4 The Modernization Struggle   8.1.5 Technical and Economic Challenges   8.1.6 Regional Development   8.2 American Hegemony   - Reading: American Hegemony The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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8.2.1 Regional Influences   8.2.2 Economic Power   8.2.3 War in Afghanistan   - Reading: Wikipedia: “War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)” Link: Wikipedia: “War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read this entire webpage in order to get a sense of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. 
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).

8.2.4 War in Iraq   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Invasion of Iraq” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Invasion of Iraq” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the linked material.

8.3 Al-Qaeda   - Lecture: C-SPAN Video Library: “After Words with Peter Bergen” Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “After Words with Peter Bergen” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please click on the play button on the C-SPAN website, and watch the entire discussion (approximately 57 minutes) to better understand al-Qaeda and its relationship with the West.  This video also addresses subunits 8.3.1 through 8.3.4. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: C-SPAN Video Library: “Osama Bin Laden” Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “Osama Bin Laden” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the play button on the C-SPAN website, and watch the entire discussion (approximately 71 minutes) to better understand Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the United States.  This video also addresses subunits 8.3.1 through 8.3.4. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3.1 Objectives   8.3.2 Terrorism and Islamic Fundamentalism   - Lecture: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 25: A New Era of Violence” Link: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 25: A New Era of Violence” (iTunes Audio)
 
Instructions: Click on the above link.  You might be asked to launch iTunes before you can access the lecture.  Scroll down to find Lecture 25.  Please listen to the entire lecture (approximately 76 minutes), which addresses the emergence of violence in the Middle East. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the link above.

8.3.3 Influence on Regional Development   8.3.4 International Consequences   8.4 Iran   - Reading: BBC News: “Iran Country Profile” Link: BBC News: “Iran Country Profile” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage for an introduction to contemporary Iran.  This reading also addresses subunits 8.4.1 and 8.4.2. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: C-SPAN Video Library: “After Words with Hooman Majd” Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “After Words with Hooman Majd” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the play button on the C-SPAN webpage, and watch the entire discussion (approximately 61 minutes) to better understand contemporary Iran.  This video also addresses subunits 8.4.1 through 8.4.2. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.4.1 Khatami and the Politics of Moderation and Reform   8.4.2 Ahmadinejad and Militant Populism   8.4.3 The 2009 Election and Internal Power Struggles   - Reading: BBC News: Jim Muir’s “Clashes Show Unresolved Iran Crisis” Link: BBC News: Jim Muir’s “Clashes Show Unresolved Iran Crisis” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this report for some context on contemporary Iran.  This BBC webpage provides information about the ongoing political crisis in Iran related to the disputed 2009 presidential election.  This article discusses how the Iranian government has violently repressed opposition protests and ignored international pressure to mediate the crisis.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.5 Israel   - Reading: Israel The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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8.5.1 Relationship with Palestinian Authorities   8.5.2 Hamas   8.5.3 Seeking a Two-State Solution to the Palestinian Conflict   8.5.4 Religious Extremism and Political Moderation   8.6 Turkey   - Reading: Turkey The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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8.6.1 Economic Expansion and Development   8.6.2 Relationship with European Union   8.6.3 Secular and Religious Tensions   8.6.4 Civil and Military Tensions   8.6.5 Ethnic Tensions   8.7 The Modernization Challenge   - Reading: The Modernization Challenge The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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8.7.1 Role of Islam in Government and Society   8.7.2 Social and Cultural Reforms   8.7.3 The Role of Women in Society   8.7.4 Power of Traditional Values   8.7.5 Outside Influences   8.7.6 Regional Economic Development   8.7.7 Failed States and Regional Cooperation