*This course is a three-week intensive course.
Emphases: Global Policy, Global Security, Global Development
Term: Fall (September-December)
Day & Time: September 19, 21, 25, 26, 28, October 2, 3, 5 (2-5 pm)
Instructor(s): Arif Lalani
Room: Transit House (Mondays) & CG-361 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Description: The Middle East is changing, dramatically. The conventional “geography” of the Middle East typically addressed by western audiences has focused on conflict around the Levant.
For over 70 years the West’s policy on the Middle East has been based on two premises: first, that a resolution of the Palestinian problem and a “two-state solution” is the key to broader peace in the Middle East; and second, that Israel and the Arab oil exporting countries of the region are perpetual enemies. How relevant are these premises today? In 2020, the “Abraham Accords” opened the door to normalizing diplomatic and commercial relations between Israel and its neighbours (UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan). Most recently the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have normalised their diplomatic relations. These developments take place in a context which includes security, human rights, economic development and other issues involving global actors and broader international issues.
The Arab Gulf states seem to be at the centre of this “new geography” of the Middle East. The global reach of the Gulf states could prove to be important to global priorities, including the shift to a green economy, addressing food insecurity in the developing world, cyber security and technology.
Are we seeing a new Middle East emerge? What are the implications for enduring conflicts, for global issues, and transformation? The course will examine these issues, including through guest presentations. The course will reflect a practioner’s perspective. How do we assess important changes for senior policy makers, make sense of the implications and opportunities, arrive at practical policy recommendations? Students will work on policy documents designed to help senior policy makers navigate the changing contours of a new Middle East and what it means for governments, their citizens, and other stakeholders.