New course: Spring 1999/2000 >Democratization in the Arab World (SIS 579.03) >Dr. Abdu H. Sharif > >The purpose of this course would be to provide students with an overview of >the debate concerning democratization in the Arab world. It is intended to >familiarize them with some of the mainstream literature on questions of >culture and democratization, compatibility between Islam and democracy, the >concept of "shura", in addition to recent debate on political >liberalization, >civil society, human rights, and the role of law. To do so, however, we >shall >focus on individual cases from the Arab world in order to gain clearer >picture of the dilemmas and challenges facing Arab governments. Some of the >questions that will be raised include: > >? What is the nature of the debate concerning Islam and democracy? >? How can we define the term "democratization"? >? What exactly is involved in democratic process? >? What role do nascent democratic trends play in political transformation >of Arab countries? >? Do these trends produce real or cosmetic changes in Arab governments? >? What are the main obstacles to democratic development in the Arab >world?









This course analyses scholarly approaches to responding to international conflict and for establishing peace at the local, national and global levels.  The course examines these scholarly approaches in terms of three distinct categories of responding to conflict and establishing peace: conflict management which aims to prevent conflict outbreaks of armed conflict; conflict resolution which aims to develop adequate communicative strategies and processes for negotiating durable outcomes to conflict; and conflict transformation which aims to change personal and societal factors that contribute to violence. This course is premised on the belief that while conflict is an inherent feature of the human condition, violence is not; therefore requiring strategies for removing violence in its various manifestations, i.e., direct, structural and cultural.


SIS396.03        THE LITERATURE OF PEACE               McCarthy                          W8:10-10:40

Course readings will range from Ghandi, Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King, Jr, among the men, and Dorothy Day, Barbara Deming, and Joan Baez, among the women. The class offers ample opportunity for discussion, debate, and dissent. If peace is what every government claims it wants, and if peace is what every human heart is yearning for, then it is high time that we begin studying, absorbing, and acting on the literature of peace.






SIS519.08         HUMAN RIGHTS               Salla                                                                  W11:20-2:00

This course aims to introduce students to the development of universal human rights norms in the international system; efforts to implement these at the national, regional and international levels; and contemporary debates concerning the universal implementation of human rights.  The course explores human rights in the context of contemporary challenges to an international system organized on the principle of ‘state sovereignty’; and to foreign policy making based on particular conceptions of ‘national interest’.


SIS519.07         APPLIED CONFLICT RESOLUTION   Abu-Nimer                                  M8:10-10:40

(Class will end on March 15 with two additional meeting times February 10th 9:30- 5:30,  February

11th 9:30-5:30 (16 HOURS) Monday, February 2:10- 4:50 Monday, February19   2:10-4:50)

Although conflict resolution is still an emerging field of study, it has a wide variety of practice.  The purpose of this class is to critically present this wide range of methods.  Thus, by the end of the course students should be: 1) familiar with advantages and limitations of the various techniques of conflict resolution; and 2) able to apply conflict resolution methods on actual or real life cases.





This course examines the theories and methods of nonviolent politics in terms of two fundamental perspectives: transformative and strategic nonviolence.  Seminal authors and key principles, problems and issues of the two perspectives will be introduced and analyzed.  Students will be introduced to a number of key debates concerning the practice of nonviolence and the coherence of the two perspectives.  The course aims to give students a greater awareness of both the problems and opportunities provided by nonviolence in order to develop their capacity to engage in nonviolent politics and/or practice nonviolence.                                                                                         


SIS519.13       SPIRITUALITY AND GLOBAL POLITICS     TBA                       M8:30-110:10

This course postulates that the issues facing modern society nationally and globally, demand a new set of answers, arising from a new pattern of faith and belief.  “Spirituality and Global Politics” is conducted as a seminar to examine the application of spirituality to global politics, with particular emphasis on the ways in which faith and belief promote peace and conflict resolution.  Topics include: The historical significance of faith and belief in international relations; The impact of faith and belief on contemporary issues in global politics; Content of spirituality – the substance of our faith and belief, and its effects on global politics; Process of spirituality – how we practice our faith and belief; Consciousness in social action – balancing principles and practice.


SIS579.03        DEMOCRATIZATION IN THE ARAB WORLD   TBA                M8:30-11:10

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the debate concerning democratization in the Arab world.  It is intended to familiarize them with some of the mainstream literature on Arab political development as well as to introduce them to critical perspectives that would enrich their thinking about questions of democracy and governance in the region.  Some of the questions that will be raised include: What exactly is involved in the democratic process?  How can we define the term ‘democratization?’  Do Arab governments in the countries mentioned above, exhibit similar characteristics?  What role did democratic trends (if they exist) play in political transformations of Arab countries?  Do these trends produce “real” or “cosmetic” changes in Arab politics?  What are the main obstacles to democratic development in the Arab world?



This course will examine the relevance of “tribal studies” for understanding political, economic, and socio-cultural developments in the Middle East.  Particular emphasis will be placed on analyzing the various forms and setting of tribalism and their expression as socio-political and ideological imaginations.  The four principle forms in which people create tribal identities will be defined and analyzed in the context of the assigned readings: 1) The elaboration and use of explicit indigenous ethno-political ideologies by people to explain their socio-political organization; 2) Concepts used by state authorities for administrative purposes; 3) Implicit, practical notions held by people that are not elaborated into formal ideologies; and 4) Anthropological concepts.  Studies of expressive and communicative culture that shed light on notions of community and authority, forms of speech and experience, and tribal, ethnic and national identities will be explored in class.  The goal of this course is to introduce perspectives and research rooted in recent social and cultural theory that will assist students to become more informed interpreters of analytical and descriptive generalizations about “tribalism” in the Middle East. 


*SIS579.05       WOMEN’S LITERATURE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD  Simone            M11:20-2:00

There are four main objectives for this course: 1) it will familiarize students with a variety of Islamic cultures and with their diversity.  Samples of literature from a number of Islamic countries, both large and small, will be included; 2) it will also make possible a better understanding of family life, social structure, politics and religion so that we can better grasp the sources of conflict among these nations and the West; 3) to counteract some of the stereotypes of Arabs, Turks and Iranians that have circulated in the West and to help students who are unfamiliar with Islamic culture examine some of their own prejudices and assumptions about these cultures; and 4) to the extent that translations allow, to look at the forms these writers have chosen to express themselves and discover in what ways differ from their own literary traditions and in some cases adapting Western literary forms to their own purposes.


SIS596.06        ETHICS IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS     TBA               W8:10-10:40

This seminar is structured to promote student dialogue and participation.  The course is divided into four parts.  Part one provides the necessary historical context for understanding the relations between ethics and IR.  In part two, the class explores the different ethical “traditions” to appreciate the heterodox character both of IR theory and the politico-cultural worlds.  Perspective drawn from political realism, the Judeo-Christian tradition, Gandhi, Islam, and feminism advance our understanding of the complex nexus between ethics and IR.  Part three is devoted to a focused inquiry into some key substantive issues (human rights, development, justice and equality).  Finally, part four offers a review  of the course and identifies questions that are likely to dominate the agenda of normative world politics in the twenty-first century.


SIS 596.07         RELIGION, SCIENCE AND PEACE                 Ommaya                    Th2:10-4:50

This course examines the connection between science, religion and peace by analyzing the causes of

historical cleavage between religion and scientific thought during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

and examining contemporary trends toward integration between scientific and ethical values.


SIS596.14       THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS      Drake                         F5:30-8:00

Current and evolving trends in the Middle East peace process in the approach to final status negotiations.  The first part of the course examines the historical background leading up to Madrid and Oslo: why did the Israelis, Palestinians, and Syrians suddenly embrace the peace concept?  The second part of the course deals with the changes in the strategic landscape since Oslo: the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the emergence of Hamas as the main political-military opposition, and the long-term consequences of the short Netanyahu interlude.  The final part of the course focuses on emerging issues and problems in Palestinian-Israeli and Syrian-Israeli-Lebanese relations that are set to emerge during the coming Barak era.  The course will include live reports and debates by students, and several distinguished guest speakers, class size permitting.


*SIS596.15      THE KURDS: THE SEARCH FOR AUTONOMY             Ghareeb          Th8:10-10:40

                        AND SELF-DETERMINATION

This lecture discussion course will seek to identify the origin, evolution and role of the Kurds in various countries in the Middle East.  It will focus on the growing assertiveness and search for identity and/or political autonomy of the Kurds and their impact on the socio-political developments in the countries they inhabit.  Attention will be given to various Kurdish nationalist movements and personalities in the region.






SIS607.01         PEACE PARADIGMS                 Salla                                             T8:10-10:40

This course analyzes scholarly approaches to understanding and realizing peace that range from a

conception of peace as absence of war, to peace as interpersonal harmony and unity.  Special emphasis

will be on exploring the implicit assumptions concerning power, violence, social justice, etc., that

undergird the different ways in which peace is conceptualized, and how these assumptions impact on the

effectiveness of various strategies developed for realizing peace.  The course examines the following peace

paradigms: peace through coercion; peace through order; peace through nonviolence and conflict

resolution; peace through critical perspectives; and peace through global transformation.


SIS609 CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND RESOLUTION          Salla                           F2:10-4:50

This course is designed to present and discuss major theoretical approaches to conflict and conflict

resolution.  It examines theories that attempt to explain causes, dynamic, courses, and resolution of

conflicts.  It surveys theoretical frameworks from different disciplines and emerging conflict resolution

theories.  Thus, the boundaries and definitions of the field of conflict resolution will be discussed. Also, the

course examines needs and obstacles in the development of future theories in the conflict resolution field.


SIS611      INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION                                 Hammer      W5:30-8:00

This course presents a survey of the literature on the communicative dimensions of international negotiations.  Contending approaches to conceptualizing international negotiations and the application of various methodologies and models to current conflict situations are examined.  In addition, the role of cross-cultural communication dynamics present during international negotiation (e.g. hostage/terrorist negotiation), international business negotiation (e.g., trade talks), diplomatic negotiations (e.g., North Korea nuclear arms conflict) and social conflict situations (e.g., protracted social conflicts, ethnic-based conflicts).  Finally, meditation, conflict resolution training and skills development in international negotiation are included. 


SIS696.02     ISLAMIC SOURCES OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION    Said           W2:10-4:50

This course will examine Islamic precepts in the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammed, and the Shariah that relate to conflict resolution.  Students will have the opportunity to analyze historical practices of Islamic states in resolving conflict among them and with non-Islamic states and will identify contemporary examples of conflict resolution techniques employed by Muslims.


SIS 696.05      CULTURE, PEACE AND CONFLICT:                  Hammer             T2:10-4:50

                        ALTERNATIVES TO VIOLENCE   

This course examines the intricate and often times out of awareness influence of culture (assumptions,

values, beliefs, and behavior) on individual’s conceptions of and strategies for resolving conflict and

building peaceful relations.  The impact on international peace and conflict resolution processes of both

ethno-centric and ethno-relative orientations toward cultural differences are investigated.  Cultural

general and cultural specific peace and conflict resolution methods are also examined.  



Intensive dialogue between faculty members and doctoral students in the international relations field.

M.A. students may be admitted with permission. Reading and discussion of literature and ideas in an

aspect of the field announced in advance by the SIS graduate office. Preparation for comprehensive




Any questions regarding the course schedule, please contact the IPCR Program Office at x1622. 




*Times may be subject to change, please check internet for the most updated schedule.