Politics of Geography in the Middle East

Middle East

Politics of Geography in the Middle East (Download as PDF)

Spring 2013,

Online Non-Thesis Middle East Master Program, Sakarya University

Assoc. Prof. Murat Yesiltas

muratyesiltas@gmail.com

 

Content of the Course

This online master course examines the geographical and geopolitical place of the Middle East in the regional and international system from the perspective of critical geopolitics. The course is divided into two sections, which composes of theoretical and practical dimension of geopolitics. In the first part of the course, we will examine conceptual and theoretical aspects of political geography and geopolitics in order to deepening our understanding regarding the importance and the role of the politics of geography in the Middle East.  In the second section of the course, we will focus on the geography and geopolitics of the Middle East in terms of the evolution of the geopolitical discourse towards the Middle East from early part of the 20th century to the present. In this section, our aim is to show how practical, formal and popular geopolitical discourse shapes our understanding towards the Middle East and its place in the world politics.

 

Course Reading

Readings will be made available in pdf format via SAU’s online course management system. You can also access to the readings on the Internet by just goggling the title of articles structured in the syllabus.

 

Blackboard

Vital materials for this course, including required readings, announcement, maps and lecture outline will be posted on the web page of the course located at…..

 

Important Web Pages for the Middle East and Geopolitics

 

To get more information about practical, formal and popular evolution of the geopolitical map of the Middle East http://mideast.unc.edu/where/

 

To get more information and analysis about the theory of geopolitics and geopolitical analyses of the international politics http://www.exploringgeopolitics.org/

 

If you want to developed your theoretical understanding regarding political geography and critical geopolitics http://www.journals.elsevier.com/political-geography/

 

Historical and popular geographical and geopolitical debates about the Arab Middle East http://arabworldgeographer.metapress.com/home/main.mpx

 

Postmodern analyses about the war, geopolitics and international politics http://www.david-campbell.org/

 

Critical geopolitical analyses and important theoretical article http://toal.org/critgeo/

 

Short Response Paper

Each student will write a response paper based on the movies that I listed some of them below. You can also choose your own movie for your response paper. Please watch a movie about the Middle East particularly focused on the issue of security, terror, geopolitics and international politics and wright a short analysis about the movie from the perspective of critical geopolitics. In this paper, you should first of all, provide a general overview about the movie and secondly examine the representation of events, people, geography and geopolitics of the Middle East about chosen movie.

Here are the some examples;

George W. Bush (2010)

Valley of the Wolves (2006)

Fahrenheit 9/ 11 (2004)

Green Zone (2010)

 

Course Schedule

Week 1 General Introduction: Content, Structure and Aims of the Course

No reading

Week 2 Introduction to Political Geography

 

Week 3 Introduction to Geopolitics I

  • Gerry Kearns, “Imperial Geopolitics,” in John Agnew, Katharyne Mitchell and Gerard Toal, A Companion to Political Geography, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, pp. 173-187.
  • Wolfgang Natter, “Geopolitics in Germany, 1919-45”, in John Agnew, Katharyne Mitchell and Gerard Toal, A Companion to Political Geography, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, pp.187-204.
  • Klous Doods, “ Cold War Geopolitics”, in John Agnew, Katharyne Mitchell and Gerard Toal, A Companion to Political Geography, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, pp. 204-219.

 

 

 

Week 4 Critical Geopolitics

  1. Ó Tuathail, S. Dalby (1998) Re-Thinking Geopolitics: Towards a Critical Geopolitics. Introductory chapter co-authored with Simon Dalby to Rethinking Geopolitics, Routledge, 1-15. (Open Source, available on the following link http://toal.org/critgeo/)

 

Week 5 Thinking Critically About the Geopolitics

  1. Ó Tuathail (1999) Understanding Critical Geopolitics: Geopolitics and Risk Society. Journal of Strategic Studies. 22 (2/3), 107-124. Also published as a chapter in Geography, Geopolitics and Strategy, eds. Geoffrey Sloan and Colin Gray. London: Frank Cass, 1999. (Open Source, available on the following link http://toal.org/critgeo/)
  2. Ó Tuathail (2003) Geopolitical Structures and Cultures: Towards Conceptual Clarity in the Study of Critical Geopolitics.In Geopolitical Perspectives on World Politics, ed. by Lasha Tchantouridze, Bison Paper 4, Winnipeg : Centre for Defence and Security Studies, November 2003. (Open Source, available on the following link http://toal.org/critgeo/) (Optional)

 

Week 6 Mapping the Middle East: The Problem of Definition and Classification

  • Roderic H. Davison, “Where is the Middle East?”, Foreign Affairs, 38, 1960 (In reserve)
  • Osman Nuri Özalp, Where is the Middle East? The Definition and Classification Problem of the Middle East as a Regional Subsystem in International Relations, Turkish Journal of Politics 2 No. 2 Winter 2011, pp. 5-20. (Open Source, available on the following link http://tjp.fatih.edu.tr/docs/articles/112.pdf)

 

Week 7 Exam Week

No Class and reading

 

Week 8 Constructing the Middle East:

 

Week 9 Representations of the Middle East: Cold War

  • Pinar Bilgin, Regional Security in the Middle East A Critical Perspective, Routledge, 2005, Chapter 2, pp. 67-89

 

 

 

Week 10 Representations of the Middle East: Post-Cold War

  • Pinar Bilgin, Regional Security in the Middle East A Critical Perspective, Routledge, 2005, Chapter 4, pp. 113-131

 

Week 11 Middle East, War on Terror and the New Geopolitics

  • Waleed Hazbun, “The Middle East through the Lens of Critical Geopolitics: Globalization, Terrorism, and the Iraq War”, in Where is the Middle East?, edited by Michael E. Bonine, Michael Gasper, and Abbas Amanat (Stanford: Stanford University Press) (Open Source, , available on the following link http://hazbun.mwoodward.com/HAZBUN_Lens%20of%20Critical%20Geopolitics.pdf)

 

Week 12 Middle East from the Perspective of Popular Geopolitics

  • Karen Culcasi, “Constructing and Naturalizing the Middle East”, Review 100, October 2010, pp.583- ‐597.
  • Mahmut Gokmen and Tyler Haas, “Modern Mapping of Orientalism onto the Arab World: National Geographic Magazine, 1990-2006, The Arab World Geographer, Vol 10, No 2, 2007, pp. 131-140.

 

Week 13 Cinematic Geopolitics of the Middle East

  • Klaus Dodds, “Hollywood and the Popular Geopolitics of the War on Terror”, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 8, 2008, pp 1621–1637

 

Week 14 Movie Presentations

No reading