History and Background
Turkey and Iran are not part of the Arab world so they are sometimes not included
when we talk about the Middle East. Some maps will include the North African
region. Readings will refer to it as MENA (Middle East and North Africa region).
CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
- Conflict will not just be between states, but between civilizations or cultures
- Huntington’s theory was developed in 93 right after the cold war
o Competition between ideologies
o Civilizations that Huntington refers to are the West, Islam, Confucian,
Slavic, Latin American, Africa, etc. Some geographic, some religious.
- Foresaw “bloody borders” between the West and Islam
o Influenced domestic and international foreign policy
o Crackdown on human rights groups (Western liberal values being
o Orientalism as main work
o Responded in a piece to Huntington
- Does civilizations make sense as a level of analysis?
o Perhaps due more to interests than identities. Responding to cold war
state interests from a regions/groups based policy making rather than
identity based policy.
Identity vs. interests.
o Yes, even though we see clashes, the identity level overlooks the
cooperation that exists between civilizations (Said).
Conflict vs. cooperation.
o Do certain theories have more place due to what is going on at the
time? Huntington wrote this after Cold War, which drove his theory.
Huntington’s critics came back in support of his theory after 9/11.
Does the clash of civilizations have more relevance after the Arab Spring?
- Brooks reading: push for modernization
- Mubarak was secular leader and now we have a more religious government
after push for modern democratic liberal values. What has become
democratic/liberal result was less secular that what was before.
- Huntington thought liberal market values and democratic values didn’t have
standing in the Islam world.
- The discourse of civilizations clash playing into foreign policy..? WESTERN POWERS AND EMERGING MID EAST (PRE WWI)
- People think the west carved up the mid east after war, but even before WWI,
there was a large Western presence in the region.
o Britain in Saudi Arabia and Egypt
o Italy in Libya
o Russian influence in East
o French influence in Algeria
o Main powers present were Britain and France defined what the
region came to look like today.
- Ottoman empire starting to weaken, Britain and France chipping away at
Ottoman to get a foot into the region. Not the intention at time for them to
see the Ottoman empire fall. They liked stability and domestic affairs the
Ottoman Empire provided.
- Interests for Britain and France pre WWI?
o Geopolitical interests along sea ports (military and commercial advtg)
o Suez Canal in Egypt for Britain
o Oil interest didn’t come until the 50’s and 60’s; they hadn’t discovered
- Ottoman empire allied with Germany and central powers. Britain had
interest in getting the Arab world on its side to rise up against Ottoman
- 1) McMahon-Husein Correspondence: Britain and Arabs, 1915-16
o One of the first deals we see. A series of letters b/w British high
commander in Cairo and Husein (prominent Arab leader).
o If Husein challenged Ottoman, Britain would ensure an Arab state
being created after the war in exchange.
- 2) Sykes-Picot Agreement: Britain and French, 1916
o Looking at parts of region that had not been subject to their influence
and starting to divide them up as North Africa was.
o France having mandate over Lebanon and Syria. Contradictory to the