POLI SCI 351 Study Guide - Winter 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Middle East, Syria, Saudi Arabia

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POLI SCI 351
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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Politics:
“Who gets what, when, and how” - Harold Lasswell
o Power: how is it acquired and applied
Diverse interests; scarce resources lead to struggles
Study of power is the study of struggles over power
o Elements of power to study:
Actors, ideas, goals, institutions
MENA - middle east / north africa
In this class: Turkey, Iran, Israel, 22 Arab League countries
History
Empires - multi-ethnic, multi-religious rule established over large area
By 6th century, most of Middle East under Byzantine empire (not Arabian
peninsula)
7th century rise of Islam
o Mohammed (570-632) becomes prophet of Islam
Recited commands of God into The Quran
Becomes the basis of the religion Islam
Islam = “submission to one true God”
o Mohammed expands Islamic Ummah (Islamic community)
Converting and conquering
Eventually conquered Mecca
o Mohammed dies, split over succession of him as leader of community
Shi’i / Shiite (adj) … Shi’a (collective noun)
Leadership should remain in the family of the prophet (Ali)
~ 15% of Muslims today
Sunni
Believe that elites of community should choose best leader
~ 85% of Muslims today
o 4 Sunni Successors: “Rightly Guided Caliphs” ruled from 632-661
Established a caliphate (empire)
Spread Islam throughout Levant, North Africa, Spain during their
rule
o The Caliphate (622-750)
Fused religious and political authority
Successive Sunni dynasties move the capital of the Caliphate
“Golden Age of Islam”
11th century: rise of “gunpowder empires”
o Through gunpowder, these empires able to conquer and rule
Mughul Empire
Safavid Empire
Established Iran’s borders
Persian (Farsi) declared official language
Shiite Islam established as state’s religion
Ottoman Empire
Capital in Istanbul
Ruled most of the Middle East for centuries (foundation on
which modern Middle East is built)
Expansion rivals the expansion of the Caliphate
Rules until the 19th century
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Ottoman political order
o 1. Sultan’s central authority
Absolute monarch, yet limits to Sultan’s reach
Empire so large, no technology, hard to rule over whole
area
Local elites worked as intermediaries
Some concentrate large land holdings
o Register a lot of land under their names (ordinary
people scared to have things under their names,
pay taxes)
Power exercised through networks beyond the center
o 2. Heterogeneity (ethnic, religious)
Millet system
System of communal self-government
Did not force conversion, allowed religions to organize
themselves
Institutions shape politicization of difference
Ottoman sources of decline
o Internal
Corruption, inefficiency
o External
World trade increases from 16th century
Europe has upper hand in trade
o Commercial revolution - improved shipping,
manufacturing
Ottomans become dependent on Europe
o Less economically developed
Consequences:
o Ottoman economic crisis; state weakens
o Great power competition of stronger states in
Europe competing over Ottoman lands, Ottoman
unable to defend itself
o Ottoman loses provinces
Countries rebel for their own national
independence (Greece)
European colonialism carves off pieces of
empire; empire shrinks in size
o State struggles to reform to face these challenges
o Cultural / social movements from citizens of empire
Arab (roots of Arab nationalism); Islamic;
reformist
o World War 1: Ottoman sides with German (losers), becomes clear that
Ottomans will not survive this defeat, Ottoman empire split up
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