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Final

PSC 321 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Comparative Politics, Identity PoliticsExam


Department
Political Science
Course Code
PSC 321
Professor
Bishara
Study Guide
Final

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1
PSC 321-004: POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
SPRING 2019
Instructor: Prof. Dina Bishara Teaching Assistant: Patrick Tate
Email: dbishara@ua.edu Email: mptate@crimson.ua.edu
Office: Ten Hoor Hall 340 Class time: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Office Hours: T 2-4pm (or by appointment) Classroom: Ten Hoor 114
_____________________________________________________________________________
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course is designed to introduce advanced undergraduate students to the comparative politics
of the contemporary Middle East. The course adopts a thematic approach to the study of Middle
East politics. Important themes and questions in comparative politics will guide our analysis of
the complex political realities in the contemporary Middle East. The course begins with a histor-
ical overview of the emergence of the modern state system in the contemporary Middle East. The
rest of the course draws on the tools of comparative politics to address some of the major issues
facing the Middle East. These include, but are not limited to, authoritarianism, political participa-
tion, identity politics, economic development, the political economy of oil, Islamist social and
political movements, and the politics of gender.
Student Learning Outcomes
Understand and engage with major topics in Middle East politics
Summarize scholarly literature on the Middle East
Apply concepts and theories learned in class to case studies
Formulate an informed position on scholarly debates by weighing various arguments in
the secondary literature
Make connections between news occurring around the Middle East and the scholarly lit-
erature and debates discussed in class.
REQUIRED TEXTS
Angrist, Michele Penner, ed. Politics and Society in the Contemporary Middle East. 2nd Edition.
Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013.
*All other readings will be uploaded to Blackboard or available through the library’s journal
subscription. Some readings will be available online.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Class Preparation and Participation: 35%
It is essential that you complete the assigned reading before the corresponding lectures. This is
true for two reasons. First, my lectures and our classroom activities often assume some familiari-
ty with the readings. Second, given the amount of reading it will be in your interest not to get
behind. Trying to cram a couple of days before the exam will not work for this course, I assure
you. To help you keep up with the reading, I will incentivize and assess your preparation and
participation in three different ways that will contribute to your final grade in this course:

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1. Discussion Questions (5% of the course grade): You will be required to submit discussion questions
five times during the semester (only one question/week will be accepted). This means that you
would submit five questions over the course of the semester, corresponding to five weeks of class.
Questions MUST be related to the assigned readings. Questions are due no later than 9pm on Mon-
day evening on the Discussion Board on Blackboard. Questions submitted on any given Monday
must relate to readings from that week.
2. Reading Quizzes (20% of the course grade): Familiarity with the assigned readings is vital to your
success in this course. To ensure each student is completing the readings in a timely fashion, period-
ic reading quizzes will be given. Quizzes will be based on the readings and will include multiple
choice or true/false questions. Depending on the number of quizzes, I will drop the lowest two quiz
scores. Quizzes will be given at the very beginning of class. Students should plan to arrive in class
on time. Quiz dates will be announced one class session in advance.
3. Attendance (10% of the overall grade). Attendance for this course is mandatory. Students are al-
lowed to miss three days of class with no penalty to their grade. For each absence beyond three, I
will deduct one percent of your course grade.
Current Affairs Exercise: 20%
1. Two short news reports (One report/student) (10% of the course grade)
Each student in the course will produce one news report over the course of semester (a total of
two news reports per/pair). News reports are expected to summarize major DOMESTIC political
developments in the country the pair is following. Reports should not exceed two double-spaced
pages each (12pt font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins). News reports should rely on at least
three different news sources and feature at least three different news articles/stories.
2. Current affairs Paper (10% of the course grade)
Each pair will collaborate to submit no more than one and a half double-spaced pages (12pt font,
Times New Roman, 1 inch margins) describing a news article and how it relates to course read-
ings from a given week. The news article MUST be dated sometime during the Spring 2019 se-
mester. Students are expected to make specific references to class readings (using proper cita-
tions, including page numbers) and demonstrate the relationship between course topics and read-
ings and the news article they selected. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their analysis
and their ability to connect the news story to class materials, especially assigned readings.· Stu-
dents will be required to email me a link to the news article they intend to write their abstract
about and which week of class readings they intend to connect it to at least ONE WEEK prior to
the submission deadline.
Exams (45% total)
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 25%
Exams will include (but are not limited to) multiple choice questions, short identification ques-
tions, and essay questions. The final exam will be cumulative.

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MAKE-UP POLICY FOR MISSED EXAMS, QUIZZES AND CLASSES, AND LAT
ASSIGNMENTS
Students who miss an exam or quiz will be allowed to take a make-up exam/quiz only if they
have provided me with a legitimate reason for missing the exam at least 48 hours before the
exam or 24 hours before the quiz (if the absence is foreseeable), or a valid excuse soon af-
ter having missed the exam (within 24 hours of the exam). Students who do not meet these
criteria will be given score of zero for the missed exam or quiz.
If you miss class for any reason, it is your responsibility to find out what material and as-
signments you have missed. Try to get to know a classmate who can provide you with notes
and information.
Date and time deadlines for written work should be taken very seriously. Assignments
turned in late will lose a third of a grade for each day they are late (e.g. B+ >>> B). Exten-
sions will only be granted when (1) the student has notified the instructor AHEAD OF
TIME, and (2) the student has an acceptable excuse. An acceptable excuse is defined as any
event or circumstance that prevents the student from attending class or completing an as-
signment and which is beyond the reasonable control of the student. Examples of such events
include major illnesses, serious ill- ness or death of an immediate family member, travel re-
quired for officially recognized University organizations, and other reasons as determined by
the instructor on a case-by-case basis. With- out exception, documentation must be provided
to the instructor for an excuse to be deemed acceptable.
GRADING
Your work in this course will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Form of Evaluation
Percentage of Final Grade
Due Date
Attendance
10 percent
Every class period
Quizzes
20 percent
Various dates (announced at
least one class period in ad-
vance)
Discussion Questions
5 percent
Mondays 9pm
Midterm
20 percent
February 28 (TBC)
News report (one per student.
A total of two per pair)
10 percent
February 15; March 22
(11:59pm)
Current Affairs Paper
10 percent
April 19 (11:59pm)
Final Exam
25 percent
May 2, 2019
8:00-10:30am; Ten Hoor 114
GRADING SCALE
A+ 97-100 B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69 F <59
A 93-96 B 83-86 C 73-76 D 63-66
A- 90-92 B- 80-82 C- 70-72 D- 60-62
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