• TR
  • EN
Program Type: 
Non Thesis
Course Code: 
POLS 559
Course Type: 
Course Language: 
Course Objectives: 

This course aims to provide an in depth understanding of the origins, development and impact of Arab Nationalism and Islamism, respectively, on domestic and regional politics in the Middle East.

Course Content: 

Over the last century, the political landscape of the modern Middle East has been dominated by two ideologies with largely authentic sources: Arab Nationalism and Islamism. Within the framework of the course, Arab Nationalism and Political Islam will be analysed taking into account the historical contexts within which these ideological doctrines arouse and turned into most significant political forces.

Teaching Methods: 
1: Lecture, 2: Discussion based lecture, 3: Case study, 4: Small group work, 5: Seminar, 6: Group work, 7: Research paper, 8: Oral presentation/exam, 9: Survey, 10: Panel, 11: Guest speaker, 12: Activities within a Student Body or Research Project.
Assessment Methods: 
A: Exam, B: Homework, C: Oral exam or presentation, D: Discussion.

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program Outcomes Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
Students will be able to define the basic objectives of secular Arab Nationalism and tell why they largely remained unattained despite the tremendous impact pan-Arabism has made on the regional level.  

1, 4, 6, 13


1, 2, 3 A, D
They will also be able to summarize the extensive impact of Arab Nationalism for domestic, regional and international politics.  

1, 4, 6, 13

1, 2, 3 A, D
 Students will be able to identify the root causes of the rise of Islamism in the Middle East starting in the 1970s.  

1, 4, 6, 13


1, 2, 3 A, C, D
Students will be able to compare various forms of Islamist organizations on the basis of their respective ideological inclinations (moderate/radical) and strategies (reformist/revolutionary).  

1, 4, 6, 13

1, 2, 3 A, C, D
Within the larger framework of “Islam-Democracy” debate, students will also be able to critically evaluate the role of Islamist movements in the political development of various Middle East countries, particularly following the “Arab Spring” episode.  


1, 4, 6, 13

1, 2, 3 A, C, D

Course Flow

Week Topics Study Materials
1 Introduction  


2 The Historical and Intellectual Origins of Arab Nationalism


Dawisha, “Defining Arab Nationalism” chp.1, 2005.

Dawisha, “Early Stirrings: The 19th and Early 20th Centuries” chpt2, 2005

Ernest Dawn, “From Ottomanism to Arabism: the Origin of an Ideology” in Hourani & Khoury The Modern Middle East (London: Tauris, 2004) pp: 375-393.

Cleveland, William, “Sources of Arab Nationalism: An Overview” in Religion and Politics in the Middle East by M. Curtis, (Westview Press:1981)

Stephen Humphreys, “The Strange Career of Pan-Arabism” in Hourani & Khoury The Modern Middle East (London: Tauris, 2004) pp:577-596.

3 Development of Arab Nationalism in the Colonial Era


Dawisha, “Arab Nationalism and Competing Loyalties: From the1920s to the Arab Revolt in Palestine” chpt4, 2005

Dawisha, “Sati al-Husri’s Theory of Arab Nationalism” chpt3, 2005

Choueiri, “Preface,” 2000, pp: vii-x.

Choueiri, “Cultural and Political Arabism,” chapter 3 2000, pp:57-100.

4 Radicalization of Arab Nationalism: Domestic and Regional Implications


Dawisha, “The Nationalist Ascent: From the Palestinian Revolt to the Egyptian Rev.” chpt5, 2005

Dawisha, “Consolidating Arab Nationalism” chpt6, 2005

Dawisha, “Arab Nationalism on the March 1955-57” chpt7, 2005

Hourani, “The Climax of Arabism (1950s & 1960s)”c.24 A Hist of the Arab Peoples, 1991.

Khalidi, Rashid, “Consequences of the Suez Crisis in the Arab World” in Suez 1956: The Crisis and Its Consequences ed.by Roger Louis & Roger Owen, 1989.

5 Arab Nationalism and the Arab Cold War


Dawisha, “The Apex of Arab Nationalism: The UAR & the Iraqi Revolution” chpt8, 2005

Dawisha, “Arab Nationalism’s Downward Slide, 1958-1967” chpt9, 2005

*Kerr, Malcolm, The Arab Cold War 1958-1970 (Oxford Univ. Press, 1971)

6 Arab Nationalism in Post-1967 Middle East


Dawisha, “1967 and After: The Twilight of Arab Nationalism” chp10, 2005

Dawisha, “The Demise of Arab Nationalism” chpt11, 2005

Hourani, “Arab Unity and Disunity (since 1967)”c.25 A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991.

Tibi, Bassam, “Structural and Ideological Change in the Arab Subsystem Since the Six Day War” in Arab Israeli Conflict ed.by Y. Luckacs & A. Battah, 1988.

Roger Owen, “Arab Nationalism, Arab Unity and the Practice of Intra-Arab State Relations” in State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East 3rd Edition, 2004, pp:56-72.

Faksh, Mahmud A. “Withered Arab Nationalism” Orbis, Summer 1993.

7 The Historical and Intellectual Origins of Islamism


Hourani, “The First Generation: Tahtawi, Khayr Al-Din, and Bustani” Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (London: Oxford Unv.Press, 1970) pp:67-102

Hourani, “Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani” Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (London: Oxford Univ.Press, 1970) pp:103-129.

Hourani, “Muhammad ‘Abduh” Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (London: Oxford Univ.Press, 1970) pp:130-160.

Hourani, “‘Abduh’s Egyptian Disciples: Islam and Modern Civilisation” Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (London: Oxford Univ.Press, 1970) pp:161-192.

8 Islamist Ideology and the Islamist Movement: Unity or Diversity?


Sidahmed & Enteshami, “Indroduction” of Islamic Fundamentalism (Colorad:Westview, 1996)

Moussalli, Ahmad, Moderate and Radical Islamic Fundamentalism, (1999) Introduction & Chapter 1

Roger Owen, “The Politics of Religious Revival” in State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East 3rd Edition, 2004, pp:154-177.

9 Radical Islamist Ideology: Qutb & Mawdudi


Mawdudi, Sayyid Abul A'la, Political Theory of Islam, (Lahore, Pakistan: Islamic Publications, 1985)

Qutb, Sayyid, Milestones (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2005) pp: 1-77.

10 Reformist/Gradualist Islamism: Ghannoushi & Turabi Elgindy, Khaled, “The Rhetoric of Rashid Ghannoushi,” Arab Studies J. 3, 1 (Spring 1995)

John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, “Rachid Ghannoushi: Activist in Exile,” in Makers of Contemporary Islam (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) –

Rachid Al-Ghannoushi, “Secularism in the Arab Maghreb,” in Islam and Secularism in the Middle East, ed. by John L. Esposito and Azzam Tamimi (London: Hurst & Company, 2000)

“A Roundtable with Turabi”

11 Islamist Participation in Politics & the Ideological Evolution of the Islamist Movements


Ottaway & Hamzawy, Islamists in Politics (Carnegie Middle East Prog. Nov 2008)

Tarek Masoud, “Islamist Parties: ARE THEY DEMOCRATS? DOES it mater?” Journal of Democracy Volume 19, Number 3 July 2008

Altman, Israel Elad, Strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement 1928-2007, Hudson Institute, Research Monographs on the Muslim World Series No.2 Paper n.2, January 2009.

Hudson, Michael, “Arab Regimes & Democratization: Responses to the Challenge of Political Islam,” in The Islamist Dilemma ed. By Laura Guazzone, (Ithaca, 1995)

John L. Esposito, “Islam and Democratization” MEJ


Rosefsky Wickham, Carrie, “The Path to Moderation: Strategy and Learning in the Formation of Egypt's Wasat Party” Comparative Politics, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Jan., 2004), pp. 205-228

Mona El-Ghobashy “The Metamorphosis Of The Egyptian Muslim Brothers” Int. J. Middle East Stud. 37 (2005), 373–395

Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood” Foreign Affairs .Volume 86 No. 2 2007

Sheri Berman, “Islamism, Revolution, and Civil Society” APSA v1 n2 June 2003


Mohammed Osman, “Tunisia: New Model for Progressive Islamism” 20 Jan 2011 RSIS

12 The Ideological Evolution of the Islamist Movements



Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, “Islam, Secularism& Democracy: Insights from Turkish Politics, 2010

Sultan Tepe, “AKP: MUSLIM-DEMOCRATIC” PARTY?”Journal of Democracy Volume 16, Number 3 July 2005

Kardas, Şaban, 'Turkey under the Justice and Development Party: Between Transformation of 'Islamism' and Democratic Consolidation?', Middle East Critique, 17: 2, 175 — 187 2008

İhsan Dağı, Turkey’s AKP in Power, Journal of Democracy Volume 19, Number 3 2008


Fawaz Gerges, The Transformation of Hamas? LSE Report on Islam 2011

Jean-Pierre Filiu, “The Brotherhood vs. Al-Qaeda: A Moment of Truth?” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology volume 9 2009


Samir Amghar, “Political Islam in Morocco” CEPS Working Doc. 2007

Rami G. Khouri, “Five Ideologies, One Middle East,” November 28, 2005

13 The “Arab Spring” & The Islamist Opposition


Fuad Ajami, “The Arab Spring One Year of Living Dangerously” Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2012

Lisa Anderson, “Demystifying the Arab Spring: Parsing the Differences between Tunisa, Egypt & Libya” Foreign Affairs v.2 2011

Mary Linch, “The Big Think Behind the Arab Spring” Foreign Policy, December 2011

14 Review  
15 Conclusion  

Recommended Sources

Textbook Dawisha, Adeed, Arab Nationalism in the 20th Century (2005)

Rahnema, Ali, Pioneers of Islamic Revival (Zen Books, 2008)

Esposito & Voll, Makers of Contemporary Islam (Oxford Univ. Press, 2001)

Additional Resources Angrist, Michele P., Politics& Society in the Contemporary Middle East 2010

Cleveland, William, A History of the Modern Middle East (3rd Edition), 2004

Material Sharing

Documents -
Assignments Term paper & weekly reading assignments.
Exams Mid-term and final exams taken in the classroom


Mid-term 1 40
Term Paper &Presentation 1 20
Total   60
Total   100

Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5  
1 To demonstrate the ability to specialize and expand knowledge in the fields of political science, international relations, comparative politics, Turkish politics and foreign policy.         X  
2 The ability to comprehend the interdisciplinary quality of the political science and international relations discipline.         X  
3 A command of basic research models and approaches of political science and international relations discipline and the ability to apply them in academic research and project design.       X    
4 Having the ability to assess and interpret the different political and societal systems in the Middle East with an interdisciplinary approach.         X  
5 Having a command of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods and abiding by the highest levels of academic and research ethics.       X    
6 The ability to present and debate an issue that requires specialization in the field of political science and international relations. The ability to discuss this issue within an intellectual framework, and the ability to express oneself in a professional and academic manner.         X  
7 The ability to analyze and critically evaluate basic research models, approaches and intellectual traditions in the field of political science, international relations.         X  
8 The ability to utilize academic writing and presentation skills to projects, dissertations and articles.       X    
9 Having advanced reading, writing, comprehension and speaking skills in the English language.       X    
10 Having the ability to apply knowledge of political science and international relations discipline to information technologies and traditional tools so as to produce sound solutions to problems.       X    
11 Possessing experience and social skills necessary for employment in the public and private sectors and/or being admitted to a competitive Ph.D. program.       X    
12 Having empathy towards diverse and differing communities, which will facilitate conducing teamwork at local as well as global platforms.         X  
13 Having competency of comprehending and interpreting local and global issues through information exchange with international academics and students.         X  


Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 16 3 48
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 16 5 80
Mid-term 1 11 11
Term Paper 1 20 20
Final examination 1 16 16
Total Work Load     175
Total Work Load / 25 (h)     7
ECTS Credit of the Course     7