Courses & Syllabi

Courses I have recently taught:

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GOVT 345: Islam and Politics   Syllabus.Political Islam.Govt345.Spring 2015
George Mason University

GOVT 332: Govt/Politics of the Middle East and North Africa El-Shazli.Syllabus.Spring 2015.GOVT 332 Pol of MENA
George Mason University

GOVT 322: International Relations Theory  El-Shazli.Syllabus.Fall 2014.GOVT 322.IR Theory
George Mason University

Course Description: This is an upper-level level course that is an advanced inquiry into international relations theories. In the course, we will study theories (perspectives), concepts of international relations, and major forces and current issues in international politics. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify and distinguish between the main theories of international relations and use these theories to analyze historical and current events. Students should also be able to identify and explain key concepts in international relations and how current international issues and institutions challenge or reinforce them.

GOVT 540: Seminar – International Relations  El-Shazli.Syllabus.Fall 2014.GOVT 540.Seminar IR
George Mason University

Course Description:  This course is a graduate level seminar that focuses on the changing structure of international politics, post-Cold War security issues, effect of globalized economy and information technology revolution, enhanced role of global corporations and nongovernmental organizations, and rise of non-security issues in emerging international agenda.

GOVT 542: The Role of Civil Society in Transitioning Countries and Emerging Democracies

Click here for full syllabus
Georgetown University

Course Description: Is Civil Society – the panacea that will lead transitioning countries to democracy? Is civil society the entity that will “speak truth to power” quoting Edward Said?  Civil society associated with transition and democracy has been in fashion since the 1980s with the emergence of the Solidarity Movement in Poland. It is a term that is considered an empty (floating) signifier and does not have a particular grounding or reference. There are multiple ways of thinking about civil society which actually can be useful – why? It brings different meanings together with differing political theories and therefore can allow us to have a conversation. Civil society and governance has also become more in fashion due to the crisis of the state not doing its job. States have been adopting more neo-liberal economic policies, more public-private partnerships and outsourcing of some of its basic services and functions expecting civil society to step in. How does this relate to transitioning countries and emerging democracies? What role (positive/negative) has civil society organizations played in those countries?

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AR 470: Modern Arabic Short Stories – Click here for full syllabus
Virginia Military Institute

Course Description: Welcome! to the most wonderful world of Arabic literature and Arabic short stories. We will get to peer into a window to experience the Arab World through some of their most prominent writers and thinkers. We will read and learn together through these stories about the soul of the Arabs and their society, their culture and traditions. Join me on this journey of discovery and better understanding! We will read in Arabic (with English translation provided) a sample of the best in modern Arabic short stories representing all areas of the Arab world from Morocco to Iraq and the Gulf including male and female authors in order to provide as complete a picture of the modern Arabic short story landscape as possible. Through these stories much will be discussed about the rich history, culture, language, norms, and traditions of the Middle East (Arabic-speaking) region.

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GOVT 345: Political Islam – Click here for full syllabus
George Mason University

Course Description: This course will provide an introductory study of political Islam through a multi-faceted approach – history, ideology, and practices of key individuals, movements, political parties and institutions. A broad perspective is needed to begin to understand the post 9/11 era. So we will review the following issues and questions: what is political Islam? Case studies of political Islam in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the West in order to gain a better understanding of the following: the development of Islamist groups and political responses to this occurrence; the pluralist and diversity of political expression in the Muslim world; the nature of democracy in Islam and the characteristics of the Islamic state; link Islam and politics to the ongoing globalization and an increase in radicalism; and what is the future of political Islam after the 2011 Arab Spring? Or has the project of political Islam ended with the events in Egypt? Many good questions and more that we will explore on our learning journey together in this course.

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PSCI 4984: Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region – Click here for full syllabus
Virginia Tech

Course Description: There are massive changes that are currently taking place in the political governance of many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). So an examination of the political systems; the main economic, social and political issues; and international relations of the countries in the MENA region is not only a timely but an essential endeavor in order to get a better understanding of these dramatic changes. This course will review the essentials (social, economic and political developments) in all the Arab countries in the region per sub-region: Maghreb, Mashreq and the Gulf. In the course, we will review the interaction between countries in the MENA region using the MENA region’s economic and social development as a backdrop. The course will also focus on the role of the US, Soviet Union and China in this volatile region in addition to examining the following questions amongst many others: 1) what is the status of democracy and political reform in the MENA region today especially after the “revolutions” i.e. uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. 2) What is the future for the respect for human rights, freedom of association, and free and fair elections?

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PO 471: The Arab World: Society, Culture, and the State – Click here for full syllabus
Virginia Military Institute

Course Description: Welcome to the Arab World with all its complex issues. In this course, we will go on a journey of discovery, learning and questioning leading to better understanding of a region and its people that is often mis-understood and maligned. During our journey, we review many issues including: 1) what is Arab identity and issues of diversity and integration. 2) Social structures and institutions – how they have changed and adapted to modern times. 3) The Dynamics of Arab culture and how it impacts on politics. 4) The crisis of civil society vis a vis governance and democratization. I look forward to intense frank and open debates that will help us better understand the Arab world, its society, culture and how this is reflected in the state.