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Ethnic Conflict in the Middle East: A Comparative Perspective

This course examines the theory and practice of managing conflict in divided societies, with a particular focus on the Middle East. It will explore the nature of ethnicity, the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict, international interventions in divided states, and the various means by which to manage, regulate and settle such conflicts. Specifically, this course will consider (1) definitions of ethnicity and competing explanations of ethnic conflict, (2) different approaches for the management of ethnic conflict, including processes of transitional justice (3) third party interventions in ethnic conflict, (4) international oversight of state-building processes after civil wars, and (5) the manifestation of conflict in selected cases from the Middle East and beyond. In doing so, we shall reflect on the following questions: What kind of divisions make a society prone to ethnic conflict? What type of constitutional and institutional arrangements have been deployed to ensure stability and prosperity in divided states and, among those, which ones have had the counterproductive effect of perpetuating and exacerbating divisions? Should the international community intervene in ethnic conflicts, and what strategies ought to be adopted by foreign actors in the postwar period? How does one balance the rights of individuals, the interests of groups and the needs of the nation-states as a whole? This course will pay particular attention to the recent wave of sectarianism in the Middle East, using case studies to identify what role primordial identities, institutional structures, elite strategies, ideological discourse and foreign policies play in the perpetuation of the conflict. It will then explore the question of Middle Eastern exceptionalism by overviewing cases of ethnic conflict regulation beyond the Arab region.

Temps présentiel : 26 heures

Charge de travail étudiant : 49 heures

Méthode(s) d'évaluation : Examen final, Travaux pratiques contrôlés