Comparative History of the Modern Middle East

This course by Prof. Yüksel Taşkın, aims to introduce participants to rival theoretical perspectives in critically understanding the past and the present Middle East by providing a comparative historical insight on the general representation of (Turkey) and the Middle East as an “exception” and an “unfitting geography.”

In this perspective, the course starts with an introduction and critique of orientalism as it is an intellectual component of the Western colonialism in the Middle East. Then, it focuses on the post-World War II setting in the region through a comparative analysis of three countries: Iran, Egypt and Syria. Furthermore, after elaborating the conflicts between the Arab and Israeli, it discusses the general question of democratization in the Middle East through a detailed analysis of the Arab Spring, including its background and outcomes. While the participants are expected to fulfill weekly reading assignments, short documentaries and films will be also screened with the objective of developing participants’ visual understanding of regional reality. Participants who successfully complete their studies will receive a certificate of achievement which may be recognized by the universities located in countries part of the Bologna Process.

The course will be held in English.
 Click here for detailed course syllabus.

Dates: Thursday 25th April, every week

Time in Germany: 10 - 11 am

Time in Turkey: 11 - 12 am

*** In collaboration with the Chair for Turkish Studies at the Institute for the Near and Middle East Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


About the instructor

Prof. Yüksel Taşkın was born in 1972, in Rize, Turkey. He received his BA degree in Political Science and International Relations (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 1994). He completed his MA (1995) and doctoral studies (2001) at the same department. He started to teach at Marmara University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences in 2002 and got his associate professorship in 2009. He was a visiting scholar at New York University Center Near Eastern Studies (1999-2000), at Leiden University International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Falls 2005-2006), and at Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies (Spring 2011-2012). His research interests are “sociology of politics”, “intellectuals and social movements”, and “society and politics in the Middle East.” A selection of his publications is as following: Anti-Komünizmden Küreselleşme Karşıtlığına: Milliyetçi Muhafazakâr Entelijansiya (İletişim Yayınları, 2007), AKP Devri: Türkiye Siyaseti, İslâmcılık ve Arap Baharı (Birikim Yayınları, 2013),1960’tan Günümüze Türkiye Tarihi (co-writing with Suavi Aydın, İletişim Yayınları, 2014).

This course is made possible with the financial support of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation