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Minorities and Ethnic-Sectarian Conflict in the Middle East

Master course. 15 credits. Political Science. Spring term.

STVN21, Political Science: Minorities and Ethnic-Sectarian Conflict in the Middle East (15 credits)

This course analyses the historical development of ethnic and religious minorities in The Middle East from the fall of the Ottoman empire up to today. The course notices the unique aspects of different groups in the MENA area, such as the Kurds, the  Alawites, the Maronites, Shia and Sunni.

The course also covers dominating theories on ethnic and/or sectarian identity (primordialism, constructivism and instrumentalism), and applies these theories to arguments about the role of group identities in politics. The course identifies the circumstances during which identity based conflicts tend to arise, and explains the  causes consequences of identity based conflicts.

Based on an interdisciplinary approach, the course covers the importance of history, culture, religion, inequality, religion, fear and uncertainty for ethnic/sectarian conflicts. The importance of geography, environmental issues and competition for natural resources are also highlighted. In that context, three case studies are presented: the civil war i