Policymaking under fire: The case of the Israeli-Arab conflict

The Arab-Israeli conflict has for decades been a main hub of international conflict the shock-waves of which are felt at the regional and global levels. From an International Relations perspective, it is a prominent case of an "Interlocking Conflict" combining different political, social, and religious dimensions. In this respect, this protracted conflict can be seen as a "petri-dish" to examine main theories and concepts of conflict management and resolution. Furthermore, as a focal regional conflict, the Arab-Israeli conflict deeply influences the Middle-Eastern political terrain both on the intra-state and inter-state levels. Understanding the dynamics of the conflict is an important basis for understating the undercurrents shaping the contemporary politics of the Middle East.

The goal of the course is two-fold: It first aims to discuss and analyze this main source of regional instability and the challenges and obstacles preventing its resolution. Second, it wishes to use the conflict to familiarize us with and substantiate our understating of key concepts of Conflict and Security studies.

This course will examine the main junctures and political developments in the Arab-Israeli Conflict in the post-Oslo Accords period (1993-2016). It will focus on examining the current conflict management and resolution efforts and analyzing the main obstacles for its resolution. In this framework, the course will review key recent events of violent conflicts (such as the Second Intifada, The Second Lebanon War, and recent Gaza War) and resolution attempts (Such as the Arab Initiative, the Geneva Initiative and the UNSC resolution 1701), and analyze them using prominent theories of Conflict and Security Studies.


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