Introduction to political history of Middle East. Four objectives: (1) become familiar with institutions responsible for political development in region, (2) examine transformations/cases of inertia to derive lessons about mechanisms that govern political development, including democratization, (3) investigate how religion shaped the region's political trajectory, (4) identify social forces, especially economic, driving contemporary reinterpretation of Islam's political organization and requirements, by both Islamists and secular political actors. Not open to students who have taken Economics 326. Graduate students only. Instructor consent required.