Associate Professor of Economics
His research and teaching interests are in the areas of economic development and international trade, with a special focus on South-South economic cooperation, and on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa.
The Syrian crisis has become one of the most complex political and humanitarian challenges of the 21st century. Though the Syrian uprising started alongside the Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and elsewhere, it now lies at the intersection of local, regional, and global conflicts. In this course we will explore the many dimensions of the Syrian crisis. Some questions we will explore are: what are the roots of the Syrian crisis? What role did economic, political, and social factors alongside other issues such as climate change play in setting it in motion? What are the geopolitics of the crisis and what is the role of regional and international powers? What is everyday life like for Syrians both those inside Syria as well as refugees? What are the challenges associated with economic recovery and peacebuilding. We will explore these questions by examining articles, documentaries, interviews and primary documents related to the crisis.
The Uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have had a profound impact on the political economy of authoritarian regimes within the region as well as academic frameworks used to explain them. This course examines the economics of the MENA region and asks the following questions: Do the uprisings represent failures of the developmental state, neo-liberalism, or authoritarian regimes? How does human development within MENA compare to other regions in the developing world? To what extent does either religion or oil explain economic outcomes? What impact will the upheaval associated with the uprisings themselves have on the economies of the different countries? The course will explore these questions through theoretical readings, case studies from Syria, Egypt, and the Gulf as well as guest speakers from within or specializing in the region.
As recently as 250 years ago the world had a roughly equal level of development. Today, the richest country in the world has an average income level around 400 times that of the poorest. What are the reasons behind this divergence? How have the 'poor' countries attempted to reverse the gap and how have these attempts transformed societies within those countries? The course examines these general themes and consists of two components: First, we will survey contemporary debates in development economics, including such topics as development ethics (e.g. what is development? development by whom and for what?), development theory and models (e.g. import substitution, micro enterprises, export orientation), and development critiques (e.g. the impact of the 'green' revolution on the rural poor). Second, student research teams will choose a developing country at the beginning of the course to study in depth, applying the ideas discussed in class. The groups will periodically present their research to the class to help us achieve a larger sense of the challenges faced in seeking effective, equitable development.
The global media landscape has undergone significant changes in just over a decade. In this course we will examine how US and international media sources are covering the Middle East. Some questions we will explore are: how did US entertainment and news media respond to the attacks of 9/11? How do US media represent the daily lives and political struggles of Arabs and Muslims? What has been the political and social impact of Middle East-based channels with a global reach like Al Jazeera? How have new media influenced social movements as well as perceptions of historical events such as the Arab Uprisings? The course will feature guest speakers, film screenings, and student presentations. Students will be expected to keep up with a heavy reading load and to develop individualized research projects.