Ibrahim Al-Marashi is an associate professor at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). He is an adjunct faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, and a visiting faculty at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. He obtained his doctorate in Modern History at University of Oxford, completing a thesis on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, his MA from Georgetown University, and his BA from UCLA. His research focuses on 20th century Iraq, particularly regime resilience, civil-military relations, and state-sponsored violence during the Ba'athist-era from 1968 to 2003. He has researched the formation of the post-Baathist Iraqi state and the evolution of ISIS since its earliest incarnations during the Iraqi insurgency in 2003. He is co-author of Iraq's Armed Forces: An Analytical History (Routledge, 2008), and The Modern History of Iraq, with Phebe Marr (Westview 2016). Ibrahim is an Iraqi-American who lived in Yemen, Turkey, and Spain and has travelled to 53 countries, including the Middle East, the Balkans, East Africa, and South Asia.
The IR of Middle East
The course is intended as an introduction to the International Relations of the Middle East, and thus provides a general overview of the chief issues of the contemporary Middle Eastern state system, and the historic, endogenous and exogenous, factors that have given shape to the region. These include the fall of the Ottoman Empire and Western colonialism, the discovering of oil, the impact of Arab nationalism and Islam on state and nation building, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and broader processes and trends of globalization. The main issues will be examined in their evolution through the Cold War period, the Gulf war and its consequences, the ‘War on Terror’ and the 2003 Iraqi war, and the Arab Spring.
The purpose of this course is to understand the Middle East through an analysis of the main classical, but also critical, theories of International Relations. A discussion over the conflicting epistemologies in the literature of IR of the Middle East will be tackled. The aim is to give the student the opportunity to develop a deeper comprehension of the current dynamics that affect the region, through the analysis of their roots.