REL 236(F) The Greater Game? Central Asia and its Neighbors Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Same as History 211)*

The collapse of the Soviet Union, the recognition of untapped mineral wealth, and Islamic resurgence have all led to an increased focus on Central Asia and its neighbors, Russia, China, the Middle East. This course will be an introduction to the Caucasus, the Central Asian Republics, Xinjiang and Mongolia and the interests of their neighbors, including now the United States in those areas. This will be a lecture course that will introduce the salient themes and issues that are necessary for understanding these areas. The course will inevitably be deeply comparative focusing on themes of "the clash of civilizations," the construction of national identities, notions of ethnicity and the treatment of ethnic minorities, resurgent religious movements, and the relation of state and civil society. This course will also function as an introduction to doing social scientific research on these areas and special attention will be devoted to the preparation of a research paper. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: weekly responses, three short essays (4-6 pages), and one research paper (12-15 pages). No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 30 (expected: 15). Preference given to first-year students and sophomores.