So yesterday was the final class for International Politics of the Middle East; the reason why I have this blog. This class has honestly been one of the best I've taken so far in my college career. I learned new concepts and certainly have a clearer insight into how the region works than I did beforehand.
The two most important things I drew out of this course, if I had to choose, is the rentier state and the reasons how Islamist groups form in society. These two concepts are interconnected, and largely have to do with the neglect and authoritarianism of the state to its people. With so many rentier states comprised in one region, along with history, resources, and religion, the region is indeed exceptional. In my view the rentier state is a main source of the problem. The global dependency on oil fuels the rentier state. In turn the leaders often don't (or can't) respond to their people's needs; because they don't have to. Islamic grass root organizations fill this gap and win public support.
Once the rentier state problem is fixed/eliminated (look at my rentier state blog post) I think things will change in the region. However with the generation gap we are starting to see in many Middle Eastern states, that change may come sooner than expected.
I've had a great time learning in this class and I thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog. At first I didn't like blogging, but now I just need to find time to keep it up. Hopefully, I will continue posting on this blog on many different topics. Some may be partisan, some may not. I will probably stick to foreign affairs/domestic politics, but I am sure there will a few different posts too. Thanks again for reading!