A concern on the part of Middle East specialists with an examination of political parties and groupings and related political processes represents a comparatively recent development. It is a development, of course, which has lagged behind the study of parties and political processes in the United States and Europe, although even there the subject largely was neglected until a quarter of a century ago.
American Academic Exchange with the Middle East through the Fulbright Program is nearly as old as the U.S. government fellowship program itself. Yet even now, after nearly four decades of exchange, there remain many obstacles to academic exchange with the Middle East. For example, during the past three years there has been a declining interest on the part of American scholars in Middle East Fulbright sojourns. This lack of interest is found not only among scholars in disciplines unrelated to the Middle East but among Middle East specialists as well. American scholars seem to look more toward the rest of the world than the Middle East when considering a Fulbright experience.
Is The Cold War finally coming to an end, as some would have us believe? And if so, what does this mean for the Middle East? These are questions that will be with us for some time. They do not lend themselves to clear answers, but they nonetheless demand our attention.For students of the contemporary Middle East, these questions pose special analytical problems—how can one best assess the relationship between the area that we study and the broader currents of international politics? Middle East specialists are rightly skeptical of efforts to analyze their region of study from a "globalist" perspective. Most of us have little patience with theorizing that fails to take into account that which is distinctive in the cultures, politics, and societies of the Middle East. We have even less use for crude empiricism which tries to reduce the complexities of the Middle East to quantifiable events or entries in simplistic classification schemes.
Early days -- The war years -- In the Ottoman archives -- Cultural diplomacy -- Why study history? -- Episodes in an academic life -- Crossing the Atlantic -- The neighborhood -- The clash of civilizations -- Orientalism and the cult of right thinking -- Judgment in Paris -- Writing and rewriting history -- Politics and the Iraq War
An international group of specialists provides insights into the problems affecting agricultural development in the Middle East region. Looks at the resources and land structure in the Arab states, Iran, and Turkey. Using a systematic approach, it examines the origins, development and character of agriculture in the region and the physical and human environments in which agricultural systems operate. Case studies of individual countries explore agricultural change and development.