The Middle East Today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives (Hardback) book cover

The Middle East Today

Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives

By Dona J. Stewart

© 2009 – Routledge

232 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780415772433
pub: 2009-02-24
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203884140
pub: 2008-12-22
from $140.00

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The new edition of The Middle East Today provides an accessible and comprehensive introductory textbook for undergraduate students of Middle East Studies, Middle East politics and geography. This updated and revised edition features a host of pedagogical features to assist students with their learning, including; detailed maps and images, case studies on key issues, boxed sections and suggestions for further reading.

The book highlights the current issues facing the Middle East, linking them to the rich political, geographical and cultural history of the region. The author examines the crises and conflicts, both current and potential, likely to dominate the region in coming years.

The second edition has been fully updated and revised to include discussion of such recent events as:

  • the effects of the Arab Spring
  • Turkey’s growing influence in the region
  • the dramatic increase in Iran’s nuclear capabilities
  • Osama bin Laden’s death and declining support for violent extremist movements in the Middle East.

Further supplemented by a companion website containing sample chapters, a selection of maps formatted for use in presentations, and annotated links to online resources and websites, The Middle East Today is an essential resource for all students of Middle East Studies, Middle East politics and geography.


'This textbook provides a clearly written, concise introduction to the modern Middle East. Short, easy-to-digest pieces are augmented by textbooks and maps, exploring all aspects of the region from politics and government, to history, geography, and various cultural perspectives. While perhaps too advanced for some high school students, this book would find a home in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes or libraries meant to support them, and is also suitable for many university level survey courses on the middle east' - Middle East Outreach Council, Honorable Mention, Fall 2009

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction to the Region

1: The Middle East and North Africa: Between Image and Reality

2: The Geography of the Middle East and North Africa

Part Two: Emergence and Evolution of the Region

3: The Contemporary State System

4: Historical Foundations

5: The Making of the Modern State System

6: The Emergence of Independent States and Geopolitics

7: Contemporary Islamist Thought

Part Three: Contemporary Issues and Challenges

8: The Arab-Israeli Conflicts: A Conflict Resolution Perspective

9: The Struggle for Economic and Social Development

10: ‘Democracy’ and Political Transformation

Part Four: The Future of the Region

11: The Coming Challenges: Key Issues to Watch

About the Author

Dona J. Stewart is the director of the Middle East Institute at Georgia State University. She is a specialist in the human and political geography of the Middle East and a former Fulbright scholar to Jordan. Her research interests also include urbanization and land-use change, especially in Egypt.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies