Higher Education

The Politics of the Middle East, 2nd Edition

  • Monte Palmer Florida State University, Emeritus
  • ISBN-10: 0495007501  |  ISBN-13: 9780495007500
  • 408 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2001
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $129.00



THE POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST is so highly regarded in the field of Mid-East study because it strikes a unique balance between an historical approach and the analysis of country case studies. This blended approach gives students a fuller picture of the region, including the influences of tribalism, kinship, and the Islamic faith as well as an understanding of the region's political uprisings, religious significance, and petroleum resources that make it crucially important to the rest of the world. In the introduction, key aspects of Middle Eastern politics are explored on a regional level, setting up the chapters that follow, which focus on country studies (including new studies of Palestine and Turkey). The influence of America's war on terror in the Middle East also receives extensive coverage. Each country study begins with an exploration of the country's history and an overview of the major political institutions and groups that shape current events. Particular attention is paid to the influence of elite groups and individuals. Next, the discussion examines the context of the country's politics: political culture, political economy, and international influence. Each chapter concludes with a look at the probable course of the country's politics over the next decade and beyond.

Features and Benefits

  • To help students gain a coherent picture of the region, each country study follows a standard format of overview, history and culture, and current politics (including institutions, political behavior, policy, political economy, and political culture), followed by prospects for the future.
  • A map opens each chapter for geographic context.
  • The book concludes with references and an index for further research and study.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Continuity and Change in the Middle East.
2. Egypt: The Tortuous Road to Democracy.
3. Isreal and Palestine: One Land, Two Claimants.
4. Syria: The Politics of Minority Rule.
5. Saudi Arabia: Modernizing a Tribal Monarchy.
6. Traq: Chaos and Democracy in the Land of Milk and Honey.
7. Iran: Islamic Governance in Action.
8. Turkey: Middle Eastern or European?

What's New

  • In this major revision, new material reflecting recent scholarship as well as developments in current events, politics, and institutional changes in various countries combines to provide a timely yet timeless text for undergraduate or graduate level courses.
  • A new chapter on Turkey expands the scope and coverage of political issues in the region, adding a new dimension to the Second Edition.
  • A considerably expanded section on Palestine, in light of recent events in Israel and the greater Middle East, focuses on the issues unique to this politically, socially, and diplomatically pivotal region.
  • Expanded coverage of the Kurds, as a new player in the greater political map of the region, is offered in chapter 6.
  • An extensive section on the problems of the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq appears in chapter 6.
  • Up-to-date, detailed discussion of recent events, including terrorism, war, nuclear proliferation, and the consistent influence of petroleum on the region, begins in Chapter 1 and is elaborated upon throughout the book.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"In the 14 years that I have taught this particular course, I have utilized a number of basic texts, but Palmer’s book has been the first book for which I have been truly happy with and perhaps more importantly, for which students have offered their best reviews in year-end evaluations."

— Robert J. Bookmiller, Millersville University

"The three greatest strengths of this work is its readability, its coverage of a wide amount of material in a concise, but understandable manner and its use of country case studies."

— Robert J. Bookmiller, Millersville University

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Monte Palmer

Monte Palmer received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and is currently Professor Emeritus at Florida State University. He had previously taught political science at Western Illinois University, Iowa State University, Florida State University and the American University of Beirut. He served as the chair of the Department of Political Science at the Florida State University and as the director of the Middle East Centers at the Florida State University and the American University of Beirut. He as also a senior fellow at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic and Political Studies and has been a consultant to Bir Ziet University and the Arab Development Institute (Libya). He remains an advisor to the Middle East Center at FSU. His recent books include AT THE HEART OF TERROR (Rowman & Littlefield,2004), COMPARATIVE POLITICS: POLITICAL ECONOMY, POLITICAL CULTURE, AND POLITICAL INTERDEPENDENCE (2006) and POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT (1997).