The Holy City of Jerusalem: Prospects and Challenges

Mehmet Gurses
International Relations / Current Events

Course Description

Jerusalem is arguably the most contentious city in entire world history. It is claimed by all three major Abrahamic religions. It has some of the holiest places for Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. It also lies at the core of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The city has both religious and political significance. In fact, it is a city in which politics and religion are intertwined to such a degree that it makes it nearly impossible to separate one from the other. Professor Mehmet Gurses will explore many aspects of one of the world's truly great historical cities. After an overview of the holy city, he will consider it from the perspective of the region's varied nations as well as from US strategic interests. He will conclude with comments about the recent decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. What is the significance of this decision? What challenges lie ahead? What are the prospects of a Palestinian state? Can they really peacefully co-exist in the region? 

About the Instructor

  • Mehmet Gurses is Associate Professor and Chastain-Jonhnston Middle East Studies Distinguished Professor at Florida Atlantic University (2016-2018). His book, Anatomy of a Civil War: Sociopolitical Impacts of the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey, is forthcoming (University of Michigan Press, 2018). He is co-editor of Conflict, Democratization and the Kurds in the Middle East: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He has published extensively in journals including, International Interactions, Social Science Quarterly, Civil Wars, Defense and Peace Economics, Democratization, International Studies Perspectives, Party Politics, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Political Research Quarterly, and Comparative Politics. His work on transnational ethnic kin and civil war outcomes was awarded Honorable Mention for Best Article in 2015 by the Political Research Quarterly. He is comparative politics and international relations editor of the journal, Politics and Religion (Cambridge University Press).