Southwest Asia & Islamic Civilization


About The Field

Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization provides students with conceptual skills that will assist them in interpreting the revolutionary course of events taking place in what was the core region of Islamic Civilization. At the regional level the geographical focus of the field includes Southwest Asia (roughly South Asia to Egypt), the Eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. At the global level of analysis its courses are particularly concerned with how the history, culture, politics, and economics of the states and societies of this portion of Eurasia condition the human response to an accelerating impact of global change. Lectures, reading assignments, and other course requirements are specifically designed to fit the curriculum of The Fletcher School and will develop students’ interest in Southwest and Central Asia into a firm understanding of the complexity of the region.


Below is a representative portrait of curricular requirements for this Field of Study. Core requirements are subject to periodic updates and modifications; current Fletcher students should refer to the Registrar's course bulletin and to Fletcher Connect for definitive requirements in a given academic year.

The Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization Field of Study requires the completion of a minimum of three course credits from the list of electives below.

Elective Courses

We encourage you to download our course catalog to get a better understanding of Fletcher, our curriculum, and our students.


Farah Pandith Fletcher
Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary General UN
Ketura Brown Fletcher
Farah Pandith
Adjunct Senior Fellow,
Council on Foreign Relations; Senior Fellow, Kennedy School of Government;
Strategic Advisor, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

   Read Farah's story

Jeffrey Feltman
Under-Secretary-General for
Political Affairs - The United Nations

   Read Jeffrey's story

Ketura Brown
Desk Officer: Iraq - US Department of State

   Read Ketura's story

Outside the Classroom

  • Shifting Sands in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. Policy
  • The Arab Spring: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects
  • Sectarianism, Democracy and the Future of the Gulf States
  • Ginn Library Book Talk: "Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War" by Leila Fawaz
  • Leading Social Activism Against Religious Intolerance and Sectarian Violence
  • Sharia, Constitutions and Politics in the countries of the Arab Spring
  • Rawabi City: Can commerce build peace and prosperity in conflict-torn Palestine?
  • IBGC Speaker Series: Egypt’s Turn? A Day in the Life of a Democracy Activist turned Entrepreneur
  • Public Lecture: "Markers of Country Fragility" with Professor Nassim Taleb
  • The Regional Politics of Turkey: Altay Cengizer, Turkish Foreign Minister
  • A Middle East Strategic Overview: Charles Freilich, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program
  • Why Are We in Afghanistan? Dr. Barnett Rubin, Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, NYU Center on International Cooperation
  • War and Politics in Iraq: Recent European Efforts Integrated into the Coalition Strategy: Ambassador Lawrence Butler
  • The United States and the Middle East: What Comes Next After Iraq?
  • Middle East Institute - Washington, DC
  • Economena Analytics - Beirut, Lebanon
  • International Studies Journal - Tehran, Iran
  • US Department of State - Ankara, Turkey
  • International Institute for Counter-Terrorism - Herzliya, Israel
  • UNRWA - Amman, Jordan
  • ILO Cairo Decent Work Team - Cairo, Egypt
  • UNDP - Amman, Jordan
  • Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights - Cairo, Egypt
  • "Mothers and Martyrs: Hamas' Use of Female Suicide Bombers and the Reinterpretation of Women's Roles in Jihad"
  • "Unraveling the Paradox: The Resilience of Women's Rights Activism in Iran within the Context of a Changing Political Environment"
  • “Trends in youth political engagement during Tunisia’s democratic transition, 2010-2014″
  • “The 2014 Tunisian electoral system: implications of a semi-presidential system on the nascent democracy”
  • “Russia’s invasion of Crimea: effects on energy geopolitics in the Caucasus and the Central Asia”
  • “How to Evaluate Non-State Actors for Political and Military Partnerships in Irregular Conflicts: A Case Study of the Free Syrian Army”


  • The Fletcher Syria Crisis Working Group
  • Fletcher Islamic Society
  • Fletcher Students in Security
  • Human Rights Project
  • International Migration Group
  • Mediterranean Group (Med Club)
  • Post-Soviet Nations Club
  • Fletcher Security Review
  • Al Naklah: Online Journal on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

Learn From The Experts: Fletcher Faculty

Andrew Hess, Professor of Diplomacy at The Fletcher School"In the Program in Southwest Asia, Islamic Civilizations, and Central Asian Studies, we have a great interest in understanding how the application of modern technologies is changing our not-so-small regional arena to being part of an evermore complex world order."

Andrew Hess, Professor of Diplomacy, Director of the Southwest-Central Asia and Islamic Civilization Program

Other faculty with expertise in the field:

Leila Fawaz Ayesha Jalal Ibrahim Warde
Leila Fawaz Ayesha Jalal Ibrahim Warde