Energy, Society and the Middle East

TBA | ONLINE | (1.6 CEUs)

This cutting edge online course features top energy experts from Houston—the energy capital of the world—and renowned Middle East scholars from across the globe.

The course examines the impact of the global energy sector on the social and cultural fabric of modern societies in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. The course surveys the history of the region in the ‘age of oil and gas’ and these industries shaped modern religious institutions. It also investigates the rapid development of a new ‘age of sustainability’ focusing on renewable energy, women and youth empowerment, as well as political and economic reforms.

The purpose of this course is to offer professionals lessons from the past, and to explore the future of MENA sustainability projects and the exchange between energy and society in the coming years. The course is organized into 4 MODULES, asking the following major questions.


(i) OIL CURSE: What is the “Oil Curse” and what is the “Rentier State”? How have they contributed to war, terrorism and energy disruption? How have they fused religion and politics in some parts of the MENA region?

(ii) RELIGION & POLITICS: What impact do the oil and gas industries have on Islamic pilgrimage, Sunni revivalism, Shia opposition and related subjects?

(iii) FAMILY & WORK: What is the relationship between an evolving energy sector on the one hand, and the “youth bulge” and “gender gap” in the MENA region?

(iv) SUSTAINABILITY: What are new MENA initiatives promoting Transparency, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Political-Economic Reform, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability? What effect does/will this have on the religious and cultural fabric of the region?

This course counts towards the Energy and Sustainability Minor; Arab Studies Minor; WCL Major/Minor—Middle Eastern Studies concentration; and Executive Education Certificate.

$995 No refunds for online courses.

Dr. Emran El-Badawi | Bio


Required text and vdeos to be made available to enrolled students.


Weekly Response Papers

Weekly readings must be completed according to the syllabus schedule. Response papers are due Sunday 10 p.m. CST via email. They must be typed, two pages in length (500 words maximum), font 12, Times New Roman and with 1.5 inch margins. Each weekly assignment will ask one broad questions corresponding to each module. Response papers should answer this question through summarizing, analyzing and integrating the readings for the week. The papers should also demonstrate the student’s grasp of its content and compel them to articulate their thoughts in writing. Papers will be graded on content as well as language. Exams should take about 2 hours to complete. A grade of 70% is required on each response paper for a passing grade in the course.


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CONTACT US: Gary Randazzo, Director:, 713-743-4754 | Jennifer Coppock, Program Manager: 713-743-4702