International Relations of Middle East

Steven L Spiegel

International Relations of Middle East

Political Science department

Steven L Spiegel

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from 24 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.0
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.9
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.4
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Often Funny

Grades

Winter 2017
38.8%
32.3%
25.8%
19.4%
12.9%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2016
34.4%
28.7%
23.0%
17.2%
11.5%
5.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2015
30.4%
25.3%
20.3%
15.2%
10.1%
5.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2014
25.0%
20.8%
16.7%
12.5%
8.3%
4.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2013
33.9%
28.2%
22.6%
16.9%
11.3%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2010
21.4%
17.9%
14.3%
10.7%
7.1%
3.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2006
32.3%
26.9%
21.5%
16.1%
10.8%
5.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2017 Submitted June 29, 2017 Grade Received: A

You must take this if you are interested in the middle east and the arab-israeli conflict.
it is all about the US intervention and the US perspective - so keep that in mind.
Speigel is engaging and very knowledgeable. He is a good professor. He can be scatter brained but his slides are very good and he posts them all.
All the TAs are very helpful and make the class approachable.

Totally recommend.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 26, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

NOTE: This is for 132B!

I loved this class! I learned so much about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and I recommend that everyone takes it just to be knowledgeable about the ongoing conflict. Spiegel is a horrible lecturer though, more because the slides he puts up in class have a couple words on them, yet he spends about 20 minutes on each slide (ie. only 3-4 slides total/lecture). The TAs are what make this class. Some of the TAs were hard, but mine was fantastic. One midterm and a final, each with IDs and an essay. You basically have to do well on both, since a lot of people didn't do well on the midterm and didn't get the grade they wanted in the end. They give you a study guide beforehand, so it's not bad at all.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 21, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Spiegel was fun and so was his class. I got an A but was so close to that A+.

The reading load wasn't that bad it was very interesting and took this class more like a hobby in the middle of 2 hard ones. A lot of ppl did not do well as you have to pay attention to detail and have an interest in what you are studying. I was obsessed with it so I did well.

My TA was Paasha and he has been the best TA at my time at UCLA. He opens up with questions and well its your duty to participate. Its like shooting fish in a barrel since most ppl in my section did not participate.

Spiegel is all over the place during his lectures and may be hard to follow but he improved towards the end. Eric B. and the other TAs had fascinating lectures on Lebanon, Arab Spring, Libya, Iran (huge chunk of the final), and other subjects.

You DO NOT WANT TO MISS LECTURE DURING IRAN WEEK. Some MC questions on the final dealt a lot with Iran.

Iraq was also important.

Take this class if you have a genuine interest in MEast Politics and you should do well.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 16, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Take this class!!! The reading load has been LOWERED recently so the other reviews aren't as up to date, and no one knows more about the Middle East than he does. Not only does he know the material backwards and forwards, but he has corresponded with and worked with so many key figures that you learn about and he still is very involved in Washington. You will learn so much that is actually useful and relevant. He picks excellent TAs who are all concerned about your learning and have a very rich background in Middle Eastern politics. They all work together when grading exams so that your grade is FAIR, not just a matter of luck as to which TA you happen to get. He has so many responsibilities but will always make time for his students if you ask for it. He is handling a lot of topics that could potentially be controversial, but he makes sure to take all biases OUT of the class-his teaching is balanced and informed. As long as you're willing to learn, you will have no trouble doing well in the class, especially now that he has lightened the workload.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 15, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

I'm a poli sci student and I heard from the professor that this course is going to have a lighter reading load starting next quarter. So it should be better than in the past.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 29, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Course: IR of the Middle East

You will learn a TON in this class, but prepare to be worked. And I mean WORKED. Not like 'oh I have reading tonight,' but rather 'let me lock myself in my room for 48 hours while I dissect the royal mess that is Lebanese politics.' This class covers literally the ENTIRE Middle East, including Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Turkey, as well as British and US impact on the region. Realistically you could have an entire course on each individual country and it would be challenging and complex. This course combines all of that in 10 weeks. Not trying to scare you away, as I think you'll find it worth taking, but you should be aware of what you're dealing with before you take it. I'm a political science major, IR concentration, raking in the top 10% of my class, and this was by far the most difficult PS class I've taken at UCLA. And I'm going into my senior year. Spiegel is incredibly brilliant (to the point where it's immediately obvious that he's just on a whole different level, intellectually speaking), and certainly 'knows his stuff.' However, he does have a lot of trouble bringing it down to the level of a student who is unfamiliar with the region. I did well in this class, but have taken classes and self-studied the region previously. Had I not done this, I think it would be very difficult to obtain a grade above a B. You will learn a lot, but take the class to learn the region, not to worship at the alter of an A, because it will be hard to acquire, even for the best students.

Also, you absolutely MUST do ALL of the readings if you want even a B+ or A- in the class. You simply cannot afford to slack, because Spiegel's lecture style is not one that affords this; he is hard to follow. But do see him in office hours, it will be well worth your time and he has some great stories to tell.

Also, try to get Matt for a TA. I've heard he's the best. I had friends in Leah's section who mentioned that she was nice, but not very effective at giving information that benefited the students when studying for exams. They also seemed to not do quite as well as they normally do on the midterm and final, so I'd avoid her section if possible.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 28, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Spiegel is a GREAT Professor. I am an MCDB major and let me say that this was one of my favorite classes while at UCLA. Now I know some of the reviews reference his lecture ability. I do have to agree that he isn't the greatest because of his digressions, but the readings match so well with the lecture that you know what is going on. The readings are great, because they are very factual (not so high on opinions), so you its like you are reading an interesting textbook. Midterm and Final are IDs and Essays, straightforward since he gives you a study guide with all the possible IDs and Essays on it before each test. Section also engages the class even more. Like I a said, Im not a PS major, but I got an A+ because of working and staying on top of the readings. Not an easy A but not a hard on either because it is so straightforward. He is also so well known in the Middle East thinktank circles that its was truly an honor to have him for an entire quarter, and did not mind the digressions because he is essentially an expert on this subject. Overall, I highly recommend because of the level of knowledge you gain from this class, and yet the straightforwardness of evaluation.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted July 10, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Hands down, Speigel was the best professor I've ever encountered. I don't mean that in a "omg I love him he's so smart and funny and can do no wrong" kind of way - I mean it in a "holy crap, this guy KNOWS HIS SHIT" kind of way.

Seriously, you will learn a lot in this class. As you can tell from the other reviews, PS132 is very reading-intensive, but it's worth it. You'll be listening to him talk about Palestine-this or Israel-that and all of a sudden he'll say something like, "that reminds me of a time I was having lunch with Ariel Sharon..." and your jaw will just drop. It's kind of awesome. I know some people were frustrated by the way he jumped around in lecture, but it honestly didn't bother me because he's so engaging that it's easy to follow what he's saying. Not an easy A, but if you are interested in the Middle East and want to learn more, you couldn't ask for a better professor to teach you.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted July 3, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Come test time, I just used Wikipedia to look up all the key terms, and combined with what I remembered from lecture and the readings (which you do have to do, on the last test we were even tested on which author had which opinion), I got an A minus in the class, and I was a first-year non-major. Spiegel is brilliant, and helps you understand the material, the readings, YOUR TA (Matt Gottfried=god), and Wiki are cohesive, and help you learn the material. Take it if you don't have much else going on that quarter, but do take it.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 29, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

He is funny, intelligent....BUT!!!
This class is really not for anyone who has no knowledge in Middle East
The materials covered in class are like tons of them and go really deep...
SO if you don't know anything about Middle East or not really interested in this stuff, please keep away from this class!

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Often Funny
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