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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Constitutional Challenges in the Islamic World

Type: Elective course (Law)
Area of studies: Law
Delivered by: School of Public Law
When: 2 year, 4 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Instructors: Alexander Evseev
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course studies what motivates the restive Muslim youth from Tunis to Tehran, what political positions Islamists from Mali to Chechnya are fighting for, where the seeming obsession with Islamic law comes from, where the secularists have vanished to, and whether it makes sense to speak of an Islamic state. Since 2009 there has been a renewed wave of popular unrest sweeping throughout much of the Muslim world. Secular, but generally repressive and inefficient autocracies have come under pressure or been swept aside entirely. At the same, the various Islamic Republics have not fared much better, but been convulsed by internal unrest, economic and social decline. Throughout the Muslim lands, existing constitutional arrangements are being challenged, often very violently. This course is a survey of the constitutional ideas and institutions that have developed since the mid 19th century throughout predominantly Muslim countries, but its focus will lie on the actors that have dominated this discourse and shaped its outcomes. We will look at the large body of classical writings on the Islamic state only in so far as it is necessary to understand the contemporary debate, but concentrate on the legal and political developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Three common themes will characterise the course: We privilege the study of the legal and social reality and seek to highlight where it is at odds with dogmatic stipulations, be they religious or constitutional. We seek to illustrate the practical tensions posed by limited administrative capabilities and political legitimacy that resulted from the incomplete reception of modern bureaucratic statehood. We seek to examine how popular dissatisfaction with the practical performance of Muslim governments has fuelled demands for greater accountability under the guise of cultural authenticity.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main objective of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to gain a better insight into constitutional development in the Eastern countries, its role and the current issues relating to it. As a result of the course students will gain in-depth knowledge of the main changes in this field, will explore the topic through concrete examples and the most prominent constitutional reforms which happened in Arab countries during last decasde. Students will also grasp the notion of constitutional regulation navigating between law and politics.
  • During the course students will learn the basic historical concepts of islamic constitutional development, as well as key information about the constitutions of Arab countries; they will further explore the role of constitutional norms in settling disputes between different branches of power; students will also be able to focus on modern challenges which appear in life of Arab people after the so called “Arab spring”.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students must gain knowledge on Muslim contemporary discourse about the res publica, better contextualise the demands for religious law in public life, and to better ascertain the theoretical and practical feasibility of postulated religious alternatives to the still-dominant secular model of governance.
  • Skills and abilities: − Use specific terms and sources of islamic law; − Practical research and analytical skills; − Skills of preparing and writing essays and legal opinions on various topics related to constitutional and other public aspects of islamic law;
  • Students should gain the following competences: − Ability to work with information (search information from various sources, evaluate and apply information necessary for scientific and professional assignments); − Ability to work in islamic legal environment, apply muslim law, including its prominent sources;
  • Students should gain the following competences: − Ability to search, analyze, and work with relevant information by applying juridical, comparative and other specific methods; − Ability to identify legal issues and complexities occurring in professional sphere;
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Overview: Presenting the Course
    Welcome and Introduction Presenting the Region Early Modern History Unresolved Challenge of Modernity Four Models of Adaptation Indicators of Relative Failure Role of Religion and Islamic Law
  • Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
    People, Place and Patterns Ottoman History Ottoman Reform: Tanzimat and Majallah Creation of the Republic Kemalism and its Problems Westernisation and Islamism
  • Egypt and Maghreb
    People, Place and Patterns Egypt People, Places and Patterns Maghreb Ottoman and Colonial History Independence Modernisation and Reform Nasserism and its Problems Westernisation and Islamism
  • Saudi Arab and the Gulf
    People, Place and Patterns Ottoman and Colonial History Patrimonialism and Religion Rentier Economies and Administration Impact of Rents Paradoxical Alliance Unresolved Contradictions
  • Iran and the Shiites
    People, Place and Patterns Imperial and Colonial History Constitutional Revolution and Reaction Nationalist Revolution and Reaction Islamic Revolution and Reaction Khomeini's Theory of Velayat-e Faqih Unresolved Contradictions
  • The Levant (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq)
    Taking Stock and Midway Summary People, Place and Patterns French Mandates British Mandates Order and Fractured Societies Failure of Arab Socialism Unresolved Contradictions
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh
    People, Place and Patterns Colonial History of British India Post-Independence: Pakistan and Bangladesh Afghanistan: Creation of the State and ‘Golden Years’ Afghanistan: Jihadi Gangsters Failure of State-Building and Islamisation Unresolved Contradictions
  • Malaysia and Indonesia
    People, Place and Patterns Colonial History Malaysia Colonial History Indonesia Post-Independence Malaysia Post-Independence Indonesia Unresolved Contradictions
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    People, Place and Patterns Colonial History Muslim Africa Neo-Colonial Legacies Weak States and Institutions Post-Independence Instability Fractured Constitutional Bargains
  • Conclusion and outside
    Commonality and Diversity Unity and Friction Minorities Legal and Social Reality Practical Tensions Popular Dissatisfaction
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Coursera final quiz
  • non-blocking In-class Examination (written)
  • non-blocking Intermediate tests (average score)
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Coursera final quiz + 0.5 * In-class Examination (written) + 0.25 * Intermediate tests (average score)
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Попова А. В., Абрамова М. Г. - КОНСТИТУЦИОННОЕ ПРАВО ЗАРУБЕЖНЫХ СТРАН. Учебник и практикум для академического бакалавриата - М.:Издательство Юрайт - 2019 - 371с. - ISBN: 978-5-534-01448-8 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЮРАЙТ - URL: https://urait.ru/book/konstitucionnoe-pravo-zarubezhnyh-stran-433091

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Нечкин А. В. - КОНСТИТУЦИОННОЕ ПРАВО ЗАРУБЕЖНЫХ СТРАН. Учебное пособие для СПО - М.:Издательство Юрайт - 2019 - 180с. - ISBN: 978-5-534-10469-1 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЮРАЙТ - URL: https://urait.ru/book/konstitucionnoe-pravo-zarubezhnyh-stran-430417
  • Под общ. ред. Комковой Г. Н. - КОНСТИТУЦИОННОЕ ПРАВО. ПРАКТИКУМ 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Учебное пособие для академического бакалавриата - М.:Издательство Юрайт - 2019 - 207с. - ISBN: 978-5-534-03721-0 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЮРАЙТ - URL: https://urait.ru/book/konstitucionnoe-pravo-praktikum-436487
  • Шашкова А. В. - КОНСТИТУЦИОННОЕ ПРАВО ЗАРУБЕЖНЫХ СТРАН 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Учебник для академического бакалавриата - М.:Издательство Юрайт - 2019 - 181с. - ISBN: 978-5-534-07357-7 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЮРАЙТ - URL: https://urait.ru/book/konstitucionnoe-pravo-zarubezhnyh-stran-434449