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Regular version of the site
2019/2020

Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

Type: Optional course (faculty)
When: 3 module
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

'Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World' is an online course available on platform 'Coursera': https://www.coursera.org/learn/muslim-world . The main aim of the course is to learn 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.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Learning and understanding of the role of the main events and developments on the political fields in 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Marking a large spectrum 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.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Operates knowledge about the key features of modern politics in the region and understands how the legacy of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire continues to influence many countries in the region today.
  • Shows how the "Arab Spring" originated in North Africa and the specifications of Egypt due to its historical importance and the impact its politics have had on other Arab and Muslim countries.
  • Gets acquainted with the impact of essentially free oil income that defines the social and governmental structure of Saudi Arabia sub-region, and the character of rentier economies and their socio-political impact.
  • Formulates the actuality of the Western military invasion of Iraq, the disintegration of state institutions in Syria and the fragile political system of Iran.
  • Explains importance of the Afghan conflict for world politics and the impacts of the jihadi movement on the nowadays Islamic world as well as the problems of the artificial state-building in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Calls the historical, ethnic, linguistic and geographic features of Malaysia and Indonesia and knows the problems these countries face nowadays.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Theme 1: Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
    Acquaintance to the modern politics in the region, keeping in mind the four models of adaptation. How the legacy of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire continues to influence many countries in the region today сегодня. Turkey as a state that occupies a special place due to its explicit constitutional and social commitment to secularism and a self-conscious emulation of the Western model.
  • Theme 2: Egypt and Maghreb
    How the so-called "Arab Spring" originated in North Africa. The specifications of Egypt due to its historical importance, relative size and the impact its politics have had on other Arab and Muslim countries. Following the Secularism/Emulation model exemplified by Turkey last week, this region represents the second broad approach to modernity, namely Religious Modernism/Reform.
  • Theme 3: Saudi Arabia & The Gulf
    The impact of essentially free oil income that defines the social and governmental structure of this sub-region, and the character of so-called rentier economies and their socio-political impact. These countries represent the third broad approach to modernity, namely Traditionalism, that is the notion that there is no need to change inherited socio-political structures.
  • Theme 4: The Levant (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq), Iran
    The actuality of the Western military invasion of Iraq that led to the destruction of its state institutions and brought about the much-predicted collapse of social order in that country. The disintegration of state institutions, caused by internal revolt rather than external attack, but with similarly disastrous humanitarian outcomes, in Syria. The fragile political system of Iran.
  • Theme 5: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh
    The importance of the Afghan conflict for world politics of the last decade or so, and also the impacts of the jihadi movement on the nowadays Islamic world. The problems of the artificial state-building on the cases of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh.
  • Theme 6: Malaysia & Indonesia
    A very rich historical, ethnic, linguistic and geographic tapestry of Malaysia and Indonesia. Close look at both nations before and after their independence and a thorough investigation of the challenges they face today.
  • Classroom discussion
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Test 1
  • non-blocking Debates
    Debates missed by a student for a good reason (illness, scientific or academic trip, participation in a conference, etc., documented to the training office), if agreed with the teacher, may not be taken into account and the weight will be redistributed to all elements of the online course control. The retake of the exam is possible in accordance with the “Regulation on the organization of intermediate certification and ongoing monitoring of student performance at the Higher School of Economics”.
  • non-blocking Test 2
  • non-blocking Test 3
  • non-blocking Test 4
  • non-blocking Test 5
  • non-blocking Test 6
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.15 * Test 4 + 0.15 * Test 6 + 0.1 * Debates + 0.15 * Test 1 + 0.15 * Test 2 + 0.15 * Test 3 + 0.15 * Test 5
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Bowen, J. R. (2004). Beyond Migration: Islam as a Transnational Public Space. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 30(5), 879–894. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183042000245598

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Crews, R. (2003). Empire and the Confessional State: Islam and Religious Politics in Nineteenth-Century Russia. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.10A75039