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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2021/2022

After the Arab Spring: Democratic Aspirations and State Failure

Type: Elective course (Asian and African Studies)
Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
When: 3 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Open to: everyone
Instructors: Andrey Chuprygin
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure is an online course available on platform Coursera https://www.coursera.org/learn/after-the-arab-spring. Learn why the hope and excitement of the Arab Spring is gone, why so many Arab states are falling apart, why the youth are so frustrated, why there are so many refugees, and what can be done about it. The so-called Arab Spring appeared to end decades of exceptionalism and bring the Arab world back into the mainstream of global developments. The rebellions promised the return of politics and the reassertion of popular sovereignty against their corrupt and geriatric leaders. Much hope and flowery language greeted the young men and women who deposed their leaders and tried to build new, better societies. Today, the Arab world is in deep crisis. Of the 22 member states of the Arab League, at least five have essentially collapsed: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria exist only in name today, as their territories have fallen to competing, murderous armed groups. In the remaining countries, the old autocracies have reasserted themselves. The repression at home is now worsened by regional conflict on an unprecedented scale, and the resulting frustration has led to the biggest refugee flows in recent memory. What went wrong? This course offers an overview of the structural shortcomings of Arab states and societies, which help us understand why the democratic awakening did not happen but instead “has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism.” This raises the obvious and renewed question whether there is something inherent in the Arab, and by analogy Muslim, condition that makes them special. Does this condition make this part of the world impervious to generally observable trends towards greater accountability, popular participation in political decision-making, greater generation and fairer division of economic wealth? Join this course to find out!
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To know the theoretic base for the development of the Arab societies and the tendencies of their future development as well as the mechanisms of beginning and developing of regional conflicts. To adequately use the instruments of formulating clear objectives and choosing effective means of their solving at the base of the data analysis and other methods.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Analyses the Instability and Institutional Failure.
  • Gets acquainted to Governance.
  • Operates knowledge about Institutions.
  • Explains Economics: Bread, Dignity and Freedom
  • Analyses Human Development: Growth and Frustration
  • Demonstrates Outlook: Elusive Stability
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction
    Familiarization with the structure of the course.
  • Theme 1. Instability and Institutional Failure
    Understanding some of the mistakes that were made in the decades prior to the outbreak of the recent Arab rebellions. These shortcomings have led to stunted and underperforming political systems, much at variance with developments elsewhere
  • Theme 2. Governance
    Acquaintance to the availability of essentially free income flowing to the governments of the region. These ‘rents’ have sustained a repressive arrangement in which citizens pay little or no taxes and have no voice
  • Theme 3. Institutions
    Learning the concept of institutions, namely values, stable, repeated patterns of behavior; also, what institutions are, how they come about, how their relative effectiveness is measures, how and why they decline, and why all that matters
  • Theme 4. Economics: Bread, Dignity and Freedom
    Understanding the material bases of popular discontent, especially the connection between the states’ explicit promises of delivering welfare that have become increasingly unsustainable in the face of exploding population growth and falling revenues
  • Theme 5. Human Development: Growth and Frustration
    Understanding structural changes beyond anyone’s control lead to different ways of living and, thus, value changes. With explosive population growth, social institutions have not kept up and norms are contested, often violently.
  • Theme 6. Outlook: Elusive Stability
    Tying together some of the structural shortcomings that have produced the dysfunction that drove the Arab rebellions, this section casts a somewhat gloomy picture about the formidable tasks ahead if these societies want to redress the causes of discontent and return to stability
  • final lesson
    the last lesson of the course is devoted to assigning grades based on the results of passing the tests of the online course
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Test 1
  • 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 (1 module)
    0.17 * Test 1 + 0.17 * Test 2 + 0.165 * Test 3 + 0.165 * Test 4 + 0.165 * Test 5 + 0.165 * Test 6
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Axel Bruns, Tim Highfield, & Jean Burgess. (n.d.). The Arab Spring and Social Media Audiences English and Arabic Twitter Users and Their Networks. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.36C5BCEF
  • Bevir, M., Rhodes, R., & Weller, P. M. (2015). Traditions of Governance: Interpreting the Changing Role of the Public Sector. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.30CFD5C3

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Alisa Shishkina, & Leonid Issaev. (2017). From Fitnah to Thaura: The Metamorphosis of the Arab-Muslim Protest Movements. Religions, (9), 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8090193