- Code MEAS8116
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies
This course examines in detail the debates over political obedience, engagement and dissent in the Muslim societies of the Middle East. It begins by an examination of modern Islamic thought and considers diverse views of the state, authority, pluralism, and citizenship. It assesses the importance of political culture and structural factors to both the maintenance and the radical reform of non-participatory political orders. In doing so, it critically examines essentialist and exceptionalist assumptions about Middle Eastern and Muslim societies, the degree to which authoritarianism is engrained, the position of Islamist movements, the reasons for and constraints on popular protest, and the possibilities of externally-influenced political transformations. While the course is organised thematically, examples are drawn from a number of specific cases and theoretical insights on authoritarianism, democracy and protest are invoked in order to relate the specificity of Middle Eastern Muslim societies to broader debates.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand key theoretical issues concerning the processes of political authoritarianism, democratisation and protest;
- analyse the ways in which Muslim societies, particularly in the Middle East, have dealt with demands for greater political participation, political obedience, engagement and pluralism;
- critically analyse debates about, and schools of thought on, key factors affecting political authoritarianism, democratisation and protest, such as culture, civil society, economics, the media, and elections;
- assess the roles of Islamist ideologies and movements in the political process; and
- gain insight to the radical reform of non-participatory political orders, and the content and analytical frameworks of a select group of readings.
Indicative Assessment1 x 4,000 word essay, 50% LOs 1-5
1 x in-class oral presentation, 10 minutes, 10% LOs 1& 3- 4
1 x 3 hour in-class examination, 40% LOs 1- 3 & 5
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 25 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 2 hours of seminars per week for 11 weeks and 3 hours of exam for 1 week; and
b) 105 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingJohn L. Esposito and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Larry Diamon, Marc F. Plattner, and Daniel Brumberg, Islam and Democracy in the Middle East. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
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- 6 units
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