• Class Number 7625
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
    • Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

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.

Learning Outcomes

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:
  1. understand key theoretical issues concerning the processes of political authoritarianism, democratisation and protest;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. assess the roles of Islamist ideologies and movements in the political process; and
  5. gain insight to the radical reform of non-participatory political orders, and the content and analytical frameworks of a select group of readings.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The Postcolonial State in the Middle East and North Africa  Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
2 Defining Authoritarianism  Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
3 Democratisation in the Middle East  Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
4 The Political Economy of Protest Dr Anas Iqtait 
5 Oppositional Forces: Leftist Parties and Islamist Movements Dr Mohammed Al Sudairi 
6 The Role of Intellectuals Dr Mohammed Al Sudairi 
7 Minorities and Movements of Protest Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
8 Feminist Engagements with Democracy  Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
9 Art, Culture and the Representation of Protest Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 
10 Youth Transformative Power and the Claiming of Public Spaces Dr Alam Saleh 
11 New Media Networks and Political Mobilisation Dr Alam Saleh 
12 Revolutions in Progress? Dr Elisabeth Yarbakhsh 

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
1. Participation 10 % * 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1;4; 2.1; 2.3
2. Response 40 % 29/09/2023 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3
3. Essay 50 % 03/11/2023 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1;4; 2.1; 2.3

1. Participation

Students are expected to attend each seminar (either face-to-face or online) and fully participate in the class. Failure to attend seminars without explanation may impact the student’s grade. Students will be required to complete 1 – 2 set readings per week and engage with the additional course material. There will be an opportunity to ask and answer question and engage in discussion at each seminar.

Value: 10% of final grade.Estimated return date: Students will be provided brief feedback on request and a final grade will be provided at end of semester.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 29/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3

2. Response

Students will be given the opportunity to respond to the course material. This response may constitute a written piece of work; a presentation; or a creative response developed in consultation with the course convener. Further details will be provided at the beginning of semester. Students are encouraged to decide their approach to this assessment task early in the semester.

Value: 40% of final grade.

Submission date: No later than 4pm, 29 September 2023.

Presentation requirements: Requirements will vary. Please discuss with your course convener.

Estimated return date: Students will receive their results two weeks after submission.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 03/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3

3. Essay

The essay for this course tests students’ ability to research a topic and to present a quality, cogent argument in response to a chosen question. Students are expected to choose one question from a list of options to be posted on Wattle. Questions are based on the material covered in the course. Students are encouraged to develop their own essay questions in line with their interests. Essays are marked against criteria that include answering the question, presenting an argument, demonstrating depth of research, and technical quality, as per the rubric below. Advice on essays will be provided in seminars. The essay is due by 4pm on 4 November. The essay is to be 4000 words in length. This assessment will count for 50% of the total course assessment and final mark.

Word limit: 4000/6000 words (with an accepted 10% leeway).

Value: 50% of final grade.

Submission date: No later than 4pm, 3 November 2023

Presentation requirements: Essays are to be submitted via Turnitin, preferably as a Word document. Essays should be presented in a standard font of no less than 11-point type, and with double spacing.

Estimated return date: Two weeks after submission.


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

Research Interests

Islam; Democracy; Iran; Refugee Rights; Migration; Afghanistan

Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

By Appointment
By Appointment
Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

Research Interests

Elisabeth Yarbakhsh

By Appointment
By Appointment

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