(a) legally protected free Speech(
(1’) Civil society brotcst (eg. whici‘g’ Who can say what in WhiCh fma)
(0) slate enforcement of [a Specific groups can pmt-CSt in WhiCh paces in which Ways)
responsible for judging shari‘ah eaturc Of] Sharl‘ah (c’g’, Wthh authoriti§ are
“caning state judgments) cas’es and Whlch authormes are responsxble for
(d) parliamentar ‘clections e.
(C) the Ti mt ‘ f3 . . ( whlch seats can be contested when and by whom)
g, s o minority Muslrm gm“ (C g Wh th h M 1.
can practice their faith as they chogasse) . . 6 er and OW us 1m mmormes
ldenti/fir the relevant laws pertaining to this issue in each country as we” as the competing
Uuslim perspectives in the debate (e. g. two MESH”, wsaectives’ver country)
Richly? the role that claims about ‘Islam ’ and ‘democracy’ play in each country’s debate
drawmg on at least three of the theorists we have engaged during Term 2; Hobbes Locké
Ail/l. Rousseau, Tocqueville, Bilgrami, Schumpeter, Kymlicka, Barber, Benhabib
Schwarzschild, Stone, Iqbal, and Soroush).
Finally, develop your own argument about Which perspective / which perspectives in the
countries you have chosen reflect(s) the terms of an ‘Islamic democracy’ OR explain
why the terms of an ‘Islamic democracy’ donnot appear at all.
Your essay, in 4000 words or less, should include at least twelve references, with at least five
references being drawn from outs1de the syllabus.
ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY (2014-2015)
Apart from mandatory attendance, the requirements for this course are enumerated below. These requirements are based on the assumption that you will complete assigned readings on time, prepare yourself for discussions, and make an intelligent use of the literature in your papers.
Your papers will give you a chance to sample various combinations of history and theory: first, in a study of the Islamic ‘state’, second, in a more nuanced evaluation of ‘state-society’ relations, and finally, in a detailed analysis of specific historical and political contexts—Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, or a country of your choice beyond those included on the syllabus.
Throughout, the challenge will involve striking a balance between empirical (historical) detail and theoretical rigour. It is not enough to provide an historical account of a particular case. Nor is it enough to express why you agree or disagree with a particular position in purely abstract or ideological terms. You must use your knowledge of a specific empirical situation to interpret the existing theoretical literature in a new way.
Paper No. 1 (max. 2,000 words; Weeks 1-8) Deadline: 12 December 2014 25%
Paper No. 2 (max. 2,000 words; Weeks 1-14) Deadline: 20 February 2015 25%
Paper No. 3 (max. 5,000 words; Weeks 1-22) Deadline: 24 April 2015 50%
You must submit your essays online.
Please note: Essays handed in late without good cause (e.g. documented illness) will be marked down at the rate of two percent per working day. These deadlines will not be adjusted under any circumstances. If you are unable to meet an essay deadline and wish to request that the penalty be waived or reduced, you must apply to the Faculty Office as per the procedures outlined in your Student Handbook. Please note that only the Exam Board has the authority to remit the two-percent-per-working-day penalty; course conveners are not allowed to grant extensions or waive the penalty. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I can do to intervene in this process.
In addition, students are reminded that plagiarism—the unattributed or unacknowledged use of the ideas or the work of others—is unacceptable. Essays containing plagiarism will be graded 0.
The amount of reading varies from week to week, with an average of 60-65 pages per week.
The Required Readings for this course are available in two forms.
You will find many of the Required Readings on-line: JSTOR, EBSCOHOST, Journal of Democracy (on-line), and so on. (For additional addresses, please refer to the reading list.)
The rest of the Required Readings will be available in a coursepack, which you should purchase from the SOAS Bookstore.
Again, THESE READINGS ARE REQUIRED. You must read them in advance of each seminar.
The recommended readings for this course should be consulted for your papers, time permitting. I have included these readings in the syllabus for your convenience, both in the context of this course and in future.
At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:
1. Familiarity with critical debates surrounding ideas of participation, opposition, rights, law, and legislation, both within and apart from any specific reference to Islam;
2. Knowledge of specific debates regarding the politics of religious and sectarian difference emerging at different points in Muslim history and in different parts of the Muslim world.
3. Knowledge of specific Muslim and non-Muslim scholarly efforts to conceptualize the relationship between religious identity, religious difference, and political pluralism.
4. A critical understanding of theoretical efforts in political science to grapple with the politics of religion and religious difference, including efforts to formulate hypotheses and efforts to carry out empirical research to support, qualify, or reject these hypotheses.
5. Skills necessary for the oral and written communication of relevant theoretical and empirical ideas.
INTRODUCTION ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: THE DEBATE
Week 1 Introduction: Course Description, Objectives, Requirements (2 October)
Lecture: What this class will address / what this class will not address.
Required Reading: “Excerpts from The Avalon Project.” Yale Law School. PACK (HANDOUT).
Additional Reading: A. John Esposito and John Voll, Islam and Democracy (NY: Oxford, 1996), 3-10, 21-32.
B. Ahmad S. Moussali, “Modern Islamic Fundamentalist Discourses on Civil Society,
Pluralism, and Democracy,” Civil Society in the Middle East, A.R. Norton, ed. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995), 79-119.
Raghid El-Solh, “Islamist Attitudes Towards Democracy: A Review of the Ideas of
al-Turabi and Amara,” British J. of Middle Eastern Studies, 20:1 (1993), 57-63.
Gudrun Krämer, “Islamist Notions of Democracy,” M. East Report, July (1993), 2-8.
Noah Feldman, “Shari’a and Islamic Democracy in the Age of Al-Jazeera” in
Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context, Abbas Amanat and Frank Griffel, eds. (Stanford, 2007), pp. 104-119. (re: Yusuf al-Qaradawi).
Irfan Ahmed, Islamism and Democracy in India: Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami
(Princeton: Princeton, 2009).
C. Anthony Shadid, “From West to East: A New Generation of Thinkers,” Legacy of the
Prophet: Despots, Democrats, and the New Politics of Islam (Boulder: Westview, 2005), 223-250.
Week 2 Islam and Democracy: The Contemporary Debate (9 October)
Discussion: Dealing with differences of opinion in an ‘Islamic democracy.’
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