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Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

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. Since 2009 there has been a renewed wave of popular unrest sweeping throughout much of the Muslim world. Secular, but generally repressive and inefficient autocracies have come under pressure or been swept aside entirely. At the same, the various Islamic Republics have not fared much better, but been convulsed by internal unrest, economic and social decline. Throughout the Muslim lands, existing constitutional arrangements are being challenged, often very violently. This course is a survey 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. We will look at the large body of classical writings on the Islamic state only in so far as it is necessary to understand the contemporary debate, but concentrate on the legal and political developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Three common themes will characterise the course:  We privilege the study of the legal and social reality and seek to highlight where it is at odds with dogmatic stipulations, be they religious or constitutional.  We seek to illustrate the practical tensions posed by limited administrative capabilities and political legitimacy that resulted from the incomplete reception of modern bureaucratic statehood.  We seek to examine how popular dissatisfaction with the practical performance of Muslim governments has fuelled demands for greater accountability under the guise of cultural authenticity.  Ultimately, the course aims to equip participants to better understand Muslim contemporary discourse about the res publica, better contextualise the demands for religious law in public life, and to better ascertain the theoretical and practical feasibility of postulated religious alternatives to the still-dominant secular model of governance.

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Rating 4.8 based on 153 ratings
Length 11 weeks
Effort 8-12 hours/week
Starts Aug 24 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Copenhagen via Coursera
Instructor Dr. Ebrahim Afsah
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Social Sciences
Tags Social Sciences Law Governance And Society

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What people are saying

muslim world

Prof Afsah is a great teacher; never underestimating his students but also not expecting background knowledge that you may lack, and driving home some points about institutional development and historical developments in the Muslim world that have really changed my perspective.

This course is very important at the moment because of all the things happening in the Muslim world with Syria, IS, Nigeria and the in Turkey.

Really excellent course that has opened my eyes to the Muslim world in a way I couldn't have imagined.

This is enlightening not only to Muslim worldview, but is relevant to every worldview that in process to harmonize the rationality and reality for better living.

Lectures are long but provide very useful information for all that want to know more about the Muslim world.

Amazing course with comprehensive lectures and balanced approach on historical and contemporary aspects that define the socio-political developments taking place in the Muslim world.

It includes social, cultural, political and historial explanations of the Muslim World and above it all, it is very clear and straightforward.

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muslim countries

It was VERY interesting, and really provides a good oversight of the muslim countries.

It gives extensive insight in the political, cultural, historical and institutional backgrond of contemporary muslim countries.

I learned a huge amount about how the Muslim countries became what they are now.

A very good instructor with a balanced approach in an overview in most aspects of Muslim countries.

I felt this course was fantastic - and it is my opinion that the course should be a requirement for all members of the US Senate and House of Representatives - as they might make less dumb decisions when pedalling democracy in Muslim countries.

Excellent professor and very interesting topic for whoever is curious to learn about these Muslim Countries!

The professor is extremely knowledgable, and I learned many useful things for understanding the behavior of the government of Muslim countries, and on the origins of why their law is different from Western law.

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recommend this course

I recommend this course to anyone that want to understand the situation in the middle east, very well donethank you A very interesting and inspiring course that I can recommend warmly.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has any interest at all in understanding this very important area.

I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to get an overview and some understanding of the Muslim world as it is today.

I recommend this course as a jump-off point for anyone who wants to better understand this topic on an introductory level, or would like to later pursue independent study into more complex or narrow topics.

I can't recommend this course highly enough!

I have already recommended it to all of my politically-minded friends and would do so the same for everyone else interested in the region or who wants to better understand the news at least :D I recommend this course to anyone interested in the historic background of the current situation in the Middle East.

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better understand

The professor provided informative and thought-provoking information and opened my mind to better understand how the history of the MENA helped to shape current struggles.

It can help you to better understand a region with a complicated past and a troubled presence.

This course is a phenomenal entry point for those who wish to better understand the great variety and complexity of the Muslim world.

It gave me a much better understanding for the history and politics behind some of the issues we are all facing today, and really broadened my mind.

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middle east

Excellent overview on the problem of mixed success in the development of Muslim world under the lens of the development of institutions.Very rich background in terms of recent history, economy and local culture: colonial past is taken into due consideration.Due to the fragmentation of the area taken into account, more than remarkable outcome: a must if you want to understand more of a culture and of regions of the worlds tragically on the forefront in many cases.In addition, the "iranian" (non european) perspective of the instructor brings even more interest into the course.An excellent companion of the Tel Aviv University Course The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, also available on the platform.

Amazing job and "Hut ab" for the teacher This is an excellent course that provided an overview of the broad scope of history of the Middle East, with an emphasis on insights into the Islamic faith over time and among Middle East cultures.

Instead of merely describing historic facts Dr Afsah systematically analyses the historic and political structure of the Middle East.

It is an attractive course about middle east.

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very good

The professor is a very good story teller and the videos are fascinating to watch.

Really very good, I am currently attending the course on the failure of democracies after the Arab Spring.

very good course reach with information !

Dr Afsah is a very good lecturer, and the course is well-paced and easy to follow.

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Careers

An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies Private Instructor $35k

Regional Political Specialist $55k

Lecturer in Political Science $57k

Political Specialist $61k

Assistant Designer, Womens Better Sportswear $63k

political adviser $65k

Better Handbag Specialist $67k

Regional Political Representative $71k

Political Analyst & Professor of Political Science $72k

Department of Political Science $80k

Political Advisor $84k

Junior Political Analyst $95k

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Rating 4.8 based on 153 ratings
Length 11 weeks
Effort 8-12 hours/week
Starts Aug 24 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Copenhagen via Coursera
Instructor Dr. Ebrahim Afsah
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Social Sciences
Tags Social Sciences Law Governance And Society

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