Explores the major political, economic, social, and security challenges facing - and emanating from - the Middle East. Particular attention paid to the causes of the so-called Arab Spring and the prospects for genuine democratization. Explores the role of colonial legacies, Islam, peculiarities of the physical environment, demographic patterns, cultures of patriarchy, the distortions of foreign aid and oil wealth, and the machinations of great powers in generating the region's particular pattern of political development. Embraces a variety of theoretical and empirical literatures, including translated works by Middle Eastern commentators, politicians, and social theorists. Students will emerge from the course with both an understanding of a changing region whose geopolitical importance - to the United States and the world - shows no sign of waning, and a grounding in some of the principal analytic approaches in the study of comparative political systems.
This graduate seminar explores the transformation of Islamic institutions in the modern period, such as religious endowments (Awqaf), sharia courts, and Islamic education. We will engage with the historiography of these institutions and with primary sources in Arabic that will help us open new paths for research.
This is a course about how democracy comes into being and how it breaks down, and about what citizens, activists, and policymakers around the world can do to make the former more likely and the latter less so.... Read more about Getting and Keeping Democracy
This is a course about fundamental problems of participation, democratic governance, and conflict in contemporary political systems. It will provide students with an analytical toolkit for understanding and acting on the political dimensions of policy problems.... Read more about Political Institutions and Public Policy
Texts of the Persian literary tradition that were illustrated constitute our focus, including Firdawsi's Shahnama and Nizami's Khamsa. Study of word and image is staged through key examples to open new lines of inquiry.
This course, as part of the new HDS Initiative on Islamic Spiritual Life and Service, is intended for students preparing for vocation in a variety of settings in which they will provide Islamically-inspired service and support. The course will acquaint students with Islamic pedagogy and...
As Senegal prepares to celebrate fifty years of independence from French colonial rule, academic and policy circles are engaged in a vigorous debate about its experience in nation building. An important aspect of this debate is the impact of globalization on Senegal, particularly the massive labor migration that began directly after independence. From Tokyo to Melbourne, from Turin to Buenos Aires, from to Paris to New York, 300,000 Senegalese immigrants are simultaneously negotiating their integration into their host society and seriously impacting the development of their homeland. This book addresses the modes of organization of transnational societies in the globalized context, and specifically the role of religion in the experience of migrant communities in Western societies. Abundant literature is available on immigrants from Latin America and Asia, but very little on Africans, especially those from French speaking countries in the United States. The book offers a case study of the growing Senegalese community in New York City. By pulling together numerous aspects (religious, ethnic, occupational, gender, generational, socio-economic, and political) of the experience of the Senegalese migrant community into an integrated analysis, linking discussion of both the homeland and host community, this book contributes to the debate about postcolonial Senegal, Muslim globalization and diaspora studies in the United States.
Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country's endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, democracy in the Arab world seems farther away today than at any point in the last 25 years, leaving one to conclude that the answer to the question posed in this special anniversary issue of the Journal—“Is Democracy in Decline?”—is, at least in the case of the Arab world, a resounding, even deafening, yes. If democracy is to ever arrive in the region, it will likely be through an evolutionary and elite-driven process.
“Say it!” the angel Gabriel commanded Muhammad, who had been chosen to channel the message of Allah to mankind. “Write it,” the angel might have said, because the words the prophet recited became a book, the Koran. And in the hands of artists over the centuries that book became a devotional object of surpassing beauty.
Abdur-Rashid sat down with the Gazette to reflect on his first academic year, and to share his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the religious community on campus, and in particular for Muslim American students at Harvard.
By Melani Cammett, Dominika Kruszewska and Sami Attalah
On Sunday, Lebanese citizens will vote in national elections for the first time since 2009. These are the first elections since the passage in June 2017 of a new electoral law and the first since the 2016 Beirut municipal elections, when a grass-roots campaign won almost 40 percent of votes, challenging Lebanon’s long-standing patronage-based sectarian parties.