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Role of Islam in Politics

In this course, students investigated the relationship between modernization, politics, and Islam in Muslim-majority countries. This course provided a unique overview of the historical and political developments from the end of World War II to the Arab Spring that have made Islam a major political force, and discussed Islam’s impact on emerging democracies in the contemporary Middle East. The class systematically analyzed the status of Islam within modern nation-states through several case studies: Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey, as well as Egypt and Tunisia. Such case studies showed how Islamic references have been central to building modern national narratives and institutions, and how collective Islamic discourses and actions will influence post authoritarian regimes and democratic transitions. The analysis of each country was based on a discussion of the theories of modernization and democratization as well as on a comparison with other similar developments in other parts of the world. This course (GOVT-433) was taught by Jocelyne Cesari, Berkley Center and Department of Government.

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Jocelyne Cesari headshot

Jocelyne Cesari

Senior Fellow
Department of Government