Law and Politics in the Middle East


Teaching Staff: Livas Sotiris
Course Code: YE-9602
Gram-Web Code: ΔΙ0600
Course Category: General Background
Course Type: Compulsory Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: English / Greek
Semester: Any Spring
ECTS: 2
Total Hours: 2
Erasmus: Not Available
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Short Description:

Students get in touch with the basic legal, social, political and religious principles of the countries, statesandsocietiesofthebroaderMiddleEasternregionandtheIslamicworld. They learn the history of the great Muslim empires of the past as a prerequisite for the understanding of current developments. Films, musical material and videos are used to bring the students closer to the matter in hand. Students also learn about the creation of the state of Israel and all the relevant issues related to the Palestinian problem. They learn the basic tenets of Islamic fundamentalism and jihadi extremism. They get accustomed with the hate speech and the hate ideologies related to the history of the area (anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, persecutions of the Christian population, anti-Shii hatred).

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

Students come close to the basic tenets of the social, political, religious and financial reality of the states, countries and societies of the Middle East.Using an array of tools (films, videos, in – class debates) they learn to analyze the most important current trends relating to the region’s developments (the Israeli – Palestinians squabble, Islamic fundamentalism – extremism, the Irani nuclear quagmire, the civil war in Syria, Turkey’s new external policy). By the end of the semester, students should have obtained a sound knowledge of the religious, ideological, political and social situation in the broader Middle eastern area. More specifically, students learn to:
• Decipher the basic and most fundamental tenets and rules of Islam.
• Find their way around the way these countries were construed, by learning their history, their religion and their civilization (the great Muslim empires, the Ottoman empire, colonization and decolonization wars, construction of the new states, the Israeli – Arab wars, the oil boom and the oil economies of the Gulf states, the new ideologies: Panarabism, Islamic fundamentalism, Irani religious assertiveness, AKP’s neo – Ottomanism etc)
• Debate in the class in relation to these issues
• Understand all current issues having to do with Middle East

Syllabus:

1st week:

ISLAM – first steps in history, basic theological and legal principles I

2nd week:

ΙSLAM – first steps in history, basic theological and legal principles I

3d week:

Historical development of the Muslim empires – Al Andalus – the Mughal empire – Ottoman empire

4th week:

Sunnis and Shiis – the great religious, philosophical and legal rifts

5th week:

Israel, the Jews and antisemitism

6th week:

The Palestinian issue today – the current challenges for the region

7th week:

Islamic fundamentalism and extremismΙ

8th week:

Islamic fundamentalism and extremismΙΙ

9th week:

Turkey – a brief presentation of its historical development

10th week:

Islamophobia

11th week:

Islam in the West – systems of incoroporation

12th week:

Debating about specific issues: the headscarf “problem”

13th week:

Debating about specific issues: debating history and the Greek – Turkish relations

 

 

 

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Kouloumbis, Th. (1990), International relations: Power and justice, Prentice Hall.

 

Teaching Methods:

 

Activity

Semester workload

Lectures

26

Written examination

2

Preparation for the examination

15

Weekly studying

7

 

 

 

 

Course total

 

50

New Technologies:

Use of ICT in teaching

Evaluation Methods:

Written or/and oral examination, project


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