Module Identifier IP39720  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Ayla Gol  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours. 18 x 1 Hour Lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 Hours. 5 x 1 Hour Seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essay  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to

- Analyse the relationship between religion and politics (din wa dawla religion and state) in the Middle East

- Compare the major religions of Middle East and distinguish them as belief systems, modern ideologies and political movements

- Critically assess the contemporary debates regarding the role of religion in domestic and foreign policies of Middle Eastern states.

- Discuss competing theories of the compatibility of Islam with the Western modernity, secularism and democracy

- Evaluate the legitimacy of Islamic law (shariah), the rise of nationalism and the status of women in Muslim countries

- Display an ability to apply different theoretical perspectives to a range of in-depth case-studies with particular reference to Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

- Illustrate and evaluate the different debates on the existence of an Islamic threat and the 'clash of civilisations' before and after 9/11.   

Brief description

This module examines the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East. In particular, the module explores the compatibility of Islam with Western modernity, secularism and democratisation from a comparative, historical perspective.


This module aims to enhance the students' ability to understand the influence and legitimacy of three monotheist religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - in Middle Eastern affairs from a comparative, historical perspective. Such an approach will enable the students to challenge the essentialist understanding of the Middle East which emphasises the uniqueness of the region based on the dominant role of Islam in domestic and foreign policies of regional states. The module will help the students to clarify the different use of concepts and notions in relations to Islam such as political Islam, Islamism, Islamic fundamentalism, as well as some concepts that are widely referred to, such as the umma, jidah, dar-ul Islam, dar-ul harb.


Part I: Themes and Issues
Religion and International Relations
Comparing Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
Modernity, modernisation and Islam
The modern state system and the Middle East
Religion, Nationalism and identity
Secularism: state and religious institutions
Democratisation and political change
Islamic law and Women

Part II: Case Studies
Zionism and Israel
Secularised Islam: Turkey
Revolutionary Islam: Iran
Wahabism and Saudi Arabia

Part III: Contemporary Issues
The Islamic Threat and 9/11
Al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism
Contemporary crises in the Middle East

Reading Lists

** General Text
Burgat, Fran cois. (2003.) Face to face with political Islam /Fran cois Burgat. 1860642128
Halliday, Fred (1988.) State and ideology in the Middle East and Pakistan /edited by Fred Halliday and Hamza Alavi. 0333383079
Halliday, Fred. (2000.) Nation and religion in the Middle East /Fred Halliday. 0863560784
Juergensmeyer, Mark. (2003.) Terror in the mind of God :the global rise of religious violence /Mark Juergensmeyer. 0520240111
Lawrence, Bruce B. (1990, c1989.) Defenders of God :the fundamentalist revolt against the modern age /Bruce B. Lawrence. 1850432880
Lewis, Bernard (1993.) Islam and the West /Bernard Lewis. 0195076192
Milton-Edwards, Beverley. (2004.) Islamic fundamentalism since 1945 /Beverley Milton-Edwards. 0415301726
(1992.) Religion and modernization :sociologists and historians debate the secularization thesis /edited by Steve Bruce. 019827369X
(1995.) The Islamist dilemma :the political role of Islamist movements in the contemporary Arab world /edited by Laura Guazzone. 0863721982
(2004.) Understanding the contemporary Middle East /Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, editors. 1588260623
** Should Be Purchased
Halliday, Fred (2003.) Islam and the myth of confrontation :religion and politics in the Middle East /Fred Halliday. 1860648681
Halliday, Fred (c2005.) The Middle East in international relations :power, politics and ideology /Fred Halliday. 0521592402
Milton-Edwards, Beverley. (2000.) Contemporary politics in the Middle East /Beverley Milton-Edwards. 0745614728
** Essential Reading
(2001.) Issues in world politics /edited by Brian White, Richard Little and Michael Smith. 0333804015
** Recommended Text
Gray, John (2003.) Al Qaeda and what it means to be modern /John Gray. 0571219802
Halliday, Fred (2002 (various p) Two hours that shook the world :September 11, 2001 : causes and consequences /Fred Halliday. 0863563821
Kedourie, Elie. (1992.) Politics in the Middle East /Elie Kedourie.
Laqueur, Walter (c1989.) A history of Zionism /Walter Laqueur ; with a new preface by the author. 0805208992
Owen, Roger (2004.) State, power and politics in the making of the modern Middle East /Roger Owen. 0415297133
Sayyid, Bobby S. (1997.) A fundamental fear :Eurocentrism and the emergence of Islamism /Bobby S. Sayyid. 185649411X
Tibi, Bassam (c1998.) The challenge of fundamentalism : political Islam and the new world disorder /Bassam Tibi. 0520088689
(1993.) The modern Middle East :a reader /edited by Albert Hourani, Philip S. Khoury and Mary C. Wilson. 1850435200
(2003.) The secular and the sacred :nation, religion, and politics /editor William safran. 0714683019
** Supplementary Text
Abdo, Geneive. (2000.) No God but God :Egypt and the triumph of Islam /Geneive Abdo. 0195125401
Abir, Mordechai. (1993.) Saudi Arabia :government, society and the Gulf crisis /Mordechai Abir. 0415093252
Ahmad, Feroz. (1993.) The making of modern Turkey /Feroz Ahmad. 0415078369
Ahmed, Akbar S. (1992.) Postmodernism and Islam :predicament and promise /Akbar S. Ahmed. 0415062934
Avineri, Shlomo. (c1981.) The making of modern Zionism :intellectual origins of the Jewish state /Shlomo Avineri. 0465043283
Binder, Leonard. (1988.) Islamic liberalism :a critique of development ideologies /Leonard Binder. 0226051471
Brumberg, Daniel. (2001.) Reinventing Khomeini :the struggle for reform in Iran /Daniel Brumberg. 0226077578
Ehteshami, Anoushiravan. (1995.) After Khomeini :the Iranian Second Republic /Anoushiravan Ehteshami. 0415108799
Fandy, Mamoun. (1998.) Saudi Arabia and the politics of dissent. 0333749235
Guazzone, Laura (June 1997) The Middle East in Global Change:The Politics and Economics of Interdependence Versus Fragmentation
Gunaratna, Rohan (2002.) Inside Al Qaeda :global network of terror /[by] Rohan Gunaratna. 185065672X
Hafez, Mohammed M. (2003.) Why Muslims rebel :repression and resistance in the Islamic world /by Mohammed M. Hafez. 1588261247
Halliday, Fred (1979.) Iran :dictatorship and development /Fred Halliday.
Halliday, Fred (1988.) State and ideology in the Middle East and Pakistan /edited by Fred Halliday and Hamza Alavi. 0333383079
Jung, Dietrich (2001.) Turkey at the crossroads :Ottoman legacies and a greater Middle East /Dietrich Jung with Wolfango Piccoli. 1856498662
Keddie, Nikki R. (2003.) Modern Iran :roots and results of revolution /Nikki R. Keddie ; with a section by Yann Richard. 0300098561
Kepel, Gilles. (1985.) The prophet and pharaoh :Muslim extremism in Egypt /Gilles Kepel; translated by Jon Rothschild. 0863560288
Kepel, Gilles. (2004.) The war for muslim minds :Islam and the West /Gilles Kepel ; translated by Pascale Ghazaleh. 0674015754
Keyder, Caglar. (1987.) State and class in Turkey : a study in capitalist development / Ca glar Keyder. Study in Capitalist Development. 0860911659
Kimmerling, Baruch. (c2001.) The invention and decline of Israeliness :state, society, and the military /Baruch Kimmerling. 0520229681
Langmuir, Gavin I. (1990.) History, religion, an antisemitism /Gavin I. Langmuir. 1850432902
Lewis, Bernard (2001.) The emergence of modern Turkey /Bernard Lewis. 0195134605
Lewis, Bernard (2002.) What went wrong? :the clash between Islam and modernity in the Middle East /Bernard Lewis. 0297829297
Migdal, Joel S. (June 2001) Through the Lens of Israel:Explorations in State and Society 0791449866
Mishal, Shaul (2000.) The Palestinian Hamas :vision, violence, and coexistence /Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela. 0231116748
Mortimer, Edward. (1982.) Faith and power :the politics of Islam /Edward Mortimer. 0571119786
Murden, Simon W. (2002.) Islam, the Middle East, and the new global hegemony /Simon W. Murden. 1588260593
Richards, Alan (1996.) A political economy of the Middle East /Alan Richards, John Waterbury. 0813324114
Wilson, Rodney. (1995.) Economic development in the Middle East /Rodney Wilson. 0415125537
Wilson, Rodney. (1997.) Economics, ethics, and religion : Jewish, Christian, and Muslim economic thought /Rodney Wilson. 0333626427
Z urcher, Erik Jan. (1997 (2003 prin) Turkey :a modern history /Erik J. Z urcher. 1860642225
(1991.) Islamic fundamentalisms and the Gulf crisis /edited by James Piscatori. 0962960802
(c1993.) Jewish fundamentalism in comparative perspective :religion, ideology, and the crisis of modernity /edited by Laurence J. Silberstein. 0814779670
(2002.) Modernising Islam :religion in the public sphere in Europe and the Middle East /editors, John L. Esposito and Fran cois Burgat. 1850656789
(c1995.) Paths of emancipation : Jews, states, and citizenship /edited by Pierre Birnbaum and Ira Katznelson. 0691034613
(c2002.) Political leaders and democracy in Turkey /edited by Metin Heper and Sabri Sayari. 0739103520
(2000.) Religion and global order /edited by John L. Esposito and Michael Watson. 0708315267
(2000.) Religion and international relations /edited by K.R. Dark. 0312230672
(1992.) Religion and politics in comparative perspective :revival of religious fundamentalism in East and West /edited by Bronislaw Misztal and Anson Shupe. 027594218X
(1998.) Religion, globalization and political culture in the Third World /edited by Jeff Haynes. 0333724127
(1997.) Rethinking nationalism in the Arab Middle East /James Jankowski and Israel Gershoni, editors. 0231106947
(1993.) Riding the tiger :the Middle East challenge after the Cold War /edited by Phebe Marr and William Lewis. 0813386632
(1998.) Secularism and its critics /edited by Rajeev Bhargava. 0195639871
(1982 (1983 prin) State, society and economy in Saudi Arabia /edited by Tim Niblock.
(c1990.) The Iranian revolution :its global impact /edited by John L. Esposito. 0813010179
(1997.) The Middle East in global change : the politics and economics of interdependence versus fragmentation /edited by Laura Guazzone. 0312172745
(1995.) The Next threat :Western perceptions of Islam /edited by Jochen Hippler and Andrea Lueg. 0745309542
(1988.) The politics of religion and social change :religion and the political order /edited by Anson Shupe and Jeffrey K. Hadden. 0913757772
(2000.) The third world beyond the cold war;continuity and change/edited by Louise Fawcett and Yezid Sayigh 0198295502


This module is at CQFW Level 6