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030653 KU Comparative Constitutional Law in the Muslim World (2019W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 40 participants
Language: German

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The date for the two-day take home exam will be agreed in class. Reasonable accommodation for conflicting schedules will be made.

Thursday 10.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 17.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 24.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 31.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 07.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 14.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 21.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 28.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 12.12. 12:00 - 16:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 09.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 16.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum SEM52 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

This course provides a thorough survey of the constitutional orders across the Muslim world in the modern period. Spanning all Muslim-majority states from Morocco to Indonesia, we will explore the transmission of institutional forms and constitutional ideas, examine the diversity of constitutional arrangements, evaluate how effective these arrangements are, and what role religious law plays in the different jurisdictions.
The relative failure of all Muslim states to provide sufficient governance has led to high levels of popular discontent, reflected for instance in the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ Consequently, existing constitutional arrangements are being challenged, often violently. In this course, you will learn to contextualise these demands, get to know the principal actors, and appreciate the prominent role public law plays in shaping these contests. 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, especially those affecting the rule of law

• We seek to examine how popular dissatisfaction with the practical performance of Muslim governments fuelled demands for greater accountability, with a particular attention to the role of the judiciary and the use of religious law as a ‘language of justice’ 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. The course covers each week one sub-region centred on a particularly important country, highlighting the distinct approaches towards incorporating modern state institutions.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade for this course consists of one written, 48 hours take-home, open-book book exam of maximum 2000 words excluding footnotes (70%) and class participation (30%).

The written exam will consist of two parts: first, a memo by a legal officer in an international assistance mission advising on a practical operational question with legal implications, and, second, a more conventional academic essay question discussion the pros and cons of a legal conundrum. A model will be distributed well in advance.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

There are no formal prerequisites and no knowledge of Oriental languages is necessary. Jargon is generally avoided and necessary technical terminology will be explained in class.

Students will have to answer two questions out of six, thus accommodating to some degree personal preferences. The exam is aimed to motivate a renewed engagement with the course material and to cement the retention of the material. Special emphasis will be given to the mastery of comparative approaches.

Note that this course is accompanied by an online component which all students should actively participate in:
https://www.coursera.org/learn/muslim-world

For those not familiar with the pedagogy behind blended learning please see
https://www.brown.edu/academics/digital-teaching-learning/tags/type/topic-flipped-classroom

Examination topics

Formal basis for the exam is the literature provided in the syllabus. In addition, it is highly advantageous to be familiar with the content of the companion online course.

The syllabus clearly distinguishes between mandatory and voluntary additional readings; only the former are strictly necessary to pass this course (and do so well).

Reading list

All literature will be in English and made electronically available.

The focus of our readings and discussions lies on the modern period after 1798 – Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign. We will look at the large body of classical writings on Islamic governance only in so far as they are necessary to understand the contemporary debate. The focus is on the legal and political developments of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 26.11.2019 11:27