Draft November 13, 2010

PLCP 5410—Spring 2011

Islam and Democracy in the Middle East

and North Africa

Professor William B. Quandt
Wed. 1:00-3:30, Gibson 242
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00-2:00 pm, Gibson S-164
Tel.: 924-7896
e-mail: wbq8f@virginia.edu
Class Home Page: https://collab.itc.virginia.edu/portal
WBQ Home Page: www.people.virginia.edu/~wbq8f

            This course will examine the relationship between democratization and Islamic political movements in the contemporary Middle East. We will begin with a consideration of democratic political theories and the general problems of transitions to democracy. Turning to Islamic political theory, we will study core concepts of authority, the state, rights and obligations, law, institutions and political processes. Note that we will not be studying Islamic theology, although a good understanding of Islamic religious beliefs is expected. The emphasis here will be on political movements that put forward an Islamic agenda and seek legitimacy by invoking Islamic values.

            Each student will be expected to do a set of core readings that will be discussed in class. Students will also be responsible for several in-class presentations on specific additional books or articles. By the end of the course, familiarity with an extensive bibliography on political Islam will be achieved.

            For seven of the eleven sessions from January 26 through April 13, each student will prepare a three-to-four page single-spaced analytical paper on the readings for the week.  Among those seven should be at least one paper for the week of January26 or February 2.  The paper will be due on the Sunday prior to the class meeting by 5 pm, and should be submitted by e-mail to me at wbq8f@virginia.edu.  I will read and grade them before class and will return them to you at the end of each class.  For the weeks when you do not write a paper, you will still be expected to do the readings and to participate in class discussions.

            Each student will also select a country or political movement to follow via web sites and/or blogs during the semester.  This will require that you find sites relevant to the topic of Islam and Democracy concerning the country or political movement.  By our third class session, I want a short paragraph outlining your proposed choice and the sites you plan to follow.  You should check the sites at least once a week for relevant material.  And then for the week of April 20 you will write a short 3-4 page paper on what you have learned from the sites you followed.  For undergraduates, this paper plus the other seven will be all the written work expected of you.

For graduates, there will also be a final research paper of 10-15 double-spaced pages, due May 10, on a topic to be agreed upon with the instructor.  All students will be expected to participate in class each session and the final grade will be influenced by the quality of class participation.

I take the Honor Code seriously and expect you to do so as well.  That means that all work that you submit must be your own and that any direct quotations or adaptations of ideas from other authors should be attributed to them and not presented as your own material.

The following books should be purchased:


--M. Allouache, Bab el-Oued

--Reza Aslan, No god but God

--A. Bayat, Making Islam Democratic
--G. O'Donnell, et. al., Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies

--M. Ottaway, ed., Beyond the Facade

--W. Quandt, Between Ballots and Bullets

--S. Qutb, Milestones
--O. Schlumberger, Debating Arab Authoritarianism

--M. H. Yavuz, Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey

PLCP 5410 -- Course Outline

January 19: Introduction

January 26: Democratic Theory and Democratization

Read: R. Dahl, Polyarchy, pp. 17-47, e-reserve

A. Przeworski, Sustainable Democracy, pp. 19-33, e-reserve

D. Rustow, "Transitions to Democracy", e-reserve

S. Huntington, The Third Wave, pp. 3-30, e-reserve

M. Olson, "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development", e-reserve.

Additional: R. Putnam, Making Democracy Work, esp. chs. 1, 6


February 2: Transitions in Comparative Perspective

Read: G. O'Donnell and P. Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule

A. Przeworski and F. Limongi, "Modernization..." e-reserve

C. Boix and S. Stokes, "Endogenous Democratization," , e-reserve

B. Geddes, "What Do We Know about Democratization?", e-reserve

W. Quandt, Between Ballots and Bullets, ch. 1.

S. Haggard and R. Kaufmann, The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions, Intro. and ch. 1, e-reserve.

E. Bellin, “The Robustness of Authoritarianism…”, e-reserve

Additional: A. Przeworski, Democracy and the Market, esp. chs. 1-2.

February 9: Socio-Economic Foundations for Democracy:  Guest lecturer Marina Omar

Read: e-reserves: M. Ross, "Does Oil Hinder Democracy?”
P. Jones Luong and E. Weinthal, "Rethinking the Resource Curse”

B. Jones and B. Olken, “Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth since World War II,"

D. Landes, “Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?"
L. Guiso, P. Sapienza, and L. Zingales, “Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?"

J. Linz and A. Stephan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation,  part I.


February 16: Islamic Political Theories

Read: Aslan, chs. 1-5.

O. Roy, The Failure of Political Islam, e-reserve

Sachedina, The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism, pp. 22-62, e-reserve

Boston Review articles, Islam and the Challenge of Democracy, http://bostonreview.net/BR28.2/contents.html


February 23: Political Islam

Read:  Aslan, ch. 6

Yavuz, Intro. and ch. 1

S. Qutb, Milestones

Bayat, chs. 1-2

J. Waterbury, “Democracy Without Democrats”, e-reserve

Additional: A. Mayer, Islam and Human Rights
L. Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam
C. Geertz, Islam Observed
E. Gellner, Muslim Society

L. Binder, Islamic Liberalism

L. C. Brown, Religion and State


March 2: Islam and Revolution: Shi'ism and the Case of Iran

Read: Aslan, ch. 7

Bayat, chs. 3-4

A. Keshavarzian, “Contestation Without Democracy”, e-reserve

E. Abrahamian, Khomeinism, e-reserve

N. Keddie, “Can Revolutions be Predicted?”, e-reserve

Additional: S. Arjomand, The Turban for the Crown
R. Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet
R. Bulliet, Islam: The View from the Edge
A. R. Norton, Amal and the Shi'a of Lebanon

D. Brumberg, Reinventing Khomeini

B. Moin, Khomeini

A. M. Ansari, Iran, Islam and Democracy

V. Nasr, The Shia Revival


March 16: Egypt

Read: Bayat, ch. 5-6

Schlumberger, chs. 1, 2, 4 and 11(Schlumberger, Heydemann, Albrecht and Richter)

Ottaway, ch. 1

F. Zakaria, "Illiberal Democracy" and “The Islamic Exception”, e-reserve
Additional: Geneive Abdo, No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam

G. Kepel, Muslim Extremism in Egypt

E. Sivan, Radical Islam

R. Mitchell, The Society of Muslim Brethren


March 23: Algeria and the Maghreb

Read: W. Quandt, Between Ballots and Bullets, chs.2-10

M. Allouache, Bab el-Oued.   (The film of the same name is highly recommended)

Schlumberger, chs. 3, 5 and 12 (Lust-Okar, Wegner and Droz-Vincent)

e-reserve:  Quandt, "Algeria's Transition to What?

Ottaway, chs. 6-7

Additional: R. Malley, The Call From Algeria
R. Leveau, Le Sabre et le Turban
M. Arkoun, Critique de la raison islamique
L Addi, L’Algérie et la démocratie
S. Labat, Les islamistes algériennes
L. Martinez, La guerre civile en Algérie (published in English as The Algerian Civil War)


March 30: Turkey

Read: Aslan, ch. 8.

Yavuz, chs. 2-8.

Aslı Ü. Bali, “Unpacking Turkey’s ‘Court-Packing’ Referendum”, http://www.merip.org/mero/mero110510.html

E. Ozbudun, Contemporary Turkish Politics, pp. 105-155, e-reserve

Additional: N. Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey

M. Howe, Turkey Today: A Nation Divided over Islam’s Revival

S. Kinzer, Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds 

S. Cook, Ruling But Not Governing

M. H. Yavuz, Islamic Political Identity in Turkey


April 6: Can Democracy Be Imposed?  The Case of Iraq post-2003

Read: Aslan, chs. 9-10

Schlumberger ch. 6 and 14 (Sluglett and Kienle)

Eva Bellin, “The Iraqi Intervention and Democracy in Comparative Perspective”, PSQ, Winter 2004-05, e-reserve.

Y. Sadowski, “The New Orientalism and the Democracy Debate, e-reserve

Ottaway, ch. 1-5, 8, 9.

Schlumberger ch. 10 (Luciani)

Additional: N. Pratt, Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Arab World


April 13: Militant Islamic Movements

Each student will pick a book or several articles on one of the following movements:

Al-Qaida, Hamas or Hizbollah. 

Once you have identified a book that looks interesting to you, let me know by email what you plan to read and I will give you the green light or suggest something else.


April 20: Reports from the Blogosphere

Each student will briefly report on what they have been following on the web and should give a sense of what can be learned from these kinds of direct sources that may contrast with the more academic literature that we have been reading.  You will all have written a short paper on this topic for this week, so the in-class presentation should be a reflection of that paper.  You may want to show some examples of the sites that you found useful.

April 27: Last day of class