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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED3403 Politics of Islamism

20 creditsClass Size: 78

Module manager: Dr Lars Berger

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module, you will assess Islamism comparing it to fundamentalisms in other religions. It includes an examination of Muslim responses to Western modernity, and the development of modern Islamism from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as wider questions of the adaptability of Islamism to democratic practices.


Upon successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:
1. offer a detailed analysis of the political context and history of Islamist activism;
2. identify major actors and ideological currents within Islamism;
3. explain the location of Islamism within the most prominent Muslim responses to the challenge of Western modernity;
4. discuss the internal dynamics of Islamist activism;
5. critically evaluate the challenges Western and Middle Eastern governments face in responding to the emergence of Islamist activism.

Learning outcomes
This module will provide students with:
1. a comprehensive overview of the origins and political context of the phenomenon of Islamism;
2. the ability to differentiate between the multifaceted dimensions of Islamist political activities;
3. an examination of the main actors and ideological currents within Islamism;
4. the analytical tools to critically assess the policies currently employed by Western and Middle Eastern governments in dealing with Islamist activism.


1. Why ‘Islamism’ – Definitions and Comparisons
2. Early Responses to Western modernity: al-Afghani, Abduh, Rida
3. Radical Muslim Discourse: al-Banna, Mawdudi, Qutb
4. From revolutionary Islamism to Islamism from above: Iran
5. The failure of revolutionary Islamism I: Egypt
6. The failure of revolutionary Islamism II: Saudi Arabia
7. Islamism from above: Pakistan
8. Al-Qaeda and ISIS and the transnationalisation of Islamism
9. Contemporary Challenges for Islamism I: Muslim communities in the West
10. Contemporary Challenges for Islamism II: Democracy
11. Contemporary Challenges for Islamism III: Women's Rights

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 Word End of Term Essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

2000 word formative essay (Non Assessed)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/12/2018 10:48:54


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