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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World by University of Copenhagen

4.8
523 ratings
152 reviews

About the Course

Learn what motivates the restive Muslim youth from Tunis to Tehran, what political positions Islamists from Mali to Chechnya are fighting for, where the seeming obsession with Islamic law comes from, where the secularists have vanished to, and whether it makes sense to speak of an Islamic state. Since 2009 there has been a renewed wave of popular unrest sweeping throughout much of the Muslim world. Secular, but generally repressive and inefficient autocracies have come under pressure or been swept aside entirely. At the same, the various Islamic Republics have not fared much better, but been convulsed by internal unrest, economic and social decline. Throughout the Muslim lands, existing constitutional arrangements are being challenged, often very violently. This course is a survey of the constitutional ideas and institutions that have developed since the mid 19th century throughout predominantly Muslim countries, but its focus will lie on the actors that have dominated this discourse and shaped its outcomes. We will look at the large body of classical writings on the Islamic state only in so far as it is necessary to understand the contemporary debate, but concentrate on the legal and political developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. 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.  We seek to examine how popular dissatisfaction with the practical performance of Muslim governments has fuelled demands for greater accountability 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....

Top reviews

AC

Oct 04, 2017

As an International Relations student I must say this was an extremely useful course. I am very satisfied with the result and with the way that the Prof. Afsah approached each lesson. Congratulations!

LP

Nov 22, 2015

This course is really interesting and informative. It gave me a much better understanding for the history and politics behind some of the issues we are all facing today, and really broadened my mind.

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1 - 25 of 149 Reviews for Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

By gigi n

May 13, 2019

Intelligent and informative at a macro level. Effective for those with no historical background to the Middle East (ME). It's a good crash course to understanding why the ME is a liquid place (not stable).

By Erman I C N

May 02, 2019

Complete and excelent course... I recommended fully

By Sarah M

Feb 02, 2019

This course is the best online course I have taken. I loved how it was structured, the Professor spoke well and clearly and was extremely knowledgeable, and the readings were well chosen. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Middle East, whether you are new, or intermediate. There are a lot of insights you can learn from.

By Mahmoud E

Jan 05, 2019

very good

By Andrew B

Nov 04, 2018

Excellent. Thorough. Helps one see the bigger picture and the nature of the problems facing the Muslim world in regard to constitutional issues and governance.

By Renan M O

Sep 25, 2018

One of the greatest courses I've ever meant. It expanded my sight more than I thought. I hope more courses like this will be available from now on... it helps the Ocident Civilization to be less prejudiced.

By Cem S

Apr 25, 2018

Very comprehensive, and well structured course.

By Afaque R A

Mar 06, 2018

An absolute masterpiece. Excellent and a very thorough analysis. Very high quality, informative course which might have changed my personal preference in terms of pursuing a doctorate in Law / Islamic Law. Simply, respect and more respect for the Instructor for his oustanding scholarship, especially, for such a controversial and a sensitive subject. But sometimes, what needs to said, just needs to be said without sugar coating!

By Ilanka

Jan 31, 2018

Awesome course! Highly informative, analytical and covering a huge span of contrioversial issues in atactful manner.

By Jan S

Jan 04, 2018

Great in depth course from Copenhagen University - This course is so good that it made me go back to the university to study a second master in risk and security management at University of Copehagen. Even that I left university with my M.Pa. 20 years ago.

By Maria A V

Dec 14, 2017

This is one of the best courses I have ever studied. It gives extensive insight in the political, cultural, historical and institutional backgrond of contemporary muslim countries. It provides sociological and interpretative threads to understand the main challenges met by these peoples in their "clash" with modernity, in a heartful and deeply researched attempt to find a way out of backwardness and radicalization, an attempt that defies radicalized and istitutionalized Islamic views, but also profoundly respects Islam itself.

By Andrés J C H

Dec 07, 2017

Amazing course.

By Antoine C

Dec 03, 2017

Awesome course, very well presented and formative. I recommend this course to anyone that want to understand the situation in the middle east, very well done

thank you

By Ebbe S

Nov 30, 2017

A very interesting and inspiring course that I can recommend warmly.

By Brice B

Nov 28, 2017

I have attended 24 courses on Coursera and this one is the worst by far. It is such a pity. I was very much looking forward to attending it. The course is poorly designed (for example, the lecturer doesn't begin by explaining what Islam is, what distinguish shiites and sunnis...). The lecturer makes almost no use of the media (apart from him reading his notes we only see a picture and a title from time to time), he is unbearably slow, stumbles on words (why didn't they re-shoot some of these sequences???). His course is an almost uninterrupted flow of words, with very little effort to hierarchize the claims he makes (slides would have helped doing just that), and, what is worst, he repeats himself time and again. His ideas are half-backed, as if he lacked the time to think things through. I have attended two weeks of the course and am amazed by how little I have learned. Don't loose your time watching this. Check out the books in the collection "Very Short Introductions to" instead. I have found them very helpful. It's such a pity...

By Ludivine D

Oct 09, 2017

Cours excellent et passionnant.

Il aurait, néanmoins, gagné en clarté en synthétisant et en structurant. Il nécessite de disposer d'un temps d'apprentissage très conséquent.

By Anca C

Oct 04, 2017

As an International Relations student I must say this was an extremely useful course. I am very satisfied with the result and with the way that the Prof. Afsah approached each lesson. Congratulations!

By Tamar V

Sep 19, 2017

Excellent course!

By Antje M

Sep 07, 2017

I enjoyed this (as my first) coursera course from Ebrahim Afsah. I feel now to have a comprehensive overview about Arabic history and colonial past. I've learned to understand the struggles of the Arab world to be dissatisfied by capitalism and communism. The course also allowed a critical point of view on the missing self-criticism of the Arab World. All in all, although this was a lot of information to take in, i can say that I would love to take other courses by this Professor and his team. It was professional but also entertaining, with good materials and personal insights. Thank you and I believe we will see us again.

By Jorge D V P

Sep 06, 2017

It has been an excellent course, really very useful, I am very interesting the way to face the same on the part of the teacher, with a diagram that was very clear and didactic. The development of a theme as complex as this, especially for Westerners who really have little access to reliable sources in the face of the issue, given that we always find political and religious interests hidden behind. Really very good, I am currently attending the course on the failure of democracies after the Arab Spring. A pleasure greetings and I would like to continue investigating on this subject that I am passionate about.

By Gregg H

Sep 04, 2017

Very broad yet detailed description of a crucial cultural, economic and diplomatic area.

By Marcus B

Aug 30, 2017

Excellent and far reaching course

By C.Winkel

Aug 26, 2017

Very comprehensive overview about the topic. The instructor is clearly enthusiastic about the course and gives a wide overview. Intellectually very stimulating.

By Grace E

Aug 15, 2017

Great class, the instructor gave a nuances and constructive overview of the different patterns of governance in different Muslim majority countries.

By Luis C T S

Aug 13, 2017

I am studying International Relations and this course is an excellent option for me to learn more about the muslim world.