ECON 326: Islam and the State

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Timur Kuran

Introduction to political history of Middle East from advent of Islam 14 centuries ago to modern era. Four objectives: (1) familiarize students with institutions responsible for characteristics of political development in region; (2) examine particular transformations/selected cases of inertia to derive lessons about mechanisms that govern political development, including democratization; (3) investigate how religion shaped region’s political trajectory; (4) identify social forces, especially economic forces, driving contemporary rediscovery/reinterpretation of Islam’s political organization and requirements, by both Islamists and secular political actors.


Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Scholarly article for a broad audience.
For whom? Lay readers with an interest in economics and policy.
Where would such writing typically be found?  A periodical for non-experts such as the Journal of Economics Perspectives.
Why would someone usually read it? According to the Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP): readers would find papers that “synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking.”


Reader requirements: Professional experience in any aspect of world affairs, international economics, international politics, the global economy, or the comparative history of civilizations; or other professional experience related to the Middle East.


Feedback response questions:


Student – Reader Interactions

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Link to full Syllabus:

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