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PLM5430 - Political Islam

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Shahram Akbarzadeh


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This subject will explore the origins of 'political Islam' or 'Islamism'- a backlash against the economic, political and cultural dominance of the 'West'. It will survey the gamut of Islamist organisations in the Middle East, South and South East Asia against the backdrop of an increasingly shrinking world. Political Islam begins with the study of Islamic responses to European imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, with particular emphasis upon the emergence of Islamic modernism. It then focuses on the growth of Islamic movements and their response to contending ideologies, including secular nationalism and socialism. Finally we consider the impact of Islam on international relations.


Students successfully completing this subject will have gained a critical understanding of Islamic radicalism, in its different manifestations globally, and the political and conceptual forces that extend or hamper its scope. This subject will place political Islam within the context of a shrinking world and offer students a nuanced appreciation of relations between the West and the Muslim world.


Seminar presentation (2000 words): 10%
Short essay (2000 words): 30%
Research paper (5000 words): 60%

Contact hours

A 2-hour seminar per week