Syllabus - NES206 - Militant Islamism

Syllabus - NES206 - Militant Islamism - PRINCETON...

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1 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF NEAR EAST STUDIES SPRING TERM 2008 NES 206 - Militant Islamism Instructor: Thomas Hegghammer Email: Office: 328 Aaron Burr Hall Tel: (609) 258-7217 Office hours: Wednesdays 4.30 pm - 6.30 pm Schedule/Classroom Assignment: Lecture: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1.30 pm – 2.20 pm – McCosh 66 Precept 1: Tuesdays 2.30 pm – 3.20 pm – Frist 206 Precept 2: Thursdays 2.30 pm – 3.20 pm – Frist 206 Course description Militant Islamism has been a source of political instability in the Middle East for decades and emerged after 9/11 as a central issue in contemporary US security policy. The so-called “global war on terrorism” continues to affect US foreign policy and international politics in several profound ways. The question of why Islamist violence erupts when, where and in the way it does therefore concerns anyone seeking to understand Middle East politics, international relations and US foreign policy. This course looks at the causes, dynamics and historical manifestations of violent Islamism since the early 1970s. The geographical focus is on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, although the transnational nature of the phenomenon will also bring our inquiry to other regions. The perspective is actor-oriented, i.e. centered on the individuals, groups and movements that have advocated and perpetrated political violence in the name of Islam. The course relies for the most part on secondary sources, but some primary sources such as propaganda statements and videos will be studied in class. The course has a strong empirical component, because the study of Islamist militancy requires both detailed knowledge of individual groups and a good grasp of the history, politics and society of the countries in which the groups operate. The course also includes a theoretical component; we will discuss relevant social scientific approaches to the study of political violence as well as key concepts of Islamist ideology. The overall aim is to provide course participants with the factual knowledge and the conceptual tools necessary to conduct lucid and unbiased analyses of Islamist militancy. The syllabus is divided into three main parts. The first part provides a brief introduction to the general literature on political violence, terrorism and Islamism and presents the analytical framework for the subsequent lectures. The second part offers an historical overview of militant Islamism from the early 1970s until today. In the third part we will look in more depth at jihadism in four contexts of particular importance to US foreign policy (Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and USA/Europe). Course Requirements 150-200 pages of reading per week 3 response papers (400-800 words) at weeks of student’s choice Midterm exam and final exam
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2 The final grade will be determined by the exam results as well as the participation in precept sessions, weighted as follows: Midterm Exam: 35% - Final Exam: 50% - Precept
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course NES 206 taught by Professor Hegghammer during the Spring '08 term at Princeton.

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Syllabus - NES206 - Militant Islamism - PRINCETON...

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