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L641 Constutionalism in the Middle East

Description There have been great upheavals in the predominately Arab Middle East over the past year or so, with established autocracies overthrown, in some cases through demonstrations in the streets and with very little violence. In other countries, entrenched regimes fought#or are fighting#to remain in power. This course explores these changes, assessing whether majoritarian democracy or true constitutional democracy is on the way in the region. The course also assesses several constitutional models in the region, including scholarly readings and some of the constitutions themselves. The role of institutional actors will also be considered, such as the judiciary, parliaments, the executive, and so on. Other issues to be assessed include centralization/federalism, separation of powers, protection of property rights, and the protection of human rights. In respect to each of these areas#but particularly in respect to human rights#emphasis will be placed on the model#s self-perceived interaction with principles of Islamic law, which has, since the revolution in Iran, become the major force to be reckoned with in the Islamic Middle East, largely displacing nationalism. The reasons for, impact on, and implications for continued constitutional development of adherence to Islamic principles will be considered. Emphasis will particularly be placed on the interface between Islamic constitutional thought and modern liberal influences. Course participation throughout the semester will account for 20% of the total grade. The paper will account for 60%, and presentation of the paper will account for 20% of the total grade.

Note This course may offer writing credit.

Faculty F. Istrabadi

SemesterTitleFaculty
Spring 2012 - 2013Constutionalism in the Middle EastIstrabadi, F.