Checking date: 18/05/2022

Course: 2022/2023

History and Politics of the Islamic world
Study: Bachelor in History and Politics (352)

Coordinating teacher: CURNIS , MICHELE

Department assigned to the subject: Humanities: History, Geography and Art Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
The Origin of the State and Political Ideas of Antiquity and Middle Ages
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
The content of the course about "History and politics of the Islamic world" is aimed at introducing the student to the main analytical tools of a state model that was born during the 7th century and survived until the contemporary age, throughout many modifications and a several centuries transformation. The program contemplates the roots of the primitive Arab state, its conquests, expansion and evolution, as well as its cultural influence both on the spaces dominated by the Arabs and on other political institutions of their environment, highlighting in particular the dialogue with Europe throughout the Middle Ages. SECTION 1. THE BIRTH OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD: UNITY, EXPANSION AND CULTURE 1. Introduction. The Islamic world: the religious and political facets. The sources of knowledge about the Islamic world. The foundations: the geopolitical context of Arabia and its environment between the 6th and 7th centuries. 2. Muhammad: his life and projects. Religious principles. Between Mecca, the Hegira and the "Medina constitution". The first religious and political organization of the Arabs. 3. Religious and legal principles of Islam: the five pillars of the Muslim believer and the sharia in its first organization. The legal schools and their influence on the transformation of the obligations of the Muslim believer. SECTION 2. GEOPOLITICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD 4. The succession of Muhammad: Sunnis and Shiites. The Umayyad Dynasty and the Abbasid Caliphate. 5. Byzantium, the Persian Empire, the Visigoths and their confrontations with Islam. 6. A model of the Arab state in Europe: Al Ándalus and "the great century of Abderramán III". 7. The Spain of the Cid between Christianity and Islam. 8. The internal and external fragmentation of the Arab peoples and its consequences. 9. The Mongols and the Ottomans and their affiliation to Islam. SECTION 3. POLITICAL (RE)PRESENTATION OF ISLAM 10. Culture and political-institutional tradition in the Islamic world. 11. The political thought of Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarjan ibn Uzalag al-Farabi. 12. Arab historiography on the crusades. 13. Modernization and Arab nationalism. 14. Islamic radicalism and the phenomenon of jihadist violence 15. The Islamic world in international politics.
Learning activities and methodology
AF1. THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL CLASSES. Formal presentation of the knowledge that the students must acquire. They will receive the class notes and will have basic reference texts to facilitate the follow-up of the classes and the development of the subsequent work. Exercises, practical problems will be solved on the part of the student and workshops and evaluation tests will be carried out to acquire the necessary skills. AF2. TUTORIALS. Individualized assistance (individual tutorials) or group tutorials (group tutorials) to students by the teacher. AF3. INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP WORK OF THE STUDENT. MD1. MAGISTRAL LECTURES. Presentations by the teacher with the support of audiovisual media, in which the main concepts of the subject are developed and the materials and bibliography are provided to complement the students' learning. MD2. PRACTICES. Resolution of practical cases, problems, etc. raised by the teacher individually or in groups. MD3. TUTORIALS. Individualized assistance (individual tutorials) or group tutorials (group tutorials) to students by the teacher.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 50
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 50
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • José Luis Villacañas. El gran siglo de Abderramán III: crisis y europeización de los poderes hispanos. Guillermo Escolar. 2019

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.

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