SMNR: Islamic Law and Political Violence

Class Unique: 29012

This seminar examines theories and approaches to the study of political violence. It starts with a survey of the juristic discussions on legitimate and illegitimate violence. It shows how Muslim jurists, by the 11th century, had developed a sophisticated discourse on the proper limits on the conduct of warfare, political violence, and terrorism. This seminar then explores how these juristic discourses are no longer part of the normative categories of contemporary Muslim societies. The seminar shifts attention to the rise of Islamism and the failure of the nationalist projects of the post-colonial era in Muslim majority countries. It addresses specific case studies of Islamist political violence in local and global contexts. Some of the central questions that this seminar examines include: How does violence differ from other types of political action? What are the reasons for Islamist political violence? How do Muslim jurists theorize rebellion, revolution, and order?

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Wednesday 3:00 - 6:00 pm JON 5.257
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed


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