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Module Reading List

Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture, 2019/20, Semester 1, 2
Dr Mustapha Sheikh
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

LECTURE CLUSTER 1: Islam, Culture and Contemporary Arab Intelligentsia: Negotiating the Boundaries between the Sacred and the Secular ( Dr. Sameh Hanna)

Core Readings

 Abu-Rabi', I. M. (2004).Contemporary Arab thought : studies in post-1967 Arab intellectual history. London: Pluto. Chapters 2, 3 and 4.

Barakat, B. (1993). The Arab world : society, culture, and state. Berkley: University of California Press. Chapters 9, 10 and 11. 

Chalala, E. (1999). ‘Marcel Khalife Faces Charge over Darwish Poem; Arab Intellectuals Rally to Defend Creative Freedom’,  Aljadid: A Review & Record Of Arab Culture And Arts , 5 (28), 7 (available online at )

Clift, R., & Helani, F. (2010). ‘Inshallah: Religious Invocations in Arabic Topic Transition’, Language In Society , 39 (3), 357-382. (Available electronically at: ( fromPage=online&aid=7732876 )

Najjar, Fauzi M. (2000). ‘Islamic Fundamentalism and the Intellectuals: The Case of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd’. British journal of Middle Eastern studies., 27/2, 177-200. (available online through JSTOR).

-----------------. (1996). ‘The Debate on Islam and Secularism in Egypt’, Arab Studies Quarterly 18:2, Spring, 1-22.  

Tibi, B. (2009). Islam's predicament with modernity : religious reform and cultural change . London & New York: Routledge.

Further Readings

Berque, J., Stookey, R. W., Bezirgan, B., & Fernea, E. (1978). Cultural expression in Arab society today. Austin: U of Texas P.

Birgit Schaebler and Leif Stenberg (eds.) (2004) Globalization and the Muslim world : culture, religion, and modernity. New York: Syracuse University Press.

El-Enany, R. (1998). ‘The Dichotomy of Islam and Modernity in the Fiction of Naguib Mahfouz’, in J. Hawley (ed.), The postcolonial crescent : Islam's impact on contemporary literature (pp. 71-83). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Elmarsafy, Z. (2012).Sufism in the contemporary arabic novel. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh UP.

Jamsheer, H. (2010). ‘Arab-Islamic Thinkers in Paris: The Cases of Aṭ-Ṭahṭāwī, Al-Afgānī, 'Abduh and Ṭaha Ḥusayn’,  Rocznik Orientalistyczny , 63 (2), 39-48. 

Laroui, Abdallah. (1967). The crisis of the Arab intellectual : traditionalism or historicism? Berkeley: University of California Press.

Mikhail, M. N. (1980). ‘Broken Idols: The Death of Religion as Reflected in Two Short Stories by Idris and Mahfuz’, in I. Boullata (ed.), Critical perspectives on modern Arabic literature (pp. 83-93). Washington, DC: Three Continents.

Wise, R. (1998). ‘Subverting Holy Scriptures: The Short Stories of Yûsuf Idrîs’, in J. Hawley (ed.),The postcolonial crescent : Islam's impact on contemporary literature(pp. 140-154). New York, NY: Peter Lang.


LECTURE CLUSTER 2: Religious Authority (Ulema) and the Arab Revolutions (Mr. Mustapha Sheikh)

Core Readings

Agrama, H.A. (2010) ‘Ethics, tradition, authority: Toward an anthropology of the fatwa,’ American Ethnologist 37/1, pp. 2–18.  

Ayubi, N. (1991) Political Islam : religion and politics in the Arab world (London and New York: Routledge), Chapter 1.

Feldman, N. (2008) The fall and rise of the Islamic state (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press), Part 1. 

Hellyer, H.A. (2011) ‘Religious Authority, Islam and Revolution,’ Huffington Post, 12th June. Available at: .

Jackson, S. (2001) ‘Kramer versus Kramer in a Tenth/Sixteenth Century Egyptian Court: Post-Formative Jurisprudence between Exigency and Law,” Islamic law and society. 8/1, pp. 27–51.

Michot, Y. (2011) ‘Translation of the fatwa of Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi against Gaddafi,’ Hartford Seminary , 15 March (Will be provided as a handout).

Further Readings

Ajijola, A.A.D. (1998) ‘The Problem of ‘Ulama’, ’ in C. Kurzman, (ed.) Liberal Islam : a sourcebook (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 239–243.

Asad, T. (2003) Genealogies of religion : discipline and reasons of power in Christianity and Islam (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press).

Ibn Khaldun, ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu Zayd (2005) ‘Scholars are, of all people, those least familiar with the ways of politics,’ in F. Rosenthal (trans.) The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press), Chapter 6, section 41.

Jackson, S. (1996) Islamic law and the state : the constitutional jurisprudence of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill).

--------------------- (1996) ‘ Taqlid , Legal Scaffolding, and the Scope of Legal Injunctions in Post-Formative Theory: Mutlaq and ‘ Amm in the Jurisprudence of Shihab al-Din al-Qarafi,’ Islamic law and society. 3/2, pp. 165–192.

Kamali, M.H. (2003) Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society), Chapter 19.

----------------------- (1996) ‘Media Muftis: Radio Fatwas in Yemen,” in M.K. Masud, B. Messick, and D. Powers (eds.) Islamic legal interpretation : muftis and their fatwas , (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 310–322.

LECTURE CLUSTER 3: Politics of Islamic Finance (Dr. Mustapha Sheikh)

Core Readings:

Asutay, M. (2012) ‘Conceptualising and Locating the Social Failure of Islamic Finance: Aspirations of Islamic Moral Economy vs the Realities of Islamic Finance’, Asian and African Area Studies 11/2, pp. 93-113. For PDF: .  

Kuran, T. (2003) ‘The Islamic Commercial Crisis: Institutional Roots of Economic Underdevelopment in the Middle East’, The journal of economic history. 63/2, pp. 414-446.

Kuran, T. (2006) ‘Islamism and economics: policy prescriptions for a free society’ in Islam and the everyday world : public policy dilemmas, ed. S. Behdad and F. Nomani (Oxon: Routledge).

Kuran, T. (2012)The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East(Princeton University Press).

Warde, I. (2006) Islamic finance in the global economy (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press). This resource is available on-line via the library website.

Wilson, R. (2006) Islamic economics : a short history (Leiden: Brill).

Wilson, R. (2004) The politics of Islamic finance (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).

Further Readings:

‘Islamic finance sits awkwardly in a modern business school’, William Barnes, The financial times., July 21, 2013.

‘The future of Islamic finance in a global economy’, Baroness Warsi, speech delivered at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, published 7 June 2013.  

LECTURE CLUSTER 4: Gender and Islam in the Arab World (Dr. Fozia Bora)

Core Readings:

Manuela Marin, ‘Women, gender and sexuality’, chapter 12 of the The new Cambridge history of Islam, Volume 4: Islamic Cultures and Societies to the End of the Eighteenth Century , (Cambridge: CUP, 2011), pp. 355-379.

Nikki R. Keddie, ‘The Past and Present of Women in the Muslim World’, Journal of World History, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 77-108.

Lila Abu-Lughod, ‘Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others’, American anthropologist., New Series, Vol. 104, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 783-790.

Nawar Al-Hassan Golley, ‘Is Feminism Relevant to Arab Women? ’, Third world quarterly., Vol. 25, No. 3 (2004), pp. 521-536.

Margot Badran, ‘From Islamic Feminism to a Muslim Holistic Feminism’, IDS bulletin., Volume 42 Number 1, Jan 2011, pp. 78-87

Margot Badran, ‘Locating Feminisms: The Collapse of Secular and Religious Discourses in the Mashriq’, Agenda , No. 50, African Feminisms One (2001), pp. 41-57.

Deniz Kandiyoti, ‘Disentangling Religion and Politics: Whither Gender Equality? ’, IDS bulletin., Volume 42 Number 1, Jan 2011, pp. 10-14.

Further Readings:

Ziba Mir-Hosseini, ‘Towards Gender Equality: Muslim Family Laws and the Shari‘ah’ in Wanted : equality and justice in the Muslim family by Zainah Anwar ( Petaling Jaya: Musawah, 2009), pp. 23-55

Shadi Hamid, ‘ Between Orientalism and Postmodernism: The Changing Nature of Western Feminist Thought Towards the Middle East ’, Hawwa : journal of women in the Middle East and Islamic world., Volume 4, Number 1, 2006, pp. 76-92

Mariz Tadros,  The Muslim Brotherhood’s Gender Agenda: Reformed or Reframed? IDS bulletin., Volume 42 Number 1, Jan 2011, pp. 88-98

Mary Ann Fay, ‘Introduction - History: Middle East and North Africa’ Encyclopedia of women and Islamic cultures, (General Editor: Suad Joseph), (Leiden: Brill, 2010)

Ziba Mir-Hosseini, ‘Beyond “Islam” vs “Feminism”’, IDS bulletin., Volume 42, Number 1, Jan 2011, pp. 67-77

LECTURE CLUSTER 5: Islamists Political Parties and Democratic/Electoral Politics in the Arab World (Dr. Hendrik Kraetzschmar)

Core Readings:

Barah, M. 2012. “Religion and Politics in Arab Transitions.” Policy Brief No. 116 , FRIDE. Available at:

Barsalou, J. 2009. “Islamists at the ballot box: findings from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Turkey.” United States Institute for Peace , Available at: 1

Brown, N. and A. Hamzawy. 2010. Between religion and politics. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Press.

Clark, J. A. 2006. The Conditions of Islamist Moderation: Unpacking Cross-Ideological Cooperation in Jordan. International journal of Middle East studies., 38 (4), 539-560.

Haynes, J. and G. Ben-Porat. 2013. “Special Issue: Religion, Secularism and Politics: A Mediterranean View.” Mediterranean Politics18/2. (Articles by Haynes & Ben-Porat, Haynes, Pahwa, Hidde Donker, Dalmasso & Cavatorta)

Kraetzschmar, H.J. 2010. “Electoral Rules, Voter Mobilisation and the Islamist Landslide in the Saudi Municipal Council Elections of 2005”. Contemporary Arab affairs., 3/4, pp. 515-533.

Langohr, V. 2001. “Of Islamists and Ballot Boxes." International journal of Middle East studies., 33 , pp. 591-610.

Ottaway, M. and A. Hamzawy (eds.) 2009. Getting to pluralism : political actors in the Arab world. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Press, Chapters 1 & 3.  

Ozzano, L. and F. Cavatorta. 2013. ‘Special Issue: Religiously Oriented Parties and Democratisation’ Democratization. 20/5. (Articles by Ozzano & Cavatorta, Ozzano, Cavatorta and Merone).  

Schwedler, J. 2007. “Democratization, Inclusion and the Moderation of Islamist Parties”. Development, 50 /1, pp. 56-61.

Schwedler, J. 2011. “Can Islamists Become Moderates? : Rethinking the Inclusion-Moderation Hypothesis”. World politics., 63 /2, pp. 347-376.

Further Readings:

Albrecht, H. (ed.) 2010. Contentious politics in the Middle East : political opposition under authoritarianism. University of Florida Press, Chapters 6 & 8

Amajani, J. 2012. Modern Islamist movements : history, religion, and politics. Wiley-Blackwell.  

Browers, M.L. 2009.  Political ideology in the Arab world : accommodation and transformation. Cambridge University Press, Chapters 2, 3, (4) & Conclusion.

Haugbolle, R. and F. Cavatorta. 2013. “Beyond Ghannouchi: Islamism and Social Change in Tunisia”, in McMurray, D. and A. Ufheil-Somers, eds.The Arab revolts : dispatches on militant democracy in the Middle East, Indiana University Press, pp. 49-56.

Kraetzschmar, H.J. (ed.) 2013. The dynamics of opposition cooperation in the Arab world : contentious politics in times of change. Routledge, Chapters 1, 2 & 6.

Kraetzschmar, H.J. and F. Cavatorta. 2010. “Bullets over Ballots: Islamist Groups, the State and Electoral Violence in Egypt and Morocco”. Democratization. 17/2, pp. 326-349.  

Lust-Okar, E. and S. Zerhouni (eds.) 2008. Political participation in the Middle East. Lynne Rienner.

Lust-Okar, E. Structuring conflict in the Arab world : incumbents, opponents, and institutions. Cambridge University Press.

Pripstein-Posusney. M. and M. Penner Angrist. 2005. Authoritarianism in the Middle East : regimes and resistance. Lynne Rienner.  

Schwedler, J. 2006.Faith in moderation : Islamist parties in Jordan and Yemen. Cambridge University Press.

Tavana, D.L. (2011). “Party Proliferation and Electoral Transition in post-Mubarak Egypt”. The Journal of North African Studies , 16/4, pp. 555-571 (available from module tutor).

Wegner, E. 2011. Islamist opposition in authoritarian regimes : the Party of Justice and Development in Morocco. Syracuse University Press.

Willis, M. 2004. Morocco's Islamists and the Legislative Elections of 2002: The Strange Case of the Party that did not want to win”. Mediterranean Politics, 9 /1, pp. 53-81.

This list was last updated on 07/10/2013