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IR4604   Political Islam and International Relations

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 12 noon Thurs

This module examines the causes, evolution and diffusion of political Islam in the core regions of the Muslim world and beyond in the modern period. It aims to describe the key features of this phenomenon, its influence on national and regional politics as well as on international relations. It describes the specificity of political Islam as a religious-based ideology and how it informs the raise of pro-Islamic movements across the Muslim world. It focuses on the relationship between Islamic movements and state, and between Islamic movements and civil society within the context of political liberalism and pluralism. The liberal and scriptural interpretations that dominate contemporary debates will be examined in relation to the local, national, regional and global context of contemporary international politics. Of particular relevance are the issues of the compatibility of politics and democracy, of political Islam and state power, of political Islam and liberal-democracy, and of the Western representation of political Islam as a security threat.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 46

Guided independent study hours: 254

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%


Module coordinator: Dr H Lai
Module teaching staff: Dr Hsinyen Lai

Intended learning outcomes

  • Acquire a clear understanding of the concepts and literature of relevance to Political Islam.
  • Acquire familiarity with the processes and actions that occur in the context of contemporary elaboration and implementation of Islamist ideas and policies;
  • Develop a strong understanding of Political Islam through the analysis of selected case studies.
  • Articulate this understanding in oral form, through presentations and class discussion.
  • Articulate this in written form in assessed work and end of semester examinations.
  • Develop their research and analytical skills.