Modernity and Challenges to Traditional Societies(Constitutional struggles in the Muslim world)


As part of the course ‘Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World’ offered by University of Copenhagen, each of the participant have to study and analyzed Islamic majority nations in light of events in recent years.
This advanced undergraduate course offered a survey over the modern history and constitutional development throughout Muslim-majority nations. I have analyzed situation in different countries, generally on theme of ‘Modernity and Challenges to Traditional Societies’. It involved study of social, political, economical as well as religious institutions.

    Assignment 1 – Task description

This course has presented four distinct response patterns to the challenge of modernity. These four Models of Adaptation are, to recapitulate:
1. Emulation/Secularism
2. Religious Reform
3. Traditionalism
4. Fundamentalism

In the preceding weeks, you have been presented with one country or sub-region that embodies each of these response patterns. But do remember that these models are ideal types, that is that we can generally see elements of all four simultaneously at play in any given society. Iran, that you have just learned about in this week, is a good example of this general fact: we can find elements of all four models of adaptations throughout its modern history.
Write a well-argued, clearly structured, exposition that addresses at least three key questions:
1. What is special about modernity and which challenges does it generally pose to traditional
2. Which challenges did Iran face from the 19th century onwards and what had these to do with
3. Which elements of the first three response patterns can you make out in modern Iranian history, and what accounts, in your view, for the ultimate success of the forth in the shape of the victorious Islamic Revolution?

My essay

    Assignment 2 – Task description

The history of most states presented in weeks 6-9 is characterized by weak state institutions and a high prevalence of political violence (often employed along ethnic or religious lines). As a result, these states have been heavily under-performing over the past decades, both politically and economically.


Write a well-argued, clearly structured exposition that addresses the following key points plus any other you deem relevant:
definition of under-performance(economic, social, military, etc.)
role of institutions
reasons for this negative trends, giving examples from different regions examined in weeks 2-9
role of political Islam or Islamisation campaigns in that process
countries/phenomena that the instructor highlighted as exceptions from this general trend and their recipe for relative success.

My essay

Read more:
‘Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World’ – Course Review


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