Clifford A. Kiracofe, Jr., Ph.D.

PO 438-01 - Topics In Middle East Politics:  The Challenge Of Radical Islam

440 Scott Shipp Hall
Hours: 9:00-12:00 Tuesdays

This independent study course will use the case study method and each student will produce an analytic research paper focusing on a country of his/her choice.  First, the student will develop a working understanding of political Islam as the context for the manifestation of radical Islam in the selected country.  Then, the student will analyze radical Islamic movements and militant (including “terrorist”) organizations in the selected country with particular focus on their ideology, composition and leadership structure, and operational style.  Socio-economic conditions in the country under analysis will be considered as will international linkages between radical Islamic movements.

Required Reading

Students will read the following selected texts in sequence to develop a working understanding of Political Islam, and Radical Islam specifically:

  1. M.E. Salla, Islamic Radicalism: Muslim Nations and the West, 1993.  Introduction and Chapter 1, “The ‘Islamic Revival’ and the impact of Islamic radicalism.”
  2. R. Hrair Dekmejian, Islam in Revolution, Fundamentalism in the Arab World, 1985. Chapter 1, “Islamic Resurgence in Modern Society,” Chapter 2, “History of Islamist Movements,” Chapter 3, “The Social-Psychological Bases of Islamic Revivalism,” Chapter 4, “Islamist Ideology and Practice.”
  3. John L. Esposito, ed., Political Islam, “Introduction” (Esposito), Chapter 1, “Fulfilling Prophecies: State Policy and Islamist Radicalism” (Lisa Anderson), Chapter 11, “Relations Among Islamist Groups (John Obert Voll).


Students will make use of the Reference Desk at Preston Library, as well as search databases of scholarly articles such as JSTOR.  In addition, students will search on the Internet for relevant news, news analysis, and opinion.

Research Paper

The research paper will be 30 pages maximum, with additional pages of footnotes and bibliography as needed.  Please make use of the “Writing Center” for assistance as you organize write first and final draft.  They are professional writers and can greatly assist you in the pursuit of excellence in your written communication skills.  We will use Chicago Style format. Check out this cool U. Mich. website for pointers on term papers:

Students should finish research phase in about 4 weeks, writing phase in about 4 weeks, and revision/final draft phase in about 4 weeks.

DUE DATE:  Friday, 10 December 2004.