课程信息
Learn why the hope and excitement of the Arab Spring is gone, why so many Arab states are falling apart, why the youth are so frustrated, why there are so many refugees, and what can be done about it. The so-called Arab Spring appeared to end decades of exceptionalism and bring the Arab world back into the mainstream of global developments. The rebellions promised the return of politics and the reassertion of popular sovereignty against their corrupt and geriatric leaders. Much hope and flowery language greeted the young men and women who deposed their leaders and tried to build new, better societies. Today, the Arab world is in deep crisis. Of the 22 member states of the Arab League, at least five have essentially collapsed: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria exist only in name today, as their territories have fallen to competing, murderous armed groups. In the remaining countries, the old autocracies have reasserted themselves. The repression at home is now worsened by regional conflict on an unprecedented scale, and the resulting frustration has led to the biggest refugee flows in recent memory. What went wrong? This course offers an overview of the structural shortcomings of Arab states and societies, which help us understand why the democratic awakening did not happen but instead “has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism.” This raises the obvious and renewed question whether there is something inherent in the Arab, and by analogy Muslim, condition that makes them special. Does this condition make this part of the world impervious to generally observable trends towards greater accountability, popular participation in political decision-making, greater generation and fairer division of economic wealth? Join this course to find out!
Globe

100% 在线课程

立即开始,按照自己的计划学习。
Beginner Level

初级

Clock

完成时间大约为14 小时

建议:6 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

字幕:English, Arabic, Spanish
Globe

100% 在线课程

立即开始,按照自己的计划学习。
Beginner Level

初级

Clock

完成时间大约为14 小时

建议:6 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

字幕:English, Arabic, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Instability and Institutional Failure

In this section, you will become acquainted with some of the mistakes that were made in the decades prior to the outbreak of the recent Arab rebellions. These shortcomings have led to stunted and underperforming political systems, much at variance with developments elsewhere....
Reading
4 videos (Total 38 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
1b. The Arab Exception: Critical Reason and Responsibility8m
1c. Relativism and Reality: The Price of Inadaption12m
1d. Physical Elections and Necessary Comparisons7m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Broken Societies and an Aborted Awakening16m
The Arab Exception: Critical Reason and Responsibility16m
Relativism and Reality: The Price of Inadaption16m
Physical Elections and Necessary Comparisons16m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Governance

At the heart of most of the enduring problems plaguing the Arab world is the availability of essentially free income flowing to the governments of the region. These ‘rents’ have sustained a repressive arrangement in which citizens pay little or no taxes and have no voice....
Reading
4 videos (Total 44 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
2b. The Authoritarian Social Contract and the Absence of Politics12m
2c. Now is the Winter of Our Discontent9m
2d. The Absence of Politics: Fear, Stability, Institutional Decay, and Polarising Elections11m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 20m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Missing the Boat to the 'Third Wave' of Democratisation16m
The Authoritarian Social Contract and the Absence of Politics16m
Now is the Winter of Our Discontent16m
The Absence of Politics: Fear, Stability, Institutional Decay, and Polarising Elections16m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Institutions

Social action inevitably produces institutions, namely values, stable, repeated patterns of behaviour. In this section, you will learn what institutions are, how they come about, how their relative effectiveness is measures, how and why they decline, and why all that matters. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 43 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
3b. The Miracle of Politics: Accountability and Effectiveness9m
3c. Contestation of Models: Is 'Good Governance' a Western or an Islamic Idea?10m
3d. Contingency, Trajectories and Performance Standards12m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 310m
Quiz4 practice exercises
The Necessity of Politics: Power and Authority16m
The Miracle of Politics: Accountability and Effectiveness16m
Contestation of Models: Is 'Good Governance' a Western or an Islamic Idea?16m
Contingency, Trajectories and Performance Standards16m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Economics: Bread, Dignity and Freedom

This section deals with the material bases of popular discontent, especially the connection between the states’ explicit promises of delivering welfare that have become increasingly unsustainable in the face of exploding population growth and falling revenues....
Reading
4 videos (Total 44 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
4b. Labour Market: Insiders and Outsiders8m
4c. Law, Institutions and Economic Performance10m
4d. Trade, Productivity and Rent Seeking: Living on Borrowed Time14m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 40m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Material Base of Discontent16m
Labor Market: Insiders and Outsiders16m
Law, Institutions and Economic Performance12m
Trade, Productivity and Rent Seeking: Living on Borrowed Time16m

5

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Human Development: Growth and Frustration

Structural changes beyond anyone’s control lead to different ways of living and, thus, value changes. With explosive population growth, social institutions have not kept up and norms are contested, often violently. Arab education and research especially have underperformed....
Reading
4 videos (Total 40 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
5b. Family Values: Conformity and Critical Thinking10m
5c. Demographics and the Youth Bulge11m
5d. Science and Education: Producing, Disseminating and Using knowledge11m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 50m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Structural Changes and Normative Resistance16m
Family Values: Conformity and Critical Thinking16m
Demographics and the Youth Bulge16m
Science and Education: Producing, Disseminating and Using knowledge16m

6

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Outlook: Elusive Stability

Tying together some of the structural shortcomings that have produced the dysfunction that drove the Arab rebellions, this section casts a somewhat gloomy picture about the formidable tasks ahead if these societies want to redress the causes of discontent and return to stability....
Reading
4 videos (Total 41 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
6b. Taking Responsibility10m
6c. Addressing Structural Failures4m
6d. Bracing for Trouble16m
Reading1 readings
Readings for module 60m
Quiz4 practice exercises
The Persistence of Foolish Ideas16m
Taking Responsibility16m
Addressing Structural Failures12m
Bracing for Trouble16m
4.6

Top Reviews

By BESep 4th 2017

That is the second class I am taking with Professor Afsah and would love to take more. The class is interesting, engaging and relevant. Highly recommended!

By EBSep 20th 2017

Excellent and very informative course, makes you think critically about the situation in the Middle East.

Instructor

Avatar

Dr. Ebrahim Afsah

Associate Professor

About University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen is the oldest University in Denmark - founded in 1479, and with over 38,000 students and more than 9,000 employees. The purpose of the University is to conduct research and provide education to the highest academic level. Based in Denmark's capital city it is one of the top research institutions in Europe. ...

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