Jihad: Political Islam from the Muslim Brotherhood to IS



A proper introduction to political Islam best employs various perspectives so as to gain a broad overview of this compelling topic: that means engaging both the humanities and the social science approach.

This course starts with a historical perspective: we will look at how political authority in the classical Muslim world related to Islam and how this ‘classical order’ became unsustainable in the 18thand 19th century, when large parts of the Muslim world were subjected to European dominance. This offers us a crucial historical background and will familiarize us with the numerous historical references and terminology that the discourse of political Islam abounds with. Another angle this course takes is thematic and starts from the assessment that Islam as a religious tradition and large parts of the Muslim world’s politics are in a crisis. This crisis revolves to a large extent around the question of authority (Who speaks for Islam? And who can claim political power?) and the quest for authenticity (Where is ‘the pure Islam’? And what is the basis of citizenship in contemporary Muslim countries?). These two themes will help us in our discussions of the attraction of extreme violence; the ‘failure of political Islam’; Salafism; and ‘post-Islamism’. Finally, to get a rounded understanding of the phenomenon of political Islam, we will conduct a number of case studies, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and Islamic State. By the end of this course the student will have a thorough understanding of political Islam across the breadth of its manifestations, from the embryonically democratic to the ecstatically radical.

Date, time, location and price

  • Date: 30 October - 13 December 2017 (to be confirmed)
  • Time: Mondays 17:00 - 19:00 and Wednesdays 19:00 - 21:00 (to be confirmed)
  • Number of courses: 14
  • Location: Oudemanhuispoort D0.09
  • Price: 180 / 162 (discount price for AUV-members)

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Important information

Course type Open UvA-Course
Education Lectures
Semester/blok Semester 1, block 2
Language English
Study material Published on Blackboard
Other You may only attend the lectures, not the seminars or other extras. It is not possible to partake in exams or obtain credits.  
Deadline registration 23 Oktober 2017 (subject to availability)


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After registration

Directly after signing up for a course you receive confirmation of your registration by e-mail. 


The tuition fee will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Registration for an Open UvA-Course for UvA employees is free. 


Blackboard is the digital learning environment of the University of Amsterdam and is used by all teachers and (regular) students of the UvA. Illustere School students may also use Blackboard. Your personal codes will be send to you by email.  


Published by  Illustere School