Anthropology | Sem on States & Societies in Muslim Central & Southwestern Asia
E600 | 23496 | Shahrani


In this seminar  relationship between the institutions of state and
civil society in the newly independent states of Muslim Central Asia,
Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey will be comparatively examined.  Varying
concepts, structures, political economies, and ideological
justifications for the historically extant and changing forms of
states in the region will be discussed.  The consequences of differing
interventionist state policies such as extraction and distribution of
goods and services, administrative integration, as well as production
of knowledge, formation of personal and collective identities (ethnic,
national, etc.), and the shaping of political  discourses  of
modernism  will be explored.  Forms of resistance within civil
societies to state interventions and the resulting impact upon the
organizational structure and functions of states and "nation-building"
processes, will also be systematically examined.

The first part of the seminar will be devoted to the critical reading
and discussion of: a) general theoretical and methodological
literature on relationships between states and societies, both in the
West and in the Muslim world; and b) a significant body of recent
historical and ethnographic studies on the region.  The second part of
the seminar will consist of student project presentations.

Required Readings (some title may vary):

John Hall & G.J. Ikenberry	The State. (1989)
Anthony Smith  Nationalism and Modernism. (1998)
John Keene	Civil Society: Old Images, New Visions (1998)
Partha Chatterjee	The Nation and Its Fragments. (1993)
Sami Zubaida	Islam, the People and the State. (1993)
M. H. Ruffin & D. Waugh, eds. Civil Society in Central Asia.  (1999)
Khoury & Kostiner, eds.	Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East.
(1990)
Vitali Naumkin  State, Religion and Society in Central Asia. (1993)
Banuazizi & Weiner, eds.	The State, Religion and Ethnic Politics:
Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. (1986)
Olivier Roy	The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations (2000)
Metin Hepper	The State Tradition in Turkey. (1985)
Mostafa, Vaziri  Iran as Imagined Nation. (1993)

Course Requirements:

Critical written report of the reading assignments for each week
(about 2-3 double spaced typewritten pages) highlighting the most
significant points (positive and negative) about the authors' approach
in the text(s).  These brief weekly reviews are due in my office or
via e-mail () by 1:00pm on Wednesdays.  Students
are also expected to actively participate in class discussions, lead
class discussions, make an oral presentation of the term project, and
submit a term paper on the term project.  The term project will
consist of a review essay consisting of: 1) critical reading, detailed
assessment and synthesis of all required readings for the seminar; and
2) serious and reasoned reflection on how the theoretical, conceptual,
methodological and substantive issues covered in this seminar will (or
will not) be useful to your own specific topics or fields of research
interests and why.  The final essay should be about 20 typed pages
(double-spaced).