INFORMAL & UNDERGROUND FINANCE This course aims to study the role of the informal (off- the-books) and underground (criminal) sectors in the global economy, from multiple perspectives ranging from economic development to law enforcement and global security. In the past decades, the removal of financial controls, combined with technological advances, has allowed deviant globalization (drug trade, piracy, cybercrime, counterfeiting, human trafficking, terrorist financing, etc.) to prosper, creating governance and law enforcement challenges to governments and corporations alike.
ISLAMIC BANKING & FINANCE The course is a comprehensive introduction to Islamic banking and finance. In addition to providing religious and historical background, the course discusses the political and economic context of the creation and evolution of Islamic institutions. The course will explain how Islamic products (murabaha, mudaraba, musharaka, ijara, sukuk, takaful, Islamic mutual funds and derivatives, etc.) work. The final part of the course will discuss Islamic finance in the context of the “war on terror” and the recent global financial meltdown.
THE ARABS & THEIR NEIGHBORS With a particular focus on the Arab world and the Levant, this course examines the evolution of nation-states in the Middle East from colonial rule to the present. Themes addressed include the rise of nationalism and pan-Arabism, ideologies of internal unity and regional tensions, Islam as a political force, globalization, reform and radicalism, the Arab revolts, and the search for new alternatives.
THE ISLAMIC WORLD: POLITICAL ECONOMY & BUSINESS CONTEXT This course aims to explain those aspects of the Islamic world—history, politics, economics, society, legal systems, business practices—that are necessary to conduct business or political negotiations in a number of countries. The course will discuss issues of political economy and business of the Islamic world, with a special focus on Islamic networks, business culture, oil, and issues of globalization and governance. Case studies will focus on specific companies and institutions. From a geographic standpoint, the course will focus primarily on Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf countries, although it will also include countries such as Malaysia and Pakistan. For MIB students, this course is one of the regional course options.
ISLAM AND POLITICS: RELIGION AND POWER IN WORLD AFFAIRS Islamic ideas and actors play an important part in global politics today. Their impact on political change, international security, and economic and social trends has shaped international relations in recent years. This course will trace the historical evolution of political Islam from both an international relations and a comparative politics perspective. A particular focus will be on the diversity of political Islam and on the religious factor in the "Arab Spring." The course will also look at the role of other religions in contemporary politics.