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Constructing New Political, Economic, and Social Realities

Constructing New Political, Economic, and Social Realities

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Constructing New Political, Economic, and Social Realities

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  1. Constructing New Political, Economic, and Social Realities

  2. The Global South: • Known previously as the Third World, Developing countries, or Least Developed Countries • During the second half of 20th century, represented 75 percent of world’s population • Almost all of the fourfold increase in human numbers in 20thcentury

  3. The Post-World War II years brought significant changes to much of Africa and Asia • Nationalist movements coupled with a weakened Europe led to the rise of many independent nations • But unlike Latin America after independence where large landowners benefited the most; in Africa and Asia, the educated elite benefited most

  4. But creating national unity was often difficult; particularly in Africa where competing political parties identified primarily with ethnic or “tribal” groups

  5. By the early 1980s, the military intervened in at least thirty of Africa’s forty-six independent states and actively governed more than half of them

  6. Achieving economic development has also proved immensely difficult

  7. And it is important to note that a common issue affecting the Global South involves the uneasy relationship between older traditions and the more recent outlook associated with modernity and West • And nowhere has the consequences of cultural experiments with modernity been more consequential than in the Islamic world

  8. Case Study: Turkey • After World War I, the modern nation of Turkey emerged from the ashes of Ottoman empire as a republic • The republic was led by the general, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) • During 1920s and 1930s, Atatürk presided over national cultural revolution

  9. Atatürk wanted to create a thoroughly modern and Western Turkish society and viewed many traditional Islamic institutions and beliefs as obstacles • Within a few years, the caliphate had officially ended, Sufi orders were disbanded, religious courts abolished, and sharia replaced by Swiss legal codes

  10. Public education was completely secularized, and the Latin alphabet replaced Arabic script for writing the Turkish language • Religious leaders (the ulama) were brought more firmly under state control

  11. The most visible symbol of the movement towards modernization and westernization occurred in the realm of dress or clothing • Turkish men ordered to abandon traditional headdress known as the fez and encouraged to wear brimmed hats

  12. Polygamy was abolished as was a husband’s right to repudiate his wife or wives • Under European-style legal codes, women achieved equal rights to divorce, child custody, inheritance, and education

  13. By mid-1930s, women granted right to vote in national elections

  14. Like Japan in the late 1800s, “revolution from above” led by military and civilian officials occurred • And these revolutionaries were unburdened by close ties to traditional landholding groups

  15. Yet Turkey underwent a cultural revolution in public life not a social or economic revolution • It was still firmly attached to Islamic tradition at the local level • Atatürk’s answer was to fully embrace modern culture and Western ways in public life and to relegate Islam to the sphere of private life

  16. Case Study: Iran • The epicenter of Islamic revival in the 1970s was Iran • As opposition mounted to the modernizing, secularizing, and American-supported government of the shah, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (reigned 1941-1979); an Islamic fundamentalist movement gained support

  17. One elderly cleric in particular, the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, organized opposition from exile in Paris and became the center of a growing movement demanding the shah’s removal

  18. As the nation revolted and slipped into anarchy, the shah abdicated; and in early 1979, he and his family fled the country • Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran and appointed his own government

  19. Iran became a theocracy; a government officials who were regarded as divinely appointed • Sharia became law of the land, and religious leaders themselves assumed reins of government • Culturally, the new regime sought moral purification of country under state control

  20. But no class upheaval or radical redistribution of wealth followed; private property was maintained, and a new privileged elite emerged • Nor did an Islamic revolution mean abandonment of economic modernity

  21. Iran is actively pursuing nuclear power and perhaps nuclear weapons, much to the consternation of the West