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Islam and Politics in the Mediterranean: Ideology, Activism and Change

6 hour course by Lurdes Vidal (Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals & Blanquerna - Universitat Ramon Llull)

  • Schedule: 3 & 4 July (14:00-17:00)
  • Venue: Blanquerna

This course examines the interaction between Islam and politics from different perspectives and disciplines, in different time periods and very far away geographies. It will focus on the diverse forms of expressing religiosity in the socio-political sphere and engage with the key debates around them. The role of Islam regarding the state in Muslim-majority countries and when Islam is a minority, political ideology, popular activism and political violence will be analysed in the framework of contemporary challenges. Therefore, major strands of Islamist and Islam-inspired movements will be addressed: from socio-religious associations to political parties, CSOs, opinion-makers, artists, influencers and social movements, a panoply of entities and dynamics that have a global reach. The course will provide insights on their approach to democracy, their theological grounding, their relation with violence and will focus particularly on the narratives they create around the past, the present and the future.

Lurdes Vidal
Director of the Arab and Islamic World Department at IEMed until 2022. She lectures on Mediterranean, Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and at Blanquerna-Ramon Llull University.

Having held various positions at the IEMed since 2003, Lurdes was Editor-in-Chief of the journal afkar/idees, Sientific Coordinator of MAGIC (Muslim women and communities Against Gendered Islamophobia in soCiety), and Sientific Coordinator of CONNEKT, H2020 research project, which studies the drivers of radicalisation and violent extremism among youth in MENA and the Balkans.

Graduated in Translation and Interpreting from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, she lived in Damascus before studying International Relations and becoming a translator for migrant-related and development cooperation organisations.

Passionate about the Arab world, researching into political Islam since 1998, Lurdes is a regular contributor to different media outlets.