Margaret Scott Rauch
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Margaret Scott works as a freelance journalist, currently focusing on the role of Islam in Indonesian politics. She has been writing for The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement. Before that she spent several years working in Tokyo as a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and The Los Angeles Times Magazine. Margaret also lived and worked in Hong Kong as the cultural editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. She has been a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, the Courier-Post in Camden, New Jersey and KTCA Public Television in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Margaret Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University.

Semester Course
Spring 2015 UPADM-GP.246.001 Democratizing Islam? From Indonesia to the Ruins of the Arab Spring

What is the role of Islam in the fight for democracy? This course will look at four Muslim-majority countries - Indonesia, Turkey, Iran and Egypt - and create a frame for understanding the complex interplay of religion and politics in the successes and failures of democratization. The class will discuss the work and ideas of democratic activists from the Islamic world, place those activists in the narrative of democracy and religion-state relations, and examine their opponents from both the secular and religious camps. The course will build on a foundation of the basics of Islam, democratization theory and social movement theory. And as we move from Indonesia to the Middle East, we will also examine the role of geopolitics in the crushing of democratic movements.

In Indonesia, a student-led uprising in 1998 ended Suharto's 32 years of jackboot rule. The nation's rocky path of democratization would not have been possible without the crucial contribution of Muslims promoting conceptions of Islam that are compatible with democratic values. In Turkey, the Justice and Development Party has evolved from its Islamist roots to embracing democracy as the ruling party, despite a backlash from Turkey's wary secularists and the ruling party’s dwindling commitment to democratic values. From our look at the role of Islam in furthering democratic politics in Indonesia and Turkey, the class will examine the opposite in Iran. We will look at the destruction of the Green Movement in the name of a theocratic Islamic state. These successes and failures will frame the ongoing drama in Egypt, where pro-democracy activists triggered Hosni Mubarak's ouster, only to see their aspirations wiped out in a military coup. We will explore what has happened in Egypt against the backdrop of a region consumed by civil wars, geopolitical rivalries, an anti-democratic backlash and fighters bent on creating an Islamic state. This course is part of the new Public Policy Major.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2012 UPADM-GP.0246.001 Democratizing Islam? From Indonesia to the Ruins of the Arab Spring

What is the role of Islam in the fight for democracy? This course will look at four Muslim-majority countries - Indonesia, Turkey, Iran and Egypt - and create a frame for understanding the complex interplay of religion and politics in the successes and failures of democratization. The class will discuss the work and ideas of democratic activists from the Islamic world, place those activists in the narrative of democracy and religion-state relations, and examine their opponents from both the secular and religious camps. The course will build on a foundation of the basics of Islam, democratization theory and social movement theory. And as we move from Indonesia to the Middle East, we will also examine the role of geopolitics in the crushing of democratic movements.

In Indonesia, a student-led uprising in 1998 ended Suharto's 32 years of jackboot rule. The nation's rocky path of democratization would not have been possible without the crucial contribution of Muslims promoting conceptions of Islam that are compatible with democratic values. In Turkey, the Justice and Development Party has evolved from its Islamist roots to embracing democracy as the ruling party, despite a backlash from Turkey's wary secularists and the ruling party’s dwindling commitment to democratic values. From our look at the role of Islam in furthering democratic politics in Indonesia and Turkey, the class will examine the opposite in Iran. We will look at the destruction of the Green Movement in the name of a theocratic Islamic state. These successes and failures will frame the ongoing drama in Egypt, where pro-democracy activists triggered Hosni Mubarak's ouster, only to see their aspirations wiped out in a military coup. We will explore what has happened in Egypt against the backdrop of a region consumed by civil wars, geopolitical rivalries, an anti-democratic backlash and fighters bent on creating an Islamic state. This course is part of the new Public Policy Major.


Download Syllabus