Sarah Feuer (Ph.D. candidate) wins ASMEA Best Student Paper Award

Nov. 25, 2013

Sarah Feuer, Ph.D. candidate in Politics and Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, has been awarded this year's Best Student Paper Award at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). Sarah's paper, "The Politics of Religious Education in Morocco and Tunisia: Historical Trends and Current Debates", is currently under review for publication in ASMEA’s peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of the Middle East and Africa.

Abstract: In the Arab world, nearly every country incorporated the establishment of religion into its state- and nation-building projects of the last century.  Public education emerged as a central, if contested, site for these projects. Yet, the scope and content of religious instruction have varied across time and place.  What explains this variation?  The paper addresses this question by examining shifts in the incorporation of Islamic education into the national curriculum of Moroccan and Tunisian public secondary schools between 1956 and 2010.  The central argument is that changes in religious education curricula have been tools employed in the name of regime survival and have principally resulted from two key political factors: 1) the regime’s institutional endowment, e.g. whether the ruling authority enjoyed a strong party and/or bureaucracy capable of imposing its political will, and 2) the constellation of available allies and opponents confronting the regime. 

More information about the 2013 Annual ASMEA Conference is available on the ASMEA website.