Challenges to the Modern State: Notions of an ‘Islamic Alternative’
Tuesday, 6 May 2014 from 17:00 to 18:30 (BST)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Governance Project Seminar Series 2014
Seminar 1 - Challenges to the Modern State: Notions of an ‘Islamic Alternative’
Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Research Professor of Islamic studies, Department of Religion, Duke University
Mark Sedgwick, Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
Sami Zubaida, Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London
The first seminar will explore the idea, frequently advocated within Muslim contexts as well as by scholars specialised in the study of Islam, that an alternative model to the modern state was in place in Muslim contexts in the past and that it can be brought back to life in contemporary conditions. Attempts to define this ‘alternative model’ have been numerous in recent decades, both by theorists as well as by political leaders who had the opportunity to redefine political systems at specific historical junctures. Examples include Ayatollah Khomeini, Hassan al-Turabi and Rachid Ghannouchi. The seminar will examine these and other attempts in order to go beyond mere slogans and electoral rhetoric to the political arrangements suggested by such theorists and the experiments in ‘Islamic’ governance conducted by political regimes. It will do so in order to assess their nature, their feasibility, and their effectiveness. It will also explore the possible outcomes for the governed populations in question, as well as for the international order, in cases where these alternative models have been applied.
When & Where
Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
AKU-ISMC provides a multifaceted approach to the study of Muslim civilisations - within a framework of world cultures and through the humanities and social sciences - allowing for a wider analytical and comparative perspective. This approach is reflected in a post-graduate master's programme, professional programmes and through quality research and publications. It is reinforced by a unique bibliographical project, the Muslim Civilisations Abstracts.