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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1168642
 
 

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Islamic Foundations for a Social Contract in Non-Muslim Liberal Democracies


Andrew F. March


Yale University

May 1, 2007

American Political Science Review, Vol. 101, No. 2, pp. 235-252, May 2007

Abstract:     
In this article I take up John Rawls's invitation to investigate the capacity of a given comprehensive ethical doctrine to endorse on principled grounds the liberal terms of social cooperation. In the case of Islamic political ethics, however, far more is at stake in affirming citizenship in a (non-Muslim) liberal democracy than state neutrality and individual autonomy. Islamic legal and political traditions have traditionally held that submission to non-Muslim political authority and bonds of loyalty and solidarity with non-Muslim societies are to be avoided. In this article, I examine the Islamic foundations for affirming on principled grounds residence, political obligation and loyalty to a non-Muslim state. My research shows not only that such grounds exist even in classical Islamic legal discourses, but also that the concerns of Islamic scholars vindicate political liberalism's claim to successfully accommodate the adherents of certain non-liberal doctrines by refraining from proclaiming controversial metaphysical truth-claims.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: Islam, Islamic law, liberalism, overlapping consensus, Rawls

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Date posted: July 22, 2008 ; Last revised: July 27, 2009

Suggested Citation

March, Andrew F., Islamic Foundations for a Social Contract in Non-Muslim Liberal Democracies (May 1, 2007). American Political Science Review, Vol. 101, No. 2, pp. 235-252, May 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1168642

Contact Information

Andrew F. March (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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