Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2166953
 
 

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Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology


Andrew F. March


Yale University

October 25, 2012

Social Research (Special Issue: Political Theology), Forthcoming
Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 268

Abstract:     
The events that hastily came to be called “The Arab Spring” have done much to reopen the question of what it means for a Muslim society to be ruled legitimately and to force Islamist parties to account for their visions of sovereignty and authority in the public sphere. This paper provides a historical and conceptual background to certain modern attempts to harmonize ideals of divine and popular sovereignty. I pay special attention to the pre-2011 doctrines of Tunisian Islamist leader, Rashid al-Ghannushi, particularly his attempt to reconcile visions of divine and popular sovereignty through the doctrine of a universal covenant of vicegerency (istikhlaf). I contrast this doctrine of a “caliphate of man” with other modern attempts to institutionalize divine sovereignty (Saudi Arabia and Iran), while suggesting a set of ambiguities this doctrine raises both for the idea of rule by divine law (shari‘a) and for post-revolutionary expectations of democracy within a “civil state” (dawla madaniyya).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

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Date posted: October 26, 2012  

Suggested Citation

March, Andrew F., Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology (October 25, 2012). Social Research (Special Issue: Political Theology), Forthcoming; Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 268. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2166953

Contact Information

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