Political Islam: Theory

Posted: 12 May 2015

See all articles by Andrew F. March

Andrew F. March

Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2015


This essay focuses on questions that pertain to the ideological, normative, symbolic, and epochal aspects of political Islam. Political theorists, historians, sociologists, and anthropologists have disagreed on whether political Islam is an exclusively modern political phenomenon or is indebted to long-standing Islamic religious commitments. More specifically, they have also disagreed on whether the shape and ambitions of political Islam are entirely determined by the powers and institutions of the modern, bureaucratic state, particularly its secular desire to control, regulate, and reshape religion. These interpretive debates have often sat uneasily with ongoing normative debates about what kind of secularism democracy requires and whether democracy has priority over liberal rights and freedoms.

Suggested Citation

March, Andrew F., Political Islam: Theory (May 2015). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 18, pp. 103-123, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-082112-141250

Andrew F. March (Contact Author)

Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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