Political Theory

Citadel of Salahuddin Ayyubi, Cairo, Egypt

Our approach to political theory focuses on the Umma as a central conceptual space in the study of descriptive/empirical questions in political science as well as prescriptive/normative questions in political philosophy.

Ummatic political theory covers broad issues pertaining to siyasa shar’iyya, iqamat al-din, and the nature of the Quranic mission, as well as human rights, questions of collective existence and action, and more. All of this is undertaken with and through an engagement of relevant scholarship from the Islamic and human sciences.

Some of the questions and areas covered by our study of Political Theory

Political theory of the caliphate and its institutions

Classical Islamic political theory (major thinkers, models, development, genealogy, critiques), with a particular focus on the theoretical aspects of the siyasa shar’iyya and ahkam sultaniyya literature

Modern Islamic political theory (major thinkers, movements, models, development, genealogy, critiques), with a particular emphasis on their engagements with contemporary problems

Analysis and critical evaluation of governance practices in historical caliphates

Analysis and critical evaluation of authoritarianism, dysfunction, and disunity in the post-colonial and contemporary Muslim world

Analysis and critical evaluation of liberal political theory and its foundational concepts (freedom, democracy, secularism)

Consideration and critique of non-liberal theories (including communitarian, agonistic, Christian, Marxist, feminist, and decolonial theories)

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