Political Theory

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’iyyaiqamat 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

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

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

Political theory of the caliphate and its institutions

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

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

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

Latest on Political Theory

On Ḥakimiyyah: Sovereignty of God and Communal Authority

Ali Harfouch
July 16, 2023

Inventing Generation M: The Umma and Neoliberalism

Ali Harfouch
February 19, 2023

Irredeemable Failure: The Modern Nation-State as a Nullifier of Ummatic Unity

Joseph Kaminski
December 14, 2022

The Great Fitnah: Secular Power and Muslim Future(s)– Part 2

Ali Harfouch
September 12, 2022

The Great Fitnah: Secular Power and Muslim Future(s) – Part 1

Ali Harfouch
September 12, 2022

Secular Neutrality and the Failed Political Experiment in Tunisia

Joseph Kaminski
September 12, 2022

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