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  • Author: Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Soon after the American Revolution, ​certain of the founders began to recognize the strategic significance of Asia and the Pacific and the vast material and cultural resources at stake there. Over the coming generations, the United States continued to ask how best to expand trade with the region and whether to partner with China, at the center of the continent, or Japan, looking toward the Pacific. Where should the United States draw its defensive line, and how should it export democratic principles? In a history that spans the eighteenth century to the present, Michael J. Green follows the development of U.S. strategic thinking toward East Asia, identifying recurring themes in American statecraft that reflect the nation’s political philosophy and material realities. Drawing on archives, interviews, and his own experience in the Pentagon and White House, Green finds one overarching concern driving U.S. policy toward East Asia: a fear that a rival power might use the Pacific to isolate and threaten the United States and prevent the ocean from becoming a conduit for the westward free flow of trade, values, and forward defense. By More Than Providence works through these problems from the perspective of history’s major strategists and statesmen, from Thomas Jefferson to Alfred Thayer Mahan and Henry Kissinger. It records the fate of their ideas as they collided with the realities of the Far East and adds clarity to America’s stakes in the region, especially when compared with those of Europe and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231542722
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Robert McNally
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: As OPEC has loosened its grip over the past ten years, the oil market has been rocked by wild price swings, the likes of which haven't been seen for eight decades. Crafting an engrossing journey from the gushing Pennsylvania oil fields of the 1860s to today's fraught and fractious Middle East, Crude Volatility explains how past periods of stability and volatility in oil prices help us understand the new boom-bust era. Oil's notorious volatility has always been considered a scourge afflicting not only the oil industry but also the broader economy and geopolitical landscape; Robert McNally makes sense of how oil became so central to our world and why it is subject to such extreme price fluctuations. Tracing a history marked by conflict, intrigue, and extreme uncertainty, McNally shows how—even from the oil industry's first years—wild and harmful price volatility prompted industry leaders and officials to undertake extraordinary efforts to stabilize oil prices by controlling production. Herculean market interventions—first, by Rockefeller's Standard Oil, then, by U.S. state regulators in partnership with major international oil companies, and, finally, by OPEC—succeeded to varying degrees in taming the beast. McNally, a veteran oil market and policy expert, explains the consequences of the ebbing of OPEC's power, debunking myths and offering recommendations—including mistakes to avoid—as we confront the unwelcome return of boom and bust oil prices.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil, OPEC
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543682
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Manlio Graziano
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Religions are reemerging in the social, political, and economic spheres previously occupied and dominated by secular institutions and ideologies. In the wake of crises exposing the limits of secular modernity, religions have again become significant players in domestic and international politics. At the same time, the Catholic Church has sought a "holy alliance" among the world's faiths to recentralize devout influence, an important, albeit little-noticed, evolution in international relations. Holy Wars and Holy Alliance explores the nation-state's current crisis in order to better understand the religious resurgence's implications for geopolitics. Manlio Graziano looks at how the Catholic Church promotes dialogue and action linking world religions, and examines how it has used its material, financial, and institutional strength to gain power and increase its profile in present-day international politics. Challenging the idea that modernity is tied to progress and secularization, Graziano documents the "return" or the "revenge" of God in all facets of life. He shows that tolerance, pluralism, democracy, and science have not triumphed as once predicted. To fully grasp the destabilizing dynamics at work today, he argues, we must appreciate the nature of religious struggles and political holy wars now unfolding across the international stage.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543910
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Paul R. Pillar
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing a line from colonial events to America's handling of modern international terrorism, Pillar shows how presumption and misperception bolstered the "with us or against us" attitude of the George W. Bush administration. Fundamental misunderstandings have created a cycle in which threats are underestimated before an attack occurs and then are overestimated after they happen. By exposing this longstanding tradition of misperception, Pillar hopes the United States can develop policies that better address international realities rather than biased beliefs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, United States
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231540353
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Blake Atwood
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: It is nearly impossible to separate contemporary Iranian cinema from the Islamic revolution that transformed film production in the country in the late 1970s. As the aims of the revolution shifted and hardened once Khomeini took power and as an eight-year war with Iraq dragged on, Iranian filmmakers confronted new restrictions. In the 1990s, however, the Reformist Movement, led by Mohammad Khatami, and the film industry, developed an unlikely partnership that moved audiences away from revolutionary ideas and toward a discourse of reform. In Reform Cinema in Iran, Blake Atwood examines how new industrial and aesthetic practices created a distinct cultural and political style in Iranian film between 1989 and 2007. Atwood analyzes a range of popular, art, and documentary films. He provides new readings of internationally recognized films such as Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry (1997) and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Time for Love (1990), as well as those by Rakhshan Bani, Masud Kiami, and other key Iranian directors. At the same time, he also considers how filmmakers and the film industry were affected by larger political and religious trends that took shape during Mohammad Khatami's presidency (1997-2005). Atwood analyzes political speeches, religious sermons, and newspaper editorials and pays close attention to technological developments, particularly the rise of video, to determine their role in democratizing filmmaking and realizing the goals of political reform. He concludes with a look at the legacy of reform cinema, including films produced under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose neoconservative discourse rejected the policies of reform that preceded him.
  • Topic: Film
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543149
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Nadya Hajj
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: The right to own property is something we generally take for granted. For refugees living in camps, in some cases for as long as generations, the link between citizenship and property ownership becomes strained. How do refugees protect these assets and preserve communal ties? How do they maintain a sense of identity and belonging within chaotic settings? Protection Amid Chaos follows people as they develop binding claims on assets and resources in challenging political and economic spaces. Focusing on Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, it shows how the first to arrive developed flexible though legitimate property rights claims based on legal knowledge retained from their homeland, subsequently adapted to the restrictions of refugee life. As camps increased in complexity, refugees merged their informal institutions with the formal rules of political outsiders, devising a broader, stronger system for protecting their assets and culture from predation and state incorporation. For this book, Nadya Hajj conducted interviews with two hundred refugees. She consults memoirs, legal documents, and findings in the United Nations Relief Works Agency archives. Her work reveals the strategies Palestinian refugees have used to navigate their precarious conditions while under continuous assault and situates their struggle within the larger context of communities living in transitional spaces.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231542920
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Brad Glosserman, Scott A. Snyder
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Japan and South Korea are Western-style democracies with open-market economies committed to the rule of law. They are also U.S. allies. Yet despite their shared interests, shared values, and geographic proximity, divergent national identities have driven a wedge between them. Drawing on decades of expertise, Brad Glosserman and Scott Snyder investigate the roots of this split and its ongoing threat to the region and the world. Glosserman and Snyder isolate competing notions of national identity as the main obstacle to a productive partnership between Japan and South Korea. Through public opinion data, interviews, and years of observation, they show how fundamentally incompatible, rapidly changing conceptions of national identity in Japan and South Korea--and not struggles over power or structural issues--have complicated territorial claims and international policy. Despite changes in the governments of both countries and concerted efforts by leading political figures to encourage US-ROK-Japan security cooperation, the Japan-Korea relationship continues to be hobbled by history and its deep imprint on ideas of national identity. This book recommends bold, policy-oriented prescriptions for overcoming problems in Japan-Korea relations and facilitating trilateral cooperation among these three Northeast Asian allies, recognizing the power of the public on issues of foreign policy, international relations, and the prospects for peace in Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231539289
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In the poorest countries, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Mali, the United States has struggled to work with governments whose corruption and lack of capacity are increasingly seen to be the cause of instability and poverty. The development and security communities call for "good governance" to improve the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the delivery of public goods and services. The United States and other rich liberal democracies insist that this is the only legitimate model of governance. Yet poor governments cannot afford to govern according to these ideals and instead are compelled to rely more heavily on older, cheaper strategies of holding power, such as patronage and repression. The unwillingness to admit that poor governments do and must govern differently has cost the United States and others inestimable blood and coin. Informed by years of fieldwork and drawing on practitioner work and academic scholarship in politics, economics, law, and history, this book explains the origins of poor governments in the formation of the modern state system and describes the way they govern. It argues that, surprisingly, the effort to stigmatize and criminalize the governance of the poor is both fruitless and destabilizing. The United States must pursue a more effective foreign policy to engage poor governments and acknowledge how they govern.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Development, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Haiti, Mali
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231171205
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Jennifer L. Erickson
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: The United Nations's groundbreaking Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which went into effect in 2014, sets legally binding standards to regulate global arms exports and reflects the growing concerns toward the significant role that small and major conventional arms play in perpetuating human rights violations, conflict, and societal instability worldwide. Many countries that once staunchly opposed shared export controls and their perceived threat to political and economic autonomy are now beginning to embrace numerous agreements, such as the ATT and the EU Code of Conduct. Jennifer L. Erickson explores the reasons top arms-exporting democracies have put aside past sovereignty, security, and economic worries in favor of humanitarian arms transfer controls, and she follows the early effects of this about-face on export practice. She begins with a brief history of failed arms export control initiatives and then tracks arms transfer trends over time. Pinpointing the normative shifts in the 1990s that put humanitarian arms control on the table, she reveals that these states committed to these policies out of concern for their international reputations. She also highlights how arms trade scandals threaten domestic reputations and thus help improve compliance. Using statistical data and interviews conducted in France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Erickson challenges existing IR theories of state behavior while providing insight into the role of reputation as a social mechanism and the importance of government transparency and accountability in generating compliance with new norms and rules.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231170963
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Asaad Al-Saleh
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Narrated by dozens of activists and everyday individuals, this book documents the unprecedented events that led to the collapse of dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Beginning in 2011, these stories offer unique access to the message that inspired citizens to act, their experiences during revolt, and the lessons they learned from some of the most dramatic changes and appalling events to occur in the history of the Arab world. The riveting, revealing, and sometimes heartbreaking stories in this volume also include voices from Syria. Featuring participants from a variety of social and educational backgrounds and political commitments, these personal stories of action represent the Arab Spring's united and broad social movements, collective identities, and youthful character. For years, the volume's participants lived under regimes that brutally suppressed free expression and protest. Their testimony speaks to the multifaceted emotional, psychological, and cultural factors that motivated citizens to join together to struggle against their oppressors.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Insurgency, Authoritarianism, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231163194
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Seyom Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Seyom Brown's authoritative account of U.S. foreign policy from the end of the Second World War to the present challenges common assumptions about American presidents and their struggle with power and purpose. Brown shows Truman to be more anguished than he publicly revealed about the use of the atomic bomb; Eisenhower and George W. Bush to be more immersed in the details of policy formulation and implementation than generally believed; Reagan to be more invested in changing his worldview while in office than any previous president; and Obama to have modeled his military exit from Iraq and Afghanistan more closely to Nixon and Kissinger's exit strategy from Vietnam than he would like to admit. Brown's analyses of Obama's policies for countering terrorist threats at home and abroad, dealing with unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and containing new territorial expansion by China and Russia reinforce the book's "constancy and change" theme, which shows that serving the interests of the most powerful country in the world transforms the Oval Office's occupant more than its occupant can transform the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Terrorism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231133296
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: David H. Ucko, Robert Egnell
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Long considered the masters of counterinsurgency, the British military encountered significant problems in Iraq and Afghanistan when confronted with insurgent violence. In their effort to apply the principles and doctrines of past campaigns, they failed to prevent Basra and Helmand from descending into lawlessness, criminality, and violence. By juxtaposing the deterioration of these situations against Britain's celebrated legacy of counterinsurgency, this investigation identifies both the contributions and limitations of traditional tactics in such settings, exposing a disconcerting gap between ambitions and resources, intent and commitment. Building upon this detailed account of the Basra and Helmand campaigns, this volume conducts an unprecedented assessment of British military institutional adaptation in response to operations gone awry. In calling attention to the enduring effectiveness of insurgent methods and the threat posed by undergoverned spaces, David H. Ucko and Robert Egnell underscore the need for military organizations to meet the irregular challenges of future wars in new ways.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231164276
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Elazar Barkan
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: This anthology explores the dynamics of shared religious sites in Turkey, the Balkans, Palestine/Israel, Cyprus, and Algeria, indicating where local and national stakeholders maneuver between competition and cooperation, coexistence and conflict. Contributors probe the notion of coexistence and the logic that underlies centuries of "sharing," exploring when and why sharing gets interrupted--or not--by conflict, and the policy consequences. These essays map the choreographies of shared sacred spaces within the framework of state-society relations, juxtaposing a site's political and religious features and exploring whether sharing or contestation is primarily religious or politically motivated. Although religion and politics are intertwined phenomena, the contributors to this volume understand the category of "religion" and the "political" as devices meant to distinguish between the theological and confessional aspects of religion and the political goals of groups. Their comparative approach better represents the transition in some cases of sites into places of hatred and violence, while in other instances they remain noncontroversial. The essays clearly delineate the religious and political factors that contribute to the context and causality of conflict at these sites and draw on history and anthropology to shed light on the often rapid switch from relative tolerance to distress to peace and calm.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Religion, International Affairs, Culture
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231169943
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Dana Burde
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Foreign-backed funding for education does not always stabilize a country and enhance its statebuilding efforts. Dana Burde shows how aid to education in Afghanistan bolstered conflict both deliberately in the 1980s through violence-infused, anti-Soviet curricula and inadvertently in the 2000s through misguided stabilization programs. She also reveals how dominant humanitarian models that determine what counts as appropriate aid have limited attention and resources toward education, in some cases fueling programs that undermine their goals. For education to promote peace in Afghanistan, Burde argues we must expand equal access to quality community-based education and support programs that increase girls' and boys' attendance at school. Referring to a recent U.S. effort that has produced strong results in these areas, Burde commends the program's efficient administration and good quality, and its neutral curriculum, which can reduce conflict and build peace in lasting ways. Drawing on up-to-date research on humanitarian education work amid conflict zones around the world and incorporating insights gleaned from extensive fieldwork in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Burde recalculates and improves a popular formula for peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Education, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231537513
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Why did Tunisian protests following the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi lead to a massive wave of uprisings across the entire Arab world? Who participated in those protests, and what did they hope to achieve? Why did some leaders fall in the face of popular mobilization while others found ways to survive? And what have been the lasting results of the contentious politics of 2011 and 2012? The Arab uprisings pose stark challenges to the political science of the Middle East, which for decades had focused upon the resilience of entrenched authoritarianism, the relative weakness of civil society, and what seemed to be the largely contained diffusion of new norms and ideas through new information technologies. In this volume, leading scholars in the field take a sharp look at the causes, dynamics, and effects of the Arab uprisings. Compiled by one of the foremost experts on Middle East politics and society, The Arab Uprisings Explained offers a fresh rethinking of established theories and presents a new framework through which scholars and general readers can better grasp the fast-developing events remaking the region. These essays not only advance the study of political science in the Middle East but also integrate the subject seamlessly into the wider political science literature. Deeply committed to the study of this region and working out the kinks of the discipline, the contributors to this volume help scholars and policymakers across the world approach this unprecedented historical period smartly and effectively.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Insurgency, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231158848
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Joel S. Migdal
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Joel S. Migdal revisits the approach U.S. officials have adopted toward the Middle East since World War II, which paid scant attention to tectonic shifts in the region. After the war, the United States did not restrict its strategic model to the Middle East. Beginning with Harry S. Truman, American presidents applied a uniform strategy rooted in the country's Cold War experience in Europe to regions across the globe, designed to project America into nearly every corner of the world while limiting costs and overreach. The approach was simple: find a local power that could play Great Britain's role in Europe after the war, sharing the burden of exercising power, and establish a security alliance along the lines of NATO. Yet regional changes following the creation of Israel, the Free Officers Coup in Egypt, the rise of Arab nationalism from 1948 to 1952, and, later, the Iranian Revolution and the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979 complicated this project. Migdal shows how insufficient attention to these key transformations led to a series of missteps and misconceptions in the twentieth century. With the Arab uprisings of 2009 through 2011 prompting another major shift, Migdal sees an opportunity for the United States to deploy a new, more workable strategy, and he concludes with a plan for gaining a stable foothold in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231536349
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Rashid Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Under Siege is Rashid Khalidi's firsthand account of the 1982 Lebanon War and the complex negotiations for the evacuation of the P.L.O. from Beirut. Utilizing unconventional sources and interviews with key officials and diplomats, Khalidi paints a detailed portrait of the siege and ensuing massacres, providing insight into the military pressure experienced by the P.L.O., the war's impact on Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, and diplomatic efforts by the United States. A new preface by Khalidi considers developments across the Middle East in the thirty years since the conflict. The preface also cites recently declassified Israeli documents to offer surprising new revelations about the roles and responsibilities of both Israeli leaders and American diplomats in the tragic coda to the war, the Sabra and Shatila massacres.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Human Rights, War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231061865
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Charles Taylor, Alfred Stepan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: How can people of diverse religious, ethnic, and linguistic allegiances and identities live together without committing violence, inflicting suffering, or oppressing each other? In this volume, contributors explore the limits of toleration and suggest we think beyond them to mutual respect. Salman Rushdie reflects on the once tolerant Sufi-Hindu culture of Kashmir. Ira Katznelson follows with an intellectual history of toleration as a layered institution in the West. Charles Taylor advances a new approach to secularism in our multicultural world, and Akeel Bilgrami responds by offering context and caution to that approach. Nadia Urbinati explores why Cicero's humanist ideal of Concord was not used in response to religious discord. The volume concludes with a refutation of the claim that toleration was invented in the West. Rajeev Bhargava writes on Asoka's India, and Karen Barkey explores toleration within the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Sudipta Kaviraj examines accommodations and conflicts in India, and Alfred Stepan highlights contributions to toleration and multiple democratic secularisms in such Muslim-majority countries as Indonesia and Senegal.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, International Cooperation, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231165679
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Douglas A. Chalmers
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Even well-established democracies need reform, and any successful effort to reform democracies must look beyond conventional institutions--elections, political parties, special interests, legislatures and their relations with chief executives--to do so. Expanding a traditional vision of the institutions of representative democracy, Douglas A. Chalmers examines six aspects of political practice relating to the people being represented, the structure of those who make law and policy, and the links between those structures and the people. Chalmers concludes with a discussion of where successful reform needs to take place: we must pay attention to a democratic ordering of the constant reconfiguration of decision making patterns; we must recognize the crucial role of information in deliberation; and we must incorporate noncitizens and foreigners into the political system, even when they are not the principal beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231162951
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Wael B. Hallaq
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Wael B. Hallaq boldly argues that the "Islamic state," judged by any standard definition of what the modern state represents, is both impossible and inherently self-contradictory. Comparing the legal, political, moral, and constitutional histories of premodern Islam and Euro-America, he finds the adoption and practice of the modern state to be highly problematic for modern Muslims. He also critiques more expansively modernity's moral predicament, which renders impossible any project resting solely on ethical foundations. The modern state not only suffers from serious legal, political, and constitutional issues, Hallaq argues, but also, by its very nature, fashions a subject inconsistent with what it means to be, or to live as, a Muslim. By Islamic standards, the state's technologies of the self are severely lacking in moral substance, and today's Islamic state, as Hallaq shows, has done little to advance an acceptable form of genuine Shari'a governance. The Islamists' constitutional battles in Egypt and Pakistan, the Islamic legal and political failures of the Iranian Revolution, and similar disappointments underscore this fact. Nevertheless, the state remains the favored template of the Islamists and the ulama (Muslim clergymen). Providing Muslims with a path toward realizing the good life, Hallaq turns to the rich moral resources of Islamic history. Along the way, he proves political and other "crises of Islam" are not unique to the Islamic world nor to the Muslim religion. These crises are integral to the modern condition of both East and West, and by acknowledging these parallels, Muslims can engage more productively with their Western counterparts.
  • Topic: Islam, Post Colonialism, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231162579
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN