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Call for Papers: Political Legitimacy in Islam

  1. The Center for the Study of Islamic Legislation and Ethics invites interested academic researchers to submit their contributions to a special thematic issue of its JIE dealing with “political legitimacy in Islam.”

The Journal is open to academic researchers in the humanities, social sciences, and religious studies. We accept submissions in English, Arabic and French. The deadline of submitting the complete articles is 15/02/2017.

By “political legitimacy in Islam” they mean both the normative (theoretical) and descriptive (empirical or historical) dimensions of the term, i.e. (1) the moral foundation of political authority in the Islamic scriptural sources, and (2) the way Muslims have perceived their rulers as morally acceptable actors on behalf of the community, who deserve to be politically obeyed and supported, or as unacceptable usurpers who deserve to be disobeyed and removed from their public positions.   

The issue will focus on two major questions: the first is related to the originality of Islamic political thought; the second to the challenges of acculturation and interaction between Islamic political thought and other cultures.

The two questions are the following:

1. What was the role of Islamic values, Arabian customs, the Sassanid tradition and the Greek political heritage in the way Muslim scholars perceived and conceived the issue of political legitimacy?

2. How the prolonged contact between these four cultures has impacted the way Muslim scholars interpreted Islam politically, especially on the idea of political legitimacy?

From these two questions, related to the history of ideas, emerge two more questions that are more connected to the contemporary context:

3. How can Islamic political values regarding political legitimacy be translated into institutions, laws and procedures, within the context of the modern nation-state?

4. How can contemporary Muslim-majority societies borrow from Western political thought and experience in this regard, without complexes of superiority/inferiority, and without falling into the trap of identity politics?

JIE is urging scholars and researchers to come forward with their best answers to these four questions, in a way that will help achieve two methodological and practical results:

1. Putting the classical Islamic theories of political legitimacy within the context of time and space in which these theories were produced, and exposing the differences between that historical context and the contemporary context.

2. Conceiving practical methods through which Muslim-majority societies can translate their inherited political values into practice, and in a way that does not negate the modern nation-state. 

Contributors can tackle the theme of political legitimacy in Islam from any angle, using any approach they see suitable, as long they focus on the above-mentioned questions.

Scholars and researchers who want to contribute to this issue of JIE are expected to clearly demonstrate the relevance of their contribution for the current scholarly debate on political legitimacy in Islam, and for the potential improvement of Islamic ethics in general. (This potential improvement may be of a theoretical, applied, or methodological nature). In their contributions, authors should enter into conversation with the existing works in the field of Islamic political thought that are directly relevant to their subject. In their conclusions, they should prove that their articles will be a serious contribution to the published literature on the topic and, directly or indirectly, to the improvement of contemporary Islamic ethical thought in general.

All voices are welcome, regardless of their specific positions or backgrounds, as long as they fit within the theme of this issue, deal with main questions detailed above, and successfully undergo the double-blind peer-review process. All submissions should be sent to the JIE’s email address. Before sending your submission, please read carefully the attached Instructions for Authors, including the synopsis of the Reviewer Guidelines, where you will find a brief survey of the main relevant points during the reviewing process. Please note that any submissions which do not comply with these instructions or sent to any other e-mail will not be considered.

On the Journal of Islamic Ethics (JIE)

The Journal of Islamic Ethics (JIE) is an international podium for high-quality academic research which improves knowledge of the emerging field of Islamic Ethics. The focus of the journal is on the ethical approaches embedded in Islamic philosophy, theology, mysticism and jurisprudence as well as Islamic civilization in general, and, more particularly, on the principles and methods (to be) followed in applying these approaches to various sectors of contemporary social life.

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