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The impossible state : Islam, politics, and modernity's moral predicament

Author: Wael B Hallaq
Publisher: New York : Colombia University Press, 2014
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Wael B Hallaq
ISBN: 9780231162579 023116257X 9780231162562 0231162561
OCLC Number: 933597423
Notes: Table of contents: Introduction 1. Premises 2. The Modern State 3. Separation of Powers: Rule of Law or Rule of the State? 4. The Legal 5. The Political Subject and Moral Technologies of the Self 6. Beleaguering Globalization and Moral Economy 7. The Central Domain of the Moral
Description: xiv, 256 p
Contents: Premises --
The modern state --
Separation of powers: rule of law or rule of the state? --
The legal, the political, and the moral --
The political subject and moral technologies of the self --
Beleaguering globalization and moral economy --
The central domain of the moral
Responsibility: Wael B. Hallaq

Abstract:

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).

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