Sunday, June 1, 2014

Proposed ISA Panel: International Relations and Islamic Studies: A New Agenda




Chair: Deina Abdelkader
Discussant: Nassef Manabilang Adiong
Non-Western experiences, practices, and perspectives on international affairs have long been underestimated within Euro-American academia and among Western foreign policy making. Non-Western actors have largely been regarded only as disciples of Western schools of International Relations (IR), never as proponents of theoretical approaches or carriers of relevant experiences of and practices in international relations. A look at International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (Oxford 2013), a serious introductory manual on IR and International Relations Theory (IRT), shows that a generous list of normative paradigms includes the following: classical realism, structural realism, liberalism, neoliberalism, the English school, Marxism, critical theory, constructivism, feminism, poststrucuralism, postcolonialism, and green theory. The present panel contributes a worldview beyond Western IR. It brings together a scholarly volume of materials on theories and practices of international affairs regarding the Muslim world. Its papers address relevant aspects of ontology, episteme, methods, paradigms, and history of IR and global affairs from the perspective and experiences of Islamic legal theory, Muslim scholars, and Muslim-dominated actors. Instead of arguing against the Euro-American centered history and production of knowledge in IR, it argues for the inclusion of Islamic theories and praxis into IR and IRT.

1. Raffaele Mauriello’s “Is Dar al-Islam vs. Dar al-Harb the Paradigm of Islamic International Relations Theory? Khadduri’s Siyar Reconsidered”[1]
With the publication of several works, particularly between 1955 and 1966, Professor Khadduri laid the foundations for Western academia’s understanding of the “Islamic law of nations” (al-siyar). He described Muslims’ outlook on international affairs as being historically based on the contraposition between dar al-Islam (abode or territory of Islam) and dar al-harb (abode or territory of war). Khadduri’s intellectual strength was arguably instrumental in establishing this interpretation of the Islamic legal tradition as the cornerstone of the Islamic theory of international relations. An enquiry into different primary sources of the Islamic civilization conducted according to the methodology of the Italian school of Islamic Studies however shows that the presence of the dichotomy between dar al-Islam and dar al-harb is extremely limited. Moreover, it is neither found in the Qur’an nor in the Prophetic Sunna. The paper hence discusses to what extent it is historically accurate to assume it as the classical and established outlook on international affairs of the Islamic civilization. Methodologically, the paper argues for the necessity to integrate both methodology and findings of the Islamic Studies into the knowledge of the politics of the Islamic world of academics and practitioners of International Relations and International Relations Theory.

2. Muqtedar Khan’s “From Actor to Perspective: Islam as a Theory of Ethical International Relations”[2]
Islamic states, and various forms of state and non-state agencies play an important role in international relations. Indeed until the end of the Ottoman Empire, Islam was a dominant force in World politics. But the contemporary discourse on international relations sees Islam only as a counter-systemic entity that deserves to be studied and explained. This paper proposes that Islam can serve as a lens/epistemology to view international relations from an ethical/normative perspective and provide a critique of the international system and global governance. Whether posting Islamic states as “rogue” aberrations in the international system or advocates of Islamic governance as outside the pale of the civilized world, IR literature alienates Islam and ignores that Islam is embedded in the culture of the international system. This paper will provide a critique of how Islam is “othered” by the discourse on international relations and will provide arguments to recognize that Islam as actors, and agencies, as epistemologies and as norms is an integral part of the empirical reality even as it is marginalized in theory. To address this lacuna the paper shall propose a theoretical paradigm to reimagine Islam as a theory of ethical international relations.

3. Faruk Yalvaç’s “Ibn Khaldun’s Historical Sociology and the Concept of Change in International Relations Theory”[3]
This paper attempts to analyse Ibn Khaldun’s concept of change as described in Muqaddimah and compares it with the ahistorical and asociological concept of change present in IR theory particularly in Realist and Neorealist accounts of change.  Although Ibn Khaldun lived before the formation of the Westphalian state system that is the basic date for conceptualising the modern international system and the basis of IR theorising, his pre-modern analysis provides imortant  insights concerning the social origins of change in IR and goes beyond main stream IR theories by  linking the domestic and the international thus avoiding the ontological exteriority of the domestic from the international. This paper also compares his cyclical theory of change with the unilineer concept of change present in modernity and  the cylclical works of change present in some realist works. However,  Khaldun’s theory is found to be superior to these analyses by virtue of its historical and sociological account of change. Khaldun’s theory of change is also compared with the Neo-Weberian and Marxist accounts of change in the historical sociological analysis of IR.

4. Fadlan Khaerul Anam’s “Khilafah’s Hizbut Tahrir as Theory: Towards the Indigenization of International Relations Theory”[4]
Rooted in strong opposition to the power of Eurocentrism in international relations theory, the indigenization of international relations theory is a contemporary discourse that is still discussed today. However, this discussion is not really serious to build a theory that it could be a match for the theories that are too Eurocentric. Besides international relations theorists have not really develop this discourse. Hizb ut- Tahrir , a religious movement that has a different perspective than many contemporary religious movements: his views on the khilafah as a system of global governance (merging the boundaries of the nation state) and a system that is seen to match the political system adopted in many countries today. Khilafah’s Hizbut Tahrir regulate international relations which is based on reasons that cannot be found in many theories of international relations: the reason can only be equated with communitarianism. Khilafah’s Hizbut Tahrir actually be constructed and systemized can actually be a match for the theory of the dominant theories of international relations. This paper seeks construct and systematize the Khilafah’s Hizbut Tahrir as a new theory of international relations and the relevance of The Khilafah’s Hizbut Tahrir for with the international world today.

5. Turan Kayaoglu’s “The International Politics of Leadership of the Umma: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation as a Platform for Intra-Muslim Politics”[5]
Traditional and newly emerging Muslim powers use the OIC as a platform for influence and leadership in the Muslim world. Intra-Muslim politics revolves around four dimensions that inform the OIC politics: regionalism, the level of involvement in the OIC, bilateral relations among members, perception of the umma. Accordingly, major OIC members—Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and Malaysia—use the OIC as a platform to boost their leadership credentials in the Muslim world in very different ways. Essentially, these states see the problems of the Muslim world from a perspective in which they have a comparative advantage and promote that perspective among other Muslim countries as the best way to advance the umma’s interest in order to boost their leadership claims. Thus Saudi Arabia sees the umma only as a religious community in need of religious orthodoxy and guidance, Iran, a political community in need of ideological leadership, Pakistan, a security community in need of military power, and Turkey and Malaysia, an economic community in need of development. These various dimensions inform the OIC politics and often undermine its effectiveness.

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[1] Raffaele Mauriello is an historian of the contemporary Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Civilization: History and Philology from the Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy). He has published several peer-reviewed essays and chapters in edited volumes on Shi‘a Islam history and on Iranian and Iraqi geopolitical affairs. He is also a translator of both Arabic and Persian languages. In 2013, he was awarded the World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of Islamic Studies for his monograph Descendants of the Family of the Prophet in Contemporary History: A Case Study, the Šī‘ī Religious Establishment of al-Naǧaf (Iraq) (Rivista degli Studi Orientali-Fabrizio Serra editore: Rome-Pisa December 2011).
[2] Muqtedar Khan is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, and International Relations at the University of Delaware. He is also the founding Director of the Islamic Studies Program at the University of Delaware. Prior to that he was Chair of the Department of Political Science and the Director of International Studies at Adrian College. He was a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution from 2003-2008. He earned his Ph.D. in international relations, political philosophy, and Islamic political thought, from Georgetown University in May 2000. His areas of interest are Politics of the Middle East and South Asia, Political Islam, Islamic Political Thought and American Foreign Policy in the Muslim World. Professor Khan teaches courses on Arab and Middle Eastern Politics, Politics of Development, Globalization, and Islam in World Affairs.
[3] Faruk Yalvaç is an associate professor of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He received his PhD and MS degrees from London School of Economics and another MA degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
[4] Fadlan Khaerul Anam is a student in Department of Sociology, University of Indonesia. He actively writes for various papers which included conferences. His work has reached 15 conference papers that related with sociology of religion, theory of modernity and alternative social science discourse. In 2011, his research on history ‘KH. Fadlullah Sanusi : Sang Ulama dan Kritikus Pemerintah (1945-2007)’ become 30 in Indonesian Student Research Olympiad. In 2012, his research on sociology ‘When Religion Becoming Evil: Sebuah Penelitian Mengenai Pengaruh Konflik Ulama Terhadap Munculnya Stereotip Negatif Antar Jamaah’ won a silver medal in the same event.
[5] Turan Kayaoglu is an Associate Professor of International Relations at University of Washington Tacoma and Editor-in-Chief of Muslim World Journal of Human Rights. He is the author of Legal Imperialism: Sovereignty and Extraterritoriality in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, and China (2010, Cambridge University Press). His articles appeared in International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and Human Rights Quarterly. His research focuses on religion and international relations, human rights, and interfaith relations. Currently he is working on a book, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation: Politics, Problems, and Potential.