Political Liberalism for Muslim Majority Societies

Badamchi, Meysan (2012) Political Liberalism for Muslim Majority Societies. Tesi di Dottorato, LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Political Science > PhD Program in Political Theory (english language), tutor: Sebastiano Maffettone, p. 225. [Doctoral Thesis]

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Abstract/Index

Political liberalism is the main theory of John Rawls in the last period of his intellectual life. Since the theory was developed by Rawls in a book with the same name (referred as PL in this book), an extensive body of literature were created to analyze the different dimensions of this theory. Particularly speaking, the book and the theory have found a large audience in liberalism and religion debates. However, only a few number of works which are only produced in the last years, focus on the relationship between political liberalism and Islam, and far less address this subject within the context of Muslim majority societies. On the other hand, among the extensive literature which are produced on Islam and democracy issue in the recent years, very little number of them look towards this subject from an analytic political philosophy framework. This dissertation tries to fill this gap in the literature. This dissertation can be regarded as an application of Rawls’s theory of political liberalism to Muslim majority societies. However, many arguments of this dissertation are applicable to all nonwestern societies, regardless of whether they are Muslim or nonMuslim. Furthermore, it should be added that our reading of Rawls in this dissertation presumes the continuity between Rawls’s main works, that is A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism (1993), and the Law of Peoples (1997). This thesis contains five chapters. The first chapter can be regarded as an introduction to whole the work. Justifying the major question of this dissertation, in the first chapter we have tried to answer some of the main the possible objections which may be pointed towards this type of research. Then, the rest of the thesis is divided into two parts: part one on justification and part two on stability. Each of these parts contains two chapters. These two parts are correspondent to two stages of Rawls’s political philosophy. In the part one we have tried to develop a universal reading of Rawls by focusing on the ideas of the reflective equilibrium (chapter II) and the original position (chapter III). In chapter two we have argued that all deliberating persons in the world, no matter in which society they live, can get involved with a dialogue with Rawls and his constructivist argument for justice as fairness via the reflective equilibrium as justificatory tool which is available in political liberalism. In chapter three we have claimed that political constructivism and particularly speaking the idea of the original position, models reasonable and rational individuals who hold reasonable comprehensive doctrines, no matter in which part of the global civil society they live. In addition, we implement that only specific conceptions of society and person, that is the conceptions of society as a fair system of cooperation and the persons as free and equal citizens, are modeled in political constructivism as part of the idea of the reasonable. The second part of the dissertation is concerned with the stability of justice as fairness within the context of Muslim majority societies. Explaining overlapping consensus as the most reasonable basis of social unity and the main account of stability in political liberalism, in chapter IV we discuss how a constitutional consensus, based on a modus vivendi, develops into an overlapping consensus, when a democracy is established for the first time in a Muslim majority country. Living under just institutions, in addition to justificatory ethics, has a major role in shifting the comprehensive doctrines of citizens in this process. Defining justificatory ethics as declaration plus conjecture, we also argue that political liberalism is not indifferent to the role of religious arguments in stability of justice as fairness in a religious society. Chapter V is a work of justificatory ethics in favor of an Islamic full justification for the political conception of justice as fairness in the Muslim majority context, based on Mehdi Haeri Yazdi’s Philosophy and Government. This chapter demonstrates that Islamic philosophical and legal tradition may include the fundamental ideas of persons as free and equal citizens and society as affair system of cooperation, as the primary and necessary ideas in constructivist justification for justice as fairness. In the first section of this final chapter I explain what this thing called Islamic philosophy is. In second part of this chapter I will explain guardianship of the jurist doctrine (velayat-e faqih). As the main basis for contemporary Shiite version of the idea of an Islamic state, this idea is much criticized by Haeri Yazdi as an unreasonable account of Islamic political theory. In the third part of chapter V we give an account of Haeri Yazdi’s argument for priority of Islamic philosophy to Islamic jurisprudence. This section includes Haeri’s counterarguments against guardianship of the jurist. In the fourth section we explain how Haeri’s Islamic contractarianism based upon the concepts of agency contract (aqd-e vekalat) and joint ownership (malekiyat-e musha)—already available in Islamic private law and philosophy— paves the way for full Islamic justification for the political conception. The fifth section is concerned with a linguistic analysis of the notion of community, based on the distinction already made in Islamic philosophy between universal (kolli) and whole (kol). This section can be read as an argument in favor of individualism. The sixth and final section includes an Islamic declaration on the incompatibility of the voluntary nature of Sharia, with the coercive and oppressive nature of state power. As a complement to the ideas of Haeri Yazdi in this regard, I also mention Mohamad Fadel’s view on hudud Islamic penalties. Being complementary to each other, these six sections of chapter V constitute a full Islamic justification for the possibility of overlapping consensus between Shiite Islam and justice as fairness.

References

Bibliografia: pp. 205-225.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Research documents and activity classification:LUISS PhD Thesis
Divisions:Department of Political Science > PhD Program in Political Theory (english language)
Thesis Advisor:Maffettone, Sebastiano
Additional Information:Dottorato di ricerca in Teoria Politica (XXIII ciclo), LUISS Guido Carli, Roma, 2012. Relatore: Prof. Sebastiano Maffettone.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Liberalism. John Rawls. Muslim Majority Societies. Shiite Islam. Constructivism. Overlapping Consensus. Mehdi Haeri Yazdi.
MIUR Scientific Area:Area 14 - Political and Social Sciences > SPS/04 Political Science
Deposited By:Maria Teresa Nistico
Deposited On:08 Jun 2012 16:06
Last Modified:09 Jun 2012 14:15

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