Seminar - Challenges to the Modern State: Notions of an ‘Islamic Alternative’




May 6, 2014

5:00 - 6:45 pm


Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, 210 Euston Road, London NW1 2DA

Governance Project Seminar - Challenges to the Modern State: Notions of an ‘Islamic Alternative’​


  • Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Research Professor of Islamic studies, Department of Religion, Duke University, USA
  • Mark Sedgwick, Professor, Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark


  • Sami Zubaida, Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London, UK


This seminar will explore the idea, frequently advocated within Muslim contexts as well as by scholars specialised in the study of Islam, that an alternative model to the modern state was in place in Muslim contexts in the past and that it can be brought back to life in contemporary conditions. Attempts to define this ‘alternative model’ have been numerous in recent decades, both by theorists as well as by political leaders who had the opportunity to redefine political systems at specific historical junctures. Examples include Ayatollah Khomeini, Hassan al-Turabi and Rachid Ghannouchi. The seminar will examine these and other attempts in order to go beyond mere slogans and electoral rhetoric to the political arrangements suggested by such theorists and the experiments in ‘Islamic’ governance conducted by political regimes. It will do so in order to assess their nature, their feasibility, and their effectiveness. It will also explore the possible outcomes for the governed populations in question, as well as for the international order, in cases where these alternative models have been applied.





​Dr Charlotte Whiting​, email:


​​Dr Charlotte Whiting​​

Events are subject to change; please contact the organiser for details.


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