International Relations and Islamic Studies: Breaking New Ground
International Relations (IR) as a field is not a unilateral project rather it is an intellectual platform. This book seeks to explore Islamic contributions to this field. The inclusion of Muslim contributions is not meant to create an isolationist, judicious divide between what is Islamic and what is not. Instead, the book hopes to act on the inclusion of that knowledge as a building bloc in the field of IR. Thus, it is premised on the idea that knowledge is fluid: peoples adopt and utilize thoughts and ideas regardless of faith, gender, nation, etc. The mainstream idea that all knowledge presented by the West is from an “Orientalist” perspective or that there is a “clash of civilizations” are both notions that are antithetical to the goal of this project. Our primal aim is to develop and sustain a body of knowledge that addresses the theories and practices of the Islamic civilization and of Muslim societies with regards to international affairs and to the discipline of IR.
Islam as a faith prizes and encourages scientific research, which is particularly exemplified in the history of al-Andalus, Islamic Spain. Muslims’ contributions to the European Enlightenment are historically proven. Therefore, epistemologically this book asks the question:
Is Islamic International Relations thought and practice in congruence with contemporary IR theories or not? Comparatively, what are the similarities and differences? If there are differences, what are they and why do they exist? Can Islamic episteme influence contemporary IR theory?
The purpose of this book is to start a dialogue based on all the queries stated above. The chapters will discuss comparative research between IR and Islam. One of the chapters will look into classical and contemporary treaties between Muslim and non-Muslim regimes as sources of Islamic international law. Other chapters will utilize grand narratives such as ‘dialogue/alliance of civilizations’ and ‘religious defamation’ that show relatively successful proximities of power and influence within and among international and political institutions, e.g. the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations. A critical exploration of the impact of current political and social conditions is having on Islamist political concepts. Relation of Islamic movements to nationalism, the place of ummah in international politics, the existence of potential alternative paradigms of International Relations within Islamic history, and reasons of the incapability of Muslims to unite will also be discussed, while other chapters will focus on Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Sayyid Qutb’s worldviews of the international society.
The main target audience of the book is represented by students and academicians of International Relations and International Relations Theory. Students and academicians of Islamic Studies represent a potential secondary audience. More widely, the book also targets informed readers interested in the politics of Islam and in Muslim politics.
Market and Competition:
The edited volume is part of a very recent but steadily growing number of studies enquiring non-Western International Relations theories and practices. The market and general public have shown a clear interest in the study of discourses and practices related to the Islamic world. Apart from a recent book edited by one of the editors of the proposed volume, the book would be the first edited volume entirely dedicated to theories and practices of the Islamic civilization and of Muslim societies with regards to international affairs and to the discipline of IR. The first book that tries to put forward a comprehensive study of comparative research between International Relations and Islamic Studies.
Abdelkader, Deina is currently an associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Abdelkader is a Comparitivist and International Relations specialist. Her scholarly interests and research, focus on the Middle East and North Africa, Comparative Democratization in the Muslim World, Islamic Activism, and the Role of Muslim Women in Religious Interpretation. She is the author of Social Justice in Islam (2000) and Islamic Activists: The Anti-Enlightenment Democrats (Pluto Press, 2011). She has also authored a number of articles; her latest is: Coercion, Peace and the Issue of Jihad in the Digest of Middle East Studies, and a book chapter titled: “Modernity, Islam and Religious Activism”, The New Global Order and the Middle East, Ashgate Publishers, (2012) Abdelkader is also one of two women on the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America (Fiqh Council of North America) and she is also part of the editorial board of the Digest of Middle East Studies, and the new President of Voile: “Voices of Islamic Law and Ethics”.
Adiong, Nassef Manabilang is a student of theories of International Relations, politics of Islam(icate), integration of Muslims in Europe, and with research interests in the concepts of nation-state, civilization, and European polity. He is the author of the following articles: “Nation-State in IR and Islam” in the Journal of Islamic State Practice in International Law, “The U.S. and Israel Securitization of Iran’s Nuclear Energy” in The Quarterly Journal of Political Studies of Islamic World, “The Palestinian Refugee Question: A Constitutive Constructivist Interpretation” in Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, “Ideology that Spawns Islamist Militancy” in Frank Shanty’s Counterterrorism: From the Cold War to the War on Terror, and encyclopaedic entries such as civilization, nation, nation-state, International Relations, nationalism, pan-Islamism, Philippines, Qatar, and Suez Canal for various publishers including ABC-CLIO, SAGE Publications, Inc., and Wiley-Blackwell. His first edited book entitled “International Relations and Islam: Diverse Perspectives” is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing on August 2013.
Mauriello, Raffaele is an historian of the contemporary Near and 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 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). .
Total Word Count: approximately around 54,600 to 78,500 words including bibliography or references