Scruton shows how the different religious and philosophical roots of Western and Islamic societies have resulted in those societies’ profoundly divergent beliefs about the nature of political order. For one thing, the idea of the social contract, crucial to the self-conception of Western nations, is entirely absent in Islamic societies. Similarly, Scruton explains why the notions of territorial jurisdiction, citizenship, and the independent legitimacy of secular authority and law are both specifically Western and fundamentally antipathetic to Islamic thought. And yet, says Scruton, for its adherents Islam provides amply for one of the most fundamental of human needs: the need for membership. In contrast, the decay of the West’s own political vision, and its concomitant preoccupation with individual choice, has finally led to a “culture of repudiation” in which that need goes increasingly unfulfilled, principally because the sources of its fulfillment—patriotism, religious belief, traditional ways of life—are routinely mocked. Globalization has made these facts an explosive mixture. Migration, modern communications, and the media have inexorably brought the formerly remote inhabitants of Islamic nations into constant contact with the images, products, and peoples of secular, liberal democracies. Scruton warns that in light of this new reality, certain Western assumptions—about consumption and prosperity, about borders and travel, about free trade and multinational corporations, and about multiculturalism—need to be thoroughly re-evaluated. The West and the Rest is a major contribution to the West’s public discourse about terrorism, civil society, and liberal democracy.
From the bestselling author of The Ascent of Money and The Square and the Tower Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors. Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
This book examines the different ways in which the laws governing the use of force and the conduct of warfare have become subject to intense scrutiny and contestation since the initiation of the war on terror. Since the end of the Cold War, the nature of security challenges has changed radically and this change has been recognised by the UN, governments and academics around the world. The 911 attacks and the subsequent launch of the 'war on terror' added a new dimension to this debate on the nature and utility of international law due to the demands from some quarters for a change in the laws governing self-defence and humanitarian intervention. This book analyses the nature of these debates and focuses on key issues that have led to the unprecedented contemporary questioning of both the utility and composition of international law on the use of force as well as the practicability of using force, including handling of ‘prisoners’ and ‘security risks’. It also identifies the sources of division and addresses the capacities of security policy and international law to adapt to the changed international environment. This book will of much interest to students of international law, war and conflict studies, and IR and Security Studies in general.
This book examines the evolving threat of terrorism and draws on the latest research to assess future trends. The author assumes that terrorism will remain a potent threat to the international system throughout the twenty-first century, primarily because of the convergence of two negative trends: the availability of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Weapons (CBRN) - also known as Weapons of Mass Destruction - and the proliferation of terrorist organizations seeking to achieve mass casualties. Even without the CBRN element, however, Smith maintains that terrorism will remain an ongoing threat. The book also explores specific aspects of contemporary terrorism, including political, social, economic, religious, and ideological factors, globalization as a stimulation to contemporary terrorism, the role of organized crime in terrorist movements, and more. Written with students in college and professional programs in mind, the book includes case studies interspersed throughout the chapters that provide clarifying examples.
Since cosmopolitanism has often been conceived as a tenet of 'Western civilization' that emanates from its Enlightenment-based origins in a humanist age of modernity, Iranian Identity and Cosmopolitanism: Spheres of Belonging advances a highly innovative gesture by contemplating the implications and relevance of the idea in a so-called non-Western cultural territory. The particularities of the Iranian and Islamic context shed new light on advancements and obstacles to cosmopolitan praxis. The volume provides four principle disciplinary assessments of cosmopolitanism: philosophy, political science, sociology, and cultural studies,including literary criticism. The authors in this collection critically examine topics including the historical encounter between Iranian and Western thinkers and its impact on Iranian political ideals; the tension between maintaining apolitical-theology rooted in metaphysical assumptions and the prerequisite of secularism in cosmopolitan and democratic philosophies. This highly innovative volume will be of interest to scholars and students of Middle Eastern and Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Globalization, Political Science and Philosophy.
Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
Islam's Predicament with Modernity presents an in-depth cultural and political analysis of the issue of political Islam as a potential source of tensions and conflict, and how this might be peacefully resolved. Looking at the issue of modernity from an Islamic point of view, the author examines the role of culture and religion in Muslim society under conditions of globalisation, and analyses issues such as law, knowledge and human rights. He engages a number of significant studies on political Islam and draws on detailed case studies, rejecting the approaches of both Orientalists and apologists and calling instead for a genuine Islamic pluralism that accepts the equality of others. Situating modernity as a Western product at the crux of his argument, he argues that a separation of religion and politics is required, which presents a challenge to the Islamic worldview. This critical analysis of value conflicts, tensions and change in the Islamic world will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of international relations, social theory, political science, religion, Islamic studies and Middle Eastern studies.
There have always been weak or ‘fragile’ states in the modern era or poorly governed and disorderly political communities in earlier times. Yet the idea of state failure has only acquired such prominence in the post-Cold War period. Why would many countries in the less-developed world be considered ‘failed’ states after 1990, but not in 1965 when there is little meaningful difference in their observable empirical conditions? What counts as state ‘failure’ is ultimately a subjective political judgement made by the great powers of the day. This judgement is based on the sensitivity of great powers to particular types of disorder generated from the periphery in different historical periods. This book is a comparative history of the conditions under which great powers care enough about disorder from the periphery to mount costly armed interventions to reverse what they deem to be state ‘failure’.
The book seeks to untangle the complexities of how America and the West work within emerging markets, addressing the political and diplomatic implications of investment alongside emerging theory within IPE and its implications for the USA.
Troy analyses how the understanding of religion in Realism and the English School helps in working towards the greater good in international relations, studying religion within the overall framework of international affairs and the field of peace studies.