Re-reading Ibn-Khaldun in the 21st century : traveling theory and the question of authority, legitimacy, and state violence in the modern Arab world
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To illuminate the complicated relationship between the authorities and society in the contemporary Arab world, this paper draws on Ibn Khaldun's propositions. By applying Edward Said's notion of traveling theory, it traces, interrogates, and evaluates ways in which multiple readings of Ibn Khaldun's theory have been (re)formulated, transplanted, and circulated by other authors, and how these theories traveled from an earlier point to another time and place where they come into new prominence. Furthermore, it examines how three contemporary Arab thinkers (Abid Al-Jabri, Abdullah Laroui, and Nazih Ayubi) addressed and interpreted the heritage of Ibn Khaldun and his theory on state formation and authority constitutive in the Arab Islamic world (particularly the Sunni world). The paper concludes that, in comparison with Said's “traveling theory” intentions, the three modern Arabic readings of Ibn Khaldun's theory were not traveling as much as it was attempting to uproot, distort, suffocate, and even bury Ibn Khaldun's original theory, as well as obliterate and culturally appropriate the features of the original theory, and portray it as the opposite of progress and modernization, in favor of enhancing the dominance of Western epistemology.
Abozaid , A 2021 , ' Re-reading Ibn-Khaldun in the 21st century : traveling theory and the question of authority, legitimacy, and state violence in the modern Arab world ' , Arab Studies Quarterly , vol. 43 , no. 2 , pp. 146-171 . https://doi.org/10.13169/arabstudquar.43.2.0146
Arab Studies Quarterly
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