Contrasting Political Theory in the East and West: Ibn Khaldun versus Hobbes and Locke

International Journal of Political Theory 1 (1):87-107 (2016)
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Abstract

Recent developments in our globalized world are beginning the scholarly world to answer the question pertaining to the relationship between Islam—a “faith”—and politics and governance. In order to understand the Islamic worldview from the perspective of Ibn Khaldun, with whom many modern Islamists would agree with, a comparison is made with early progenitors of liberalism and the social contract, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. By understanding the fundamental differences between the theorists, and how Ibn Khaldun’s is completely separate from the western tradition, it becomes easier to understand exactly why Islamic models of governance are at direct odds with the west. The main difference between the two models of governance is the use of a fundamental criteria determining right from wrong, as opposed to Hobbes’ and Locke’s theories being based purely on assumption that the validity of their respective arguments is based upon the theory’s acceptance among the people. In other words, western political theorists lack the consistency and justification for their theories, at least from the Islamist point of view.

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