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The West and IslamReligion and Political Thought in World History$
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Antony Black

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533206

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533206.001.0001

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Practical Politics

Practical Politics

(p.101) 5 Practical Politics
The West and Islam

Antony Black (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Muslim Advices-to-Kings took into account Realpolitik in a way that European political writings did not, until Machiavelli. They were handbooks of political management and social psychology with a prudential, utilitarian approach. Muslims saw ruthless force applied for the right ends as legitimate. The idea of ‘the circle of power’ embodied an Iranian view of the relationship between power and justice. Ibn Khaldun saw the caliphate and 'umma as subject to the same universal pattern as other states, in which tribal groups, nurtured in the wilderness and inspired by collective loyalty ('asabiyya), take over civilization and then themselves become decadent. His thought partly anticipated the sociological theories of Hegel and Marx.

Keywords:   Realpolitik, Advices-to-Kings, Machiavelli, management, prudential, Iranian, Ibn Khaldun, 'asabiyya, Marx, sociological

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