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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The ambiguities and conflicts internal to modern Islamic debates about sovereignty are not simply important for understanding the nature of the legitimacy crisis experienced by many modern Muslim majority polities (a crisis that has been hardly resolved by the recent suppression of Islamist electoral politics). They are at the center of a common set of ethical and political questions; for example, what does it mean to assert that there is a law that precedes and constrains political action (whether natural law, human rights law, or sharīʿa law) when the meaning of that prepolitical law must be adjudicated or asserted within the political realm; what are the limits of the legitimate authority of a self-governing people to fundamentally reconstitute its form of governance; and how can lawmaking or sovereign adjudication be seen as grounded in popular will formation?

Keywords: sovereignty, Islamic political thought, political theology, secularism, sharīʿa, Islamic law, popular sovereignty, constituent power, Islamism

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