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Arab liberal thought in the modern age provides in-depth analysis of Arab liberalism, which, although lacking public appeal and a compelling political underpinning, sustained viability over time and remains a constant part of the Arab landscape. The study focuses on the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century, a period that witnessed continuity as well as change in liberal thinking. Post-1967 liberals, like their predecessors, confronted old dilemmas, socioeconomic upheavals, political instability, and cultural disorientation, but also demonstrated ideological rejuvenation and provided liberal thought with new emphases and visions. Arab liberals contributed to public debate on cultural, social, and political issues, and triggered debates against their adversaries. Displaying such attributes as skepticism, ecumenism, and confidence in Arab advancement, they burst onto the public scene in questioning the Arab status quo and advocating alternative visions for their countries. Their struggle for freedom of religion, secularism, individualism, democracy, and human rights meant more than a rethinking of Islamic tradition and Arab political culture. It aimed rather at formulating a full-fledged liberal project to seek an Arab Enlightenment. This book fills a major gap in the research literature, which has tended to overlook Middle Eastern liberalism in favor of more powerful and assertive forces embodied by authoritarian regimes and Islamic movements. The book is essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, intellectual history, political ideologies, comparative religion, and cultural studies.

Authors: and

This book regards Arab Islamism and liberalism as distinct political ideologies with all-encompassing views on the structure and appropriate roles of society and the state. The thesis presented here on the different functions of Israel and Zionism within these two ideologies refers to a protracted period of time. It also establishes several generalizations about the actions of individuals and groups in a vast geographic and linguistic space. The book first offers a chronological overview of the Islamist ideological opposition to Zionism. It portrays the main characteristics of and driving forces behind this resistance and explores the different pragmatic approaches toward Israel that have developed in the various epochs of Islamist thought. The book then discusses Islamist depictions of Zionism and Israel as role models and analyses the reasons for the formation and acceptance of such interpretations. It also offers a chronological overview of the evolution of liberal thought with regard to the Zionist enterprise. It depicts the various perceptions of peace and normalization created within this thought and demonstrates the contradictory ways in which the Arab liberal struggle for freedom and democracy has been intertwined with the Israeli-Arab conflict. Finally, the book discusses liberal interpretations that represent Zionism and Israel as role models, and analyses the reasons for the formation and acceptance of such interpretations.

Reasonable tolerance

The idea of toleration as the appropriate response to difference has been central to liberal thought since Locke. Although the subject has been widely and variously explored, there has been reluctance to acknowledge the new meaning that current debates offer on toleration. This book starts from a clear recognition of the new terms of the debate, reflecting the capacity of seeing the other's viewpoint, and the limited extent to which toleration can be granted. Theoretical statements on toleration posit at the same time its necessity in democratic societies, and its impossibility as a coherent ideal. There are several possible objections to, and ways of developing the ideal of, reasonable tolerance as advocated by John Rawls and by some other supporters of political liberalism. The first part of the book explores some of them. In some real-life conflicts, it is unclear on whom the burden of reasonableness may fall. This part discusses the reasonableness of pluralism, and general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. The forces of progressive politics have been divided into two camps: redistribution and recognition. The second part of the book is an attempt to explore the internal coherence of such a transformation when applied to different contexts. It argues that openness to others in discourse, and their treatment as free and equal, is part of a kind of reflexive toleration that pertains to public communication in the deliberative context. Social ethos, religious discrimination and education are discussed in connection with tolerance.

Rita Kaur Dhamoon

strands of recent liberal thought as one about the accommodation of diverse Others, and how a more precise diagnosis may be found by examining the work of democracy rather than theorizing its ideal version. In particular, I suggest that the crisis of democracy is ongoing, whereby the very production of ‘the people’ is in a constant state of flux. Second, I explicate what is meant by the idea that the work of democracy lies in meaningmaking processes that make and mark subjects. This work, I contend, is always and already taking place, but it tends to be obscured when

in Democracy in crisis
Consensus, freedom, and legitimacy
Matt Sleat

freedom on any basis other than right, is to necessarily employ it illegitimately. Legitimacy and freedom in conditions of reasonable pluralism Liberalism, like any complex moral and political tradition, consists of several different and not always compatible theoretical strands, all of which conceive of the key concepts of liberal thought, such as legitimacy and freedom, in related but different ways. That the Kantian framework for thinking about liberal politics is currently dominant should not lead us to ignore the importance or insights of the other strands, such

in Liberal realism
Israel as a role model in liberal thought
Uriya Shavit
Ofir Winter

4 The West within the East: Israel as a role model in liberal thought In Benjamin Zeev Herzl’s utopian novel Old-New Land (Altneuland in the original German, or Tel Aviv in the first Hebrew translation), published in 1902, German aristocrat Kingscourt returns to Palestine in 1923, twenty years after a short visit there on his way to a lonely island in the Pacific Ocean. Kingscourt is amazed to discover the immense positive impact Jewish immigration has had on Palestine. It has become a modern country and paragon of social justice in which a plurality of faiths

in Zionism in Arab discourses
Katherine Fierlbeck

valid marker of political legitimacy: rather, it has been in the reasons for which rights are deemed so important. The genesis of modern human rights was manifestly within the development of early modern liberal thought (see, e.g., Tuck 1979 ); and the point of this early liberalism was to constrain the arbitrary authority of the Crown. ‘Classical liberalism,’ as Geuss writes, ‘ did not

in Globalizing democracy
The pawn
Andrekos Varnava

] Addison’s “Cato”’, a tragedy set in Rome that was an allegory of early eighteenth-century politics. 2 The Liberals and other European governments adopted Shaw’s view that Cyprus would make a good bargaining chip. The Liberals and the cession of Cyprus to Greece After Cyprus was occupied, Gladstonian and Radical Liberals thought it would ultimately

in British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878–1915
Literary appreciation, comparatism, and universalism in the Straits Chinese Magazine
Porscha Fermanis

cultural worlds – rather than ‘to claim radical alterity’ – as part of what Goswami has called a ‘distinctively anticolonial project’. 14 While the Straits Chinese Magazine operated as a cultural broker for its elite Asian readership ‘standing half-way between east and west’, its confrontation with European (and especially British) culture also involved an intense engagement with the asymmetries of liberal thought. 15 My focus in this chapter is therefore on how the Straits Chinese Magazine was able to convene regional audiences and sensibilities in new and

in Worlding the south
American liberalism from the New Deal to the Cold War
Andrew Hartman

appeared on the American scene. The project of rethinking Marx helped define Cold War liberal thought. Cold War liberals used Marx as an integrative force for calibrating their views to a world in flux. Marx became the bane of liberal democracy. It is difficult to pinpoint when exactly this project began, or who it began with. One crucial beginning was the publication of Edmund Wilson’s 1940 book, To the Finland Station . This book is a dramatic narrative history of socialism from the storming of the Bastille until that fateful moment when Lenin arrived at Finland

in Marxism and America