via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on February 1, 2014:

Call for Papers: AAR, San Diego, November 22–25, 2014


Modern/Islamic Political Formations: Thinking Through Wael Hallaq’s Impossible State

In his groundbreaking work The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament (2013) Wael Hallaq writes: “The political, legal, and cultural struggles of today’s Muslims stem from a certain measure of dissonance between their moral and cultural aspirations, on the one hand, and the moral realities of a modern world, on the other – realities with which they must live but that were not their own making.” Hallaq’s signal contribution to thinking about Islamic politics in the modern world argues that modern-day attempts at thinking about Islamic politics are done through the paradigm of the modern state. Given that the modern state is an epistemologically modern, Western ideal and reality, such attempts are necessarily not “Islamic” (as this adjective is understood vis-à-vis premodern ideals and realities of Islamic governance), but are fundamentally modern and Western in their ethical and legal constituents. 

Taking Hallaq’s theoretically fecund and multidisciplinary book as a jumping-off point, this panel invites papers from various lines of inquiry in examining – on a theoretical and empirical basis – to what extent modern Islamic political formulations are bound by the paradigm of the modern nation-state, and are therefore “modern” and “Western” in their (explicit and implicit) logic/s. In other words, the panel problematizes neat conceptual boundaries between “Islamic politics” and “Western political theory.”

Please send a 1000-word proposal and a 150-word abstract to Hasan Azad ( by February 28, 2014. 

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