Islam and International Relations (IR): why is there no Islamic IR theory? by Ali Bakir

International Relations (IR) as an academic discipline is relatively new and almost entirely dominated by Western sources of knowledge. Its biased nature undermines its capacity to understand, explain and predict events in the non-Western part of the world. With the increasing effort to explore non-Western IR and diversify the sources of knowledge of the discipline, Islam has emerged as an essential source of interest, not necessarily as a reflection of the East–West dichotomy or non-Western versus Western discourse, but rather as an approach that has its own rules, concepts and perspectives on IR. In this sense, the article contributes to the increasing discussions on the interaction between Islam and IR. It critically engages with three levels of discourse: first, IR in Islam; second, Islam in contemporary IR; and, third, Islam as an IR theory or as a paradigm. The paper attempts to address the question of why there are no modern Islamic IR theories by exploring reasons related to Muslims as well as to the nature of the current system and Western hegemony. It concludes by introducing an initial model and two paths (traditional and revolutionary) that might help mitigate this situation in the future.

To download the article, click here.

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