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Transnational Islam In A Post-Westphalian World: Connectedness Vs. Sovereignty

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Chapter Summary

This chapter articulates transnational issue that concerns a classic topic within sociology and social theory: the public sphere. It focuses on the metamorphosis of the public sphere out of the straitjacket represented by the modern nationalist myth of the sovereignty of demos that overlaid the early modern image of Leviathan. The chapter examines the scope of a transnational 'Islamic sphere' from the viewpoint of its long term emergence as a form of civilizational challenge to the international order centred on the European Westphalian state, which crystallized in the 17th century, around the time Thomas Hobbes theorized about Leviathan. The chapter revisits the issue of the public sphere as situated mid-way between social connectedness and state sovereignty. Understanding the tension between these two normative poles in the theory of the public sphere, to be situated in the context of its emergence and metamorphosis, will finally facilitate a diagnosis of transnational Islam.

Keywords: European Westphalian state; Leviathan; social connectedness; state sovereignty; transnational Islam



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