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Ibn Khaldun's Concept of Assabiyya: An Alternative Tool for Understanding Long-Term Politics

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This essay considers Ibn Khaldun's concept of assabiyya with respect to the generation of the collective political action, particularly, directed to state formation. Special attention is paid to the nature and genesis of assabiyya as a technical term developed cumulatively throughout the Muqaddimah. It asks whether assabiyya, as Ibn Khaldun defined it, can be reformulated and applied in understanding and explaining current political developments. It concludes with the assertion that, considering its holistic and interdisciplinary nature, its moral implications, and, most importantly, its spatio-temporal dimension, assabiyya can emerge as an alternative conceptual tool in overcoming the impasse currently facing political theory in general and the liberal democratic paradigm in particular.

Affiliations: 1: SUNY Binghamton University, Foundation for Science and Arts


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