Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Juristocracy vs. Theocracy: Constitutional Courts and the Containment of Sacred Law

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Middle East Law and Governance

One of the fascinating yet seldom explored phenomena in predominantly religious polities in the Middle East and elsewhere is the growing reliance on constitutional courts and their jurisprudential ingenuity to contain the spread of religiosity or advance a pragmatic version of it. In this article, I explore the scope and nature of this phenomenon. I proceed in several main steps. First, I define what may be termed "constitutional theocracy" with its often conflicting legal commitments, political interests, and social realities. Second, I examine the main epistemological, juridical and political reasons why constitutional law and courts are so appealing to secularist, modernist, cosmopolitan, and other non-religious social forces in polities facing deep divisions along secular/religious lines. Third, I look at various modes of interpretive ingenuity drawn upon by constitutional courts in Egypt, Pakistan, Israel, and Turkey in order to contain, limit, and mitigate the resurgence of religiosity in their respective polities. All of these countries have experienced a growth in the influence of religious political movements, with a commensurate increase in the levels of popular support that they receive. Despite the considerable differences in these countries' formal recognition of, and commitment to, religious values, there are, however, some striking parallels in the way that the constitutional courts in these (and in other similarly situated countries) have positioned themselves as important secularizing forces within their respective societies. I conclude by drawing some general lessons concerning the political construction of judicial review and the secularizing role of constitutional courts in an increasingly religious world.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Middle East Law and Governance — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation