Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment A Global and Historical Comparison (by Ahmet Kuru)

Main Article Content

Behar Sadriu


Islam and contemporary issues, Islam and politics, Imperialism, Liberalism


In 2019 Professor Ahmet Kuru published his acclaimed Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison. I say ‘acclaimed’ not as an endorsement but merely to point to accolades it received, such as the jointly awarded and prestigious 2020 American Political Science Association’s Jervis-Schroeder Book Award. Moreover, it was keenly promoted by Kuru and publishers via a global book tour including Harvard, on top of receiving reviews in Foreign Affairs and numerous political science and history journals. More recently, its arguments featured in a widely reported op-ed penned by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in the wake of the Taliban reconquest of Afghanistan, where he characteristically decries ‘Islamism’ as “a first-order security threat to the west”.

Abstract 882 | PDF Downloads 353


Abu-Lughod, L., 2015. Response to Reviews of Do Muslim Women Need
Saving? Ethnicities 15, no. 5: 759-777.
Abul-Magd, Z., 2014. “Egypt’s Adaptable Officers: Power, Business and
Discontent.” ISPI Analysis, 266 (July), pp.1-9.
Adamson, F.B., 2005. “Global liberalism versus political Islam: Competing
ideological frameworks in international politics.” International Studies
Review 7, no. 4: 547-569.
Ahmed, Faiz. Afghanistan Rising. Harvard University Press, 2018.
Akyol, Mustafa., 2020. “Yes, Islam Is Facing a Crisis. No, France Isn’t
Helping Solve It.” Foreign Policy. November 20. https://foreignpolicy.
Albertsen, D. and De Soysa, I., 2018. “Oil, Islam, and the Middle East: An
empirical analysis of the repression of religion, 1980–2013.” Politics &
Religion, 11(2), pp.249-280.
Ahmed, Y., 2018. “The role of the Ottoman Sunni Ulema during the
constitutional revolution of 1908-1909/1326-1327 and the Ottoman
constitutional debates” (Doctoral dissertation, SOAS University of
Ajami, F., 2003. “Iraq and the Arabs’ future.” Foreign Affairs, pp.2-18.
Amin-Khan, T., 2012. “New orientalism, securitisation and the Western
media’s incendiary racism.” Third World Quarterly, 33(9), pp.1595-1610.
Anievas, A. and Nisancioglu, K., 2013. “What’s at Stake in the Transition
Debate? Rethinking the Origins of Capitalism and the ‘Rise of the
West’.” Millennium, 42(1), pp.78-102
Anjum, O., 2016. “Salafis and democracy: Doctrine and context.” The Muslim
World, 106(3):448-73.
Anjum, O., 2012. Politics, law, and community in Islamic thought: The
Taymiyyan moment. Cambridge University Press.
Ashour, O., 2009. The de-radicalization of Jihadists: Transforming armed
Islamist movements. Routledge.
Ayoob, M., 2007. “Challenging hegemony: political Islam and the north–south
divide.” International Studies Review, 9(4), pp.629-643.
Baker, M., 2010. “Narratives of terrorism and security: ‘Accurate’ translations,
suspicious frames.” Critical studies on terrorism, 3(3), pp.347-364.
Barkawi, T., 2004. “On the pedagogy of ‘small wars’.” International Affairs,
80(1), pp.19-37.
Barkawi, T., 2016. “Decolonizing war.” European Journal of International
Security, 1(2), pp.199-214.
Barkawi, T. and Laffey, M. eds., 2001. Democracy, liberalism, and war:
rethinking the democratic peace debate. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Barkey, K., 2008. Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative
Perspective. Cambridge University Press.
Bein, A., 2011. Ottoman ulema, Turkish Republic: Agents of change and
guardians of tradition. Stanford University Press.
Bennison, A.K., 1998. “Opposition and accommodation to French colonialism
in early 19th century Algeria.” Cambridge review of international affairs,
11(2), pp.99-116.
Bilgin, P., 2018. “Thinking about world order, inquiring into others’
conceptions of the international.” Theorizing Global Order: The
International, Culture and Governance, 22, p.37.
Blagden, D. and Porter, P., 2021. “Desert shield of the republic? A realist case
for abandoning the Middle East.” Security Studies, 30(1), pp.5-48.
Boucek, C., 2008. “Counter-terrorism from within: Assessing Saudi Arabia’s
religious rehabilitation and disengagement programme.” The RUSI
Journal, 153(6), pp.60-65.
Brown, N.J., 1997. “Sharia and state in the modern Muslim Middle East.”
International Journal of Middle East Studies, 29(3), pp.359-376.
Bull, Hedley, and Adam Watson. 1984. “The expansion of international
society.” Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Cesari, J., 2018. What is political Islam? Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Collier, P. and Hoeffler, A., 2004. “Greed and grievance in civil war.” Oxford
economic papers, 56(4), pp.563-595.
Croft, S., 2012. Securitizing Islam: Identity and the search for security.
Cambridge University Press.
Darke, D., 2020. Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic architecture shaped
Europe. Oxford University Press.
Dharish, Mazlan and Manan, 2020. “Democracy and the Muslim
World Revisited”. The Geopolitics.
Dillon, M. and Reid, J., 2009. The liberal way of war: Killing to make life live.
Dunn, K.C., 2006. “Examining historical representations.” International Studies
Review, 8(2), pp.370-381.
Emon, A.M., 2016. “Codification and Islamic law: The ideology behind a tragic
narrative.” Middle East Law and Governance, 8(2-3), pp.275-309.
Essa, A., 2021. “The French might have bombed a wedding party in Mali.
And no one seems to care”. Middle East Eye. 15 January https://www.
Euben, R.L., 2002. “Contingent borders, syncretic perspectives: Globalization,
political theory, and Islamizing knowledge.” International Studies Review,
Fearon, J.D., 1995. “Rationalist explanations for war.” International
organization, 49, pp.379-379.
Fearon, J.D. and Laitin, D.D., 2003. “Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war.”
American political science review, pp.75-90.
Ferizaj, A., 2019. “Othering Albanian Muslim masculinities: A case study of
Albanian football players.” Occhialì–Rivista Sul Mediterraneo Islamico, (s
5), pp.71-93.
Findlay, Yousafzai and Manson 2021. “US withdrawal leaves many
Afghans with little hope,” Financial Times,
Friedman, Thomas. ‘’What Joe Biden and I saw after the U.S.
invaded Afghanistan’’. New York Times. April 18. https://www.
Gesink, I.F., 2010. Islamic reform and conservatism: Al-Azhar and the evolution
of modern Sunni Islam. Tauris Academic Studies.
Gregory, D., 2011. “The Everywhere War.” The Geographical Journal 177(3):
Greitens, SC.,, Lee, M., and Yazici, E., 2020. “Counterterrorism and Preventive
Repression: China’s Changing Strategy in Xinjiang.” International
Security 44(3), pp.9-47.
Gruffydd Jones, B., 2006. “International relations, eurocentrism and
imperialism.” In Decolonizing international relations. Rowman &
Hallaq, W.B., 1984. “Was the gate of ijtihad closed?” International Journal of
Middle East Studies, 16(1), pp.3-41.
Hallaq, W.B., 1993. Ibn Taymiyya against the Greek logicians. Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
Hallaq, W., 2012. The impossible state: Islam, politics, and modernity’s moral
predicament. Columbia University Press.
Harvey, D., 2007. “Neoliberalism as creative destruction.” AAPSS, 610,
Hennigan, P., 2004. The birth of a legal institution: The formation of the waqf in
third-century AH Hanafi legal discourse. Brill Academic Publishers.
Herman, D., 2013. “Cognitive narratology.” In: Hühn, Peter et
al. (eds.): The living handbook of narratology. Hamburg:
Hamburg University. http://www.lhn.uni
Hoover, J., 2006. “Ibn Taymiyya as an Avicennan theologian: a Muslim
approach to God’s self-sufficiency.” Theological Review, 34(1).
Hoover, J., 2019. Ibn Taymiyya. Simon and Schuster.
Howell, A. and Richter-Montpetit, M., 2019. “Racism in Foucauldian security
studies: Biopolitics, liberal war, and the whitewashing of colonial and
racial violence.” International Political Sociology, 13(1), pp.2-19.
Huntington, S.P., 2000 [1993]. “The clash of civilizations?” Culture and Politics:
Ismail, Raihan. ‘’How is MBS’s consolidation of power affecting Saudi
clerics in the opposition?’’. Washington Post. 4 June 2019. https://
Jabri, V., 2006. “War, security and the liberal state.” Security Dialogue, 37(1),
Jahn, B., 2018. “Liberal internationalism: historical trajectory and current
prospects.” International Affairs 94(1): 43-61. E
Koschut, S., Hall, T.H., Wolf, R., Solomon, T., Hutchison, E. and Bleiker, R.,
2017. “Discourse and emotions in international relations.” International
Studies Review, 19(3), pp.481-508.
Kundnani, A. 2014. The Muslims are coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the
domestic war on terror. Verso.
Kuru, A.T., 2002. “How can Muslims stop living in history? GVS Exclusive
Interview with Prof. Ahmet T. Kuru”, Global Village Space, 1 November.
Laffan, M., 2003. Islamic nationhood and colonial Indonesia: the umma below
the winds. Routledge.
Lewis, B., 2011. The Middle East: 2000 years of history from the rise of
Christianity to the present day. Hachette UK.
Liow, J.C., 2009. Islam, education, and reform in Southern Thailand: tradition &
transformation. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Makdisi, J.A., 1998. “The Islamic Origins of the Common Law.” NCL review,
77, p.1635.
Makdisi, Ussama., 2016. “The Invention of Sectarianism in the Modern
Middle East”. Keynote address for Sectarianism, Identity, and Conflict
in Islamic Contexts: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.” Held
at George Mason University, April 15-17.
Menchik, J., 2016. Islam and democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without
liberalism. Cambridge University Press.
Miall, D.S., 2011. “Emotions and the structuring of narrative responses.”
Poetics Today, 32(2), pp.323-348.
Michot, Y., 2011. “Ibn Taymiyya’s “New Mardin Fatwa”. Is genetically
modified Islam (GMI) carcinogenic?” The Muslim World, 101(2),
Michot, Y., 2012. “Ibn Taymiyya.” The Princeton encyclopedia of Islamic
political thought, pp.238-241.
Michot, Y.M., 2013. “An Important Reader of al‐Ghazālī: Ibn Taymiyya.” The
Muslim World, 103(1), pp.131-160.
Mikhail, A., 2020. God’s shadow: the ottoman sultan who shaped the modern
world. Liveright.
Mohamedou, M.M.O., 2017. A theory of ISIS: political violence and the
transformation of the global order. Pluto Press.
Niblock, T., 2004. Saudi Arabia: Power, legitimacy and survival. Routledge.
Nisancioglu, K., 2014. “The Ottoman origins of capitalism: uneven and
combined development and Eurocentrism.” Review of International
Studies, pp.325-347.
Pamuk, S., 2009. The Ottoman economy and its institutions. Variorum Collected
Studies Series. Ashgate Publishing.
Pardesi, M.S., 2017. Region, system, and order: the Mughal Empire in
Islamicate Asia. Security Studies, 26(2), pp.249-278.
Pasha, M.K., 2006. “Liberalism, Islam, and international relations.” In:
Decolonizing international relations, pp.65-85.
Quijano, A., 2007. “Coloniality and modernity/rationality.” Cultural studies,
21(2-3), pp.168-178.
Qureshi, A. 2015. “PREVENT: Creating ‘radicals’ to strengthen anti-Muslim
Narratives.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 8(1): 181–191.
Qureshi, A., 2020. “Experiencing the war “of” terror: a call to the critical
terrorism studies community.” Critical Studies on terrorism, 13(3),
Qureshi, Asim. 2010. Rules of the game: detention, deportation, disappearance.
Richter-Montpetit, M., 2014. “Beyond the erotics of orientalism: homeland
security, liberal war and the pacification of the global frontier.” PhD
thesis, York University.
Rosato, S., 2003. “The flawed logic of democratic peace theory.” American
political science review, pp.585-602.
Sabaratnam, M., 2011. “IR in dialogue… but can we change the subjects? A
typology of decolonising strategies for the study of world politics.”
Millennium, 39(3), pp.781-803.
Sabaratnam, M., 2013. “Avatars of eurocentrism in the critique of the liberal
peace.” Security Dialogue, 44(3), pp.259-278.
Sadowski, Y., 1993. “The new orientalism and the democracy debate.” Middle
East Report, pp.14-40.
Sadriu, B., 2015. “Rhetorical strategies of Kosovo’s imams in the fight for
‘women’s rights.’” In The Revival of Islam in the Balkans (pp. 185-203).
Palgrave Macmillan.
Sadriu, B., 2017. “Grasping the Syrian war, a view from Albanians in the
Balkans.” Nationalities Papers, 45(4), pp.540-559.
Sadriu, B., 2021. “Narratives in international studies research.” In Oxford
Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.
Sadriu, B., 2019. “Rebranding the war on terror and remaking Muslim
subjectivities.” East European Politics, 35(4), pp.433-456.
Sartre, J-P., 2001. “Colonialism is a system.” Interventions 3(1): 127-140.
Said, E., 1978. Orientalism: Western concepts of the Orient. Penguin.
Salae, H., 2017. “The political accommodation of salafi-reformist movements
in Thailand.” PhD thesis, University of Leeds.
Sandberg, S. and Colvin, S., 2020. “‘ISIS is not Islam’: epistemic injustice,
everyday religion, and young Muslims’ narrative resistance.” The British
Journal of Criminology, 60(6), pp.1585-1605.
Sandrin, P., 2020. “Symptomatic enjoyment: a postcolonial and psychoanalytic
interpretation of Turkey’s relations with the European Union.” Journal
of International Relations and Development, pp.1-25.
Sanger, D and Shear, M., 2021. “Biden, Setting Afghanistan Withdrawal, Says
‘It Is Time to End the Forever War.” New York Times, April 14. https://
Sheikh, M., 2016. Ottoman puritanism and its discontents: Ahmad al-Rûmî
al-Âqhisârî and the Qâdîzâdelis. Oxford University Press.
Tezcan, B., 2010. The second Ottoman Empire: Political and social
transformation in the early modern world. Cambridge University Press.
Thurston, A., 2015. “Nigeria’s mainstream Salafis between Boko Haram and
the state.” Islamic Africa, 6(1-2), pp.109-134.
Tilly, C. and Besteman, C., 1985. “War making and state making as organized
crime.” In: Violence: A reader, pp.35-60.
Türkmen, G., 2019. “Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: Ahmet
T. Kuru.” Peace Review, 31.
Washbrook, D., 2007. “India in the early modern world economy: modes of
production, reproduction and exchange.” Journal of Global History, 2(1).
Wehner, L.E. and Thies, C.G., 2014. “Role theory, narratives, and
interpretation: The domestic contestation of roles.” International Studies
Review, 16(3), pp.411-436.
Yaycioglu, A., 2016. Partners of the empire: The crisis of the Ottoman order in
the age of revolutions. Stanford University Press.
Yilmaz H., 2015. “Containing sultanic authority: Constitutionalism in
the Ottoman Empire before modernity.” Osmanlı Araştırmaları 45,
Young, J., 2013. “Repression, dissent, and the onset of civil war.” Political
Research Quarterly, 66(3), pp.516-532.
Zaman, M.Q., 2010. The ulama in contemporary Islam: custodians of change.
Princeton University Press.