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The notion of citizenship in Islam


Bernard Lewis claims that the idea of citizenship is alien to Islamic political culture. There isn’t even a word for it.  I do not know of a possible transliteration of the word ‘citizen’ in Arabic.  In urdu, however, ‘shehri’ seems to be a very close transliteration.  But was the word shehri not also used for […]

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‘Techno’ and ‘political’ spaces…


Words stick together differently in different contexts by means of an unseen glue, with same words often producing different meanings and different effects.  One teacher of rhetoric, Kenneth Burke, said this about about a word we hear most frequently, ‘yes’.  He wrote: “Let us suppose that I ask you: “What did the man say?” And […]

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The need for a multidisciplinary perspective in policy debates


I read this piece titled “The Materialist Fallacy” by David Brooks today in the NYT.  David worries about the ways in which mainstream policy debates on social disruption in America have excluded a multidisciplinary perspective. As he puts it: The recent research details how disruption breeds disruption…thousands of studies on attachment theory…show that children who can’t […]

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Friends or competitors: Uneasy Relationship between Politics and Policy Sciences?


Following my last post, I had a fascinating exchange of emails with Lynn Fendler.  I am reproducing it below after some cleaning up of and additions to my own comments.  Lynn used the term ‘monetocracy’ to speak about the current shifting of balance from politics to markets.  This was enough of a prompt for me […]

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