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Disciples of the State?
Religion and State-Building in the Former Ottoman World

  • Publication planned for: June 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108409452

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  • As the Ottoman Empire crumbled, the Middle East and Balkans became the site of contestation and cooperation between the traditional forces of religion and the emergent machine of the sovereign state. Yet such strategic interaction rarely yielded a decisive victory for either the secular state or for religion. By tracing how state-builders engaged religious institutions, elites, and attachments, this book problematizes the divergent religion-state power configurations that have developed. There are two central arguments. First, states carved out more sovereign space in places like Greece and Turkey, where religious elites were integral to early centralizing reform processes. Second, region-wide structural constraints on the types of linkages that states were able to build with religion have generated long-term repercussions. Fatefully, both state policies that seek to facilitate equality through the recognition of religious difference and state policies that seek to eradicate such difference have contributed to failures of liberal democratic consolidation.

    • Draws from a unique set of comparative cases across the former Ottoman Empire, providing readers with an understanding of how religion-state relations evolved in both Muslim and Christian majority countries
    • Challenges conventional definitions of secularism and the forces behind it to help readers see how state transformations typically attributed to revolutionary secularization were often neither secular nor revolutionary
    • Examines the link between religion-state relations, the politics of exclusion, and the prospects of liberal democracy, offering a better understanding of why the quest for durable forms of liberal democracy has been elusive in the former Ottoman world
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: June 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108409452
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from June 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: religion and the quest for state soverignty
    2. Creating disciples of the state
    3. The Ottoman imperial footprint and international context
    4. The first reformer: Egypt under Muḥammad ʿAlī
    5. Synthesizing the religious and the national in a revolutionary and irredentist Greece
    6. The religious roots of the 'secular' state: understanding Turkey's sacred-synthesis of the religious and the national
    7. How the religious and the national diverge: evidence from Egypt
    8. Sacred-synthesis, the politics of exclusion, and the prospects of liberal democracy
    9. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Kristin Fabbe, Harvard Business School, Massachusetts
    Kristin Fabbe is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Dr Fabbe is also faculty affiliate at the Middle East Initiative at the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center, the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program.

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