Recent Scholarship: Islamic Political Leadership

The latest issue of SSRN’s Islamic Law & Law of the Muslim World eJournal includes:

Who or What Is the Wali al-Amr: The Unposed Question” by Nathan J. Brown

This article explores how, in Islamic political writings, the concept of the wali al-amr (head of the community) has been transformed from an individual ruler to a modern bureaucratic and policy state.

Erdoğan’s Political Islamist Narrative and Radicalization of the Turkish Muslim Diaspora” by Ihsan Yilmaz

This article discusses the impact of “Erdoğanist” rhetoric and production of unofficial Islamist and anti-Western fatwas on the transnational radicalization of the Turkish Sunni diaspora.


In addition, a special issue of Modern Asian Studies came out earlier this year with the theme, “Petitioning and Political Cultures in South Asia,” and included:

Petitions and Local Politics in the Late Mughal Empire: The View from Kol, 1741” by Abhishek Kaicke

This article uses a 1741 petition from Kol (present-day Aligarh, India) to show how even scattered documents from the Mughal archive can illuminate local politics and the relationship with larger structures of ideology and state power in an era of political decentralization.

A Bureaucracy of Rejection: Petitioning and the Impoverished Paternalism of the British-Indian Raj” by Julia Stephen

Petitions allowed rulers and subjects alike to fantasize about the possibility of a more benevolent order, and to vent their frustration when those fantasies crumbled in the face of imperial indifference.