bookpansilamWith the end of the Cold War and the unfolding of unprecedented acts of transnational terror on September 11, representing perhaps new civilizational cleavages, Islam has attained renewed prominence in Western political reflections. Too often viewed from ethnocentric or sensationalist perspectives, how is Islam, as a strategic entity, to be understood in contemporary world politics?The New Politics of Islam is a timely study of the international relations of Islamic states. In detailing both theory and practice, it both describes the idea of pan-Islamism from classical to post-caliphal times and analyzes the foreign-policy behavior of contemporary states – especially Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan – from the colonial period to the global aftermath of September 11. With a concise and analytic style, the book engages one-by-one with the pressing questions of Islam’s political theory, Islam’s political geography, and Islam’s political sociology. Critical of grand explanations, The New Politics of Islam seeks to restore the scholarly balance between different perspectives on religion and realpolitik in the Middle East and South Asia. The primary empirical investigation of this book is centred on the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a 57-member international regime, sometimes referred to as the “Muslim United Nations,” and its involvement in post-Cold War crises in the form of the Gulf War, the Palestine problem, the Balkan wars, the Chechnya campaign, and nuclearization in South Asia. In its subsequent theoretical deliberations on Islam and the postmodern condition, The New Politics of Islam reconstructs contemporary social-science understandings of how religious ideas and identities influence international politics in the Islamic world in a worthy attempt to move beyond the clash-of-civilizations paradigm. A necessary tour d’horizon for the researcher and informed observer alike.Table of Contents:Acknowledgements ixForeword xi(Re-)Introductory Remarks: Pan-Islam: 1 (19)Whence and Whither?Scholarship & Statesmanship: A 2 (6)Military–Academic Complex“Pax Islamica” Revisited: Politics and 8 (5)PolemicsWhere From Here? The Ideational 13 (7)Idiosyncrasy of the OICPan-Islamic Paradigms: Adjusting to the 20 (23)Post-Caliphatic World OrderThe Trans-Islamic Umma: Political 20 (13)Taxonomy and Epistemic CommunityThe Organization of the Islamic 33 (4)Conference: Catalyst, Conception, andInceptionThe Charter of the Islamic Conference: 37 (6)Etatism as Fait AccompliA Geopolitical Genealogy of the OIC: The 43 (62)Secular RationaleThe OIC and Saudi Foreign Policy: 44 (16)Depoliticizing International IslamThe OIC and Iranian Foreign Policy: 60 (22)Unilateral MultilateralismThe OIC and Pakistani Foreign Policy: The 82 (18)Search for SecurityTriangle of Neutralization: A Comparative 100(5)InquirySelf-Identity in Foreign Policy: Bringing 105(25)Islam Back InThe Clash of Civilizations: Reinventing 107(5)“Geo-Culturalism”“Rhetorical Islam”: The Dialectics of 112(10)Rationale and DiscoursePostmodern Pan-Islamism: The Synthesis of 122(8)Rationality and “Aspirationality”Summary and Concluding Reflections: A 130(12)Mighty Myth—Rise, Demise, and ResurrectionOld World Order: The OIC and the “War on 133(4)Terror”On the Via Media: The Enduring Resonance 137(5)of IslamAppendix A Member States of the OIC: Territory, 142(2)Demography, EconomyAppendix B The Institutional Structure of the 144(3)OIC: A Comprehensive ListingAppendix C Triangle of Neutralization: A 147(1)Schematic OverviewNotes and References 148(35)Select Bibliography 183(18)Index 201Source: Amazon.com