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Constructing the Architectonics and Formulating the Articulation of
Islamic Governance: A Discursive Attempt in Islamic Epistemology

MALIK, MASZLEE (2011) Constructing the Architectonics and Formulating the Articulation of
Islamic Governance: A Discursive Attempt in Islamic Epistemology.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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International institutions have promoted a ‘good governance’ agenda as an archetypal model to achieve development for underdeveloped and developing countries. However, closer scrutiny can trace the root of this agenda back to the hegemonic nature of modernity that proposes a specific meta-narrative upon others, as part of Eurocentrism. Many, however, have criticized this Eurocentric paradigm, since the non-Western communities with their own constructed version of ‘good’ in governance have also proven their ability to develop and prosper in the present or in the past. Thus, the cultural and value-laden nature of such vernacular concepts provides the rationale for the existence and practice of other paradigms. In line with this argument, Islam, with its long history of governance and richness of its values can be considered as another alternative, which should be thoroughly examined to disclose and depict its conceptualization and paradigm of ‘good governance’.

The aim of this research, thus, is to explore and analyze the Islamic axioms, foundation principles and values underpinning the field of governance in an attempt to construct the architectonics of a new systemic and dynamic theory and formulate the articulation of ‘Islamic governance’. This discursive and abstract, rather than being an empirical exercise, assumes to produce a ‘good governance’ framework within its own formulation through a value-shaped dynamic model according to maqÉÎid al-SharÊÑah (higher objective of SharÊÑah) by going beyond the narrow remit of classical and contemporary discussions produced on the topic, which propose a certain institutional model of governance based on the classical juristic (fiqh) method. In this new dynamic paradigm, a discourse-oriented approach is taken to establish the philosophical foundation of the model by deriving it from Islamic ontology, which is then articulated using the Islamic epistemological sources to develop and formulate the discursive foundations of this new theoretical framework. A deductive method is applied to the ontological sources and epistemological principles to explain the architectonics of this new theory, which are represented by the constructed axioms, which later help to articulate the working mechanism of the proposed ‘Islamic good governance’ framework through a specifically formulated typology to function as an alternative conceptualization of ‘good governance’.

This study, through an exclusive analytical discursive approach, finds that Islam as one of the major religions in the contemporary world with the claim of promising the underpinning principles and philosophical foundations of worldly affairs and institutions through a micro method of producing homoIslamicus could contribute towards development of societies by establishing a unique model of governance from its explicit ontological worldview through a directed descriptive epistemology. Thus, the research on governance in this study does not only focus on the positivistic materialist components such as institutions or mechanisms or growth per se, but it encompasses the value-laden holistic nature of human life in accordance with the Islamic worldview as an important contribution. In doing so, it formulates the ‘good governance’ in Islam in relation to the conceptualized ‘ihsani social capital’, which constitutes the main thrust of the constructed model. Nonetheless, this generative (non-cumulative) paradigm of looking into the governance issue should be viewed as an incomplete certainty as production of the continuous ijtihad (reasoning) progression will continue to reveal ways through which its working mechanism can be expanded along with potential developments in its philosophical formation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Good Governance, Islamic Governance, Social Capital, Ihsani Social Capital, Islamic Political Economy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 May 2011 15:11

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