EUME

Karim Sadek

Karim Sadek received his PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University in August 2012. Since then, Karim served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut (AUB), a Research Fellow at the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies, and taught Philosophy at AUB and Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. His research interests fall on the intersection between Critical Theory, democratic theory, and Islamic political thought. As a EUME Fellow Karim will be completing a book manuscript with the title: “‘Arab Spring’”: Authoritarianism or Emancipation? Recognition, Islamic Identity, and Radically Democratic Islamic Politics”. In this book Karim conducts an intellectual rapprochement between contemporary Critical Theory and Islamic revivalist movements and political thought to  establish the possibility and legitimacy of a radically democratic conception of Islamic politics, and clear the way for developing a characteristically Islamic critical social theory.

“Arab Spring”: Authoritarianism or Emancipation? Recognition, Islamic identity, and radically democratic Islamic politics

While the so-called “Arab Spring” presents an unprecedented opportunity for the populations of the region to realize their right to political self-determination, it also brings to the fore a problematic political situation where a characteristically Islamic form of politics is perceived as both, the source of emancipation and of authoritarianism. To do justice to this social reality, both the emancipatory and the authoritarian potentials of Islamic politics must be investigated and addressed. The overarching aim of this book is to develop an all-inclusive political vision for the post-uprising Arab world. This is achieved by forging an intellectual path between contemporary Critical Theory and Islamic revivalist movements and political thought. Although the book has a particular focus on Axel Honneth’s recognition theory and Rached al-Ghannouchi’s political thought, it places those thinkers in debates within the Islamic tradition on Islam’s place and role in politics, wider theoretical debates on the nature, grounds and limits of critical theoretical tools, as well as debates on the nature and meaning of democracy generally, and the place and role of religion in public reasoning more specifically. The book aims to establish the possibility and legitimacy of a radically democratic conception of Islamic politics, and clear the way for developing a characteristically Islamic critical social theory.

Publications that originated from the fellowship:

Karim Sadek
Workshop report (co-authors: Nada Moumtaz, Yazan Doughan): “Authority, Tradition and Critique in the Modern State”
(23 September 2015, trafo.hypotheses.org/2985)

Karim Sadek
5in10 Interview:“My wish goes to the breaking down of disciplinary boundaries.”
(August 2015, trafo.hypotheses.org)