Social Justice in the Middle East

Authored by: Elizabeth F. Thompson

Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415620437
eBook ISBN: 9781315857534
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934011

10.4324/9781315857534.ch5

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Abstract

Ideals of social justice in today’s Middle East are rooted in political discourses common to most postcolonial societies, as well as in the particular influences of the region’s Islamic culture and its proximity to Europe. Broadly speaking, popular and egalitarian visions of justice have historically played against and alongside longstanding patrimonial ideals of justice, which granted the state a pre-eminent role in protecting the welfare of citizens. Until the early 19th century, states administered justice through Islamic courts and economic regulations, including price controls and taxation. Popular models of a “circle of justice” imagined the monarchical state as the enforcer of Islamic law and protector of its flocks of peasants.

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