What Is Enlightenment?

What Is Enlightenment? : Continuity or Rupture in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings

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This volume examines whether the Arab Uprisings introduce a replica of the European Enlightenment or rather stimulate an Arab/Islamic Awakening with its own cultural specificity and political philosophy. By placing Immanuel Kant in Tahrir Square, Cairo, this book adopts a comparative analysis of two enlightenment projects: one Arab, still under construction, with possible progression toward modernity or regression toward neo-authoritarianism, and one European, shaped by the past two centuries.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 404 pages
  • 159 x 238 x 35mm | 753g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 6 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0739193678
  • 9780739193679

About Mohammed D. Cherkaoui

Mohammed D. Cherkaoui is professor of conflict resolution and peacebuilding at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and member of the Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution.
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Review quote

The book does a good job in providing answers to the two main questions it raises: Why and in which ways the Arab Spring was a middle class phenomenon, and why and in which ways the pre-2011 traditions (authoritarianism and Islamism) reasserted themselves so forcefully, not to say violently, in the MENA countries after the uprisings of 2011... The authors of this collective volume are to be congratulated for having elevated themselves above present day social sciences enslaved to the scientist myth of instrumental reason. VoegelinView A uniquely informative read for anyone interested in the philosophical background of the Arab uprisings, paying equal weight to Arab and Western contributions, and displaying a careful attention to the relation between daily activism and the intellectual zeitgeist associated with revolutionary action. -- Mohammed Bamyeh, University of Pittsburgh
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Table of contents

Chapter 1. The Arab Uprisings: the Freedom-to Question, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui

Part I: Experimenting with Social Change
Chapter 2. Immanuel Kant in Tahrir Square, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui
Chapter 3. Newtonian Force of the Arab Uprisings, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui and Hani Albasoos
Chapter 4. The Battle for Syria: The Bloody Non-violent Protest, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui and Radwan Ziadeh

Part II: Debating Reason and Modernity
Chapter 5. Revolutionary Mediatization and the New Arab Civil Sphere, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui
Chapter 6. The Google-Earth Democracy: The Two-Legitimacy Conflict in Egypt, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui

Part III: Connecting the Arab Public Sphere to the World
Chapter 7. How Do We Know What We "Know" about Politics and Reform in the Arab World?, Brian R. Calfano
Chapter 8. Crafting Democracy: Political Learning as a Precondition for Sustainable Development in the Maghreb, John P. Entelis
Chapter 9. Religion, Youth and Women in the Arab Region: Challenging Global Institutions and Politics of Development, Azza Karam

Part IV: Predicting an Arab Age of Enlightenment
Chapter 10. Democracy against Social Reform: the Arab `Spring' Faces its Demons, Albena Azmanova
Chapter 11. Organizing Principles for the Arab Enlightenment: Philosophical Reflections on the History of Power, Solon J. Simmons
Chapter 12. The "Dialectic of Enlightenment" and the New Arab Awakening, Richard E. Rubenstein
Chapter 13. An Arab Axial Age?, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui
Chapter 14. Conclusion: Islamocracy or Demoslamic Politics? The New Dialectic, Mohammed D. Cherkaoui
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