This chapter maps out the key arguments, theoretical approaches, analytical assumptions, and methodology that shape this study. The emerging sub-discipline of comparative political theory is discussed and an argument is advanced as to why this book should be viewed as a contribution to this new discipline of political science. Furthermore, the intellectual context that has informed the academic and intellectual debate both on the relationship between religion and democracy in general and Islam and liberal democracy in particular is discussed with special attention to the post-Cold War and post-September 11, 2001 context. A definition of terms such as religion and liberal democracy is provided along a discussion of the theoretical tensions between the two. A detailed chapter overview and summary appears along with a concluding discussion about the salience of this inquiry for our world today.
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