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Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics$
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Nathan J. Brown

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190619428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190619428.001.0001

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Arab Constitutions, the Many Voices of the Public, and the Word of the One God

Arab Constitutions, the Many Voices of the Public, and the Word of the One God

(p.147) Chapter 6 Arab Constitutions, the Many Voices of the Public, and the Word of the One God
Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics

Nathan Brown

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the nature of constitution making in the Arab world, demonstrating the effects of greater publicity in the drafting process, the ways in which the changing and escalating forms of publicity have expressed themselves in constitutional arguments about Islam, and how that has been reflected in constitutional texts. After tracing the slow growth of both publicity and of constitutional language concerning Islam in Arab constitution writing, it turns to the post-2011 experience of Tunisia and Egypt where Islamists became major political players yet the expansionary tendency regarding Islam came to an end. It demonstrates the effects of arguing about Islam on three levels. First, the arguments have had a growing effect on the constitutional texts. Second, along the way the formulas that were developed did not always have much legal effect. Third, the arguments shaped various groups’ affective orientation toward the political system.

Keywords:   Arab constitution, Islam, publicity, political values, constitutional argument, Tunisia, Egypt

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