Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations

Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations

Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations

Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations

Synopsis

Jihad for Jerusalem explores the agent-structure dynamics in world politics and advances a constructivist theory of choice that explains the role of identity, culture, religion, and other core values in international politics. The struggle for Jerusalem by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel is the empirical space where the dynamics between reason and identity, values and strategies, is explored.

Excerpt

Knowledge is like sealed treasure houses, the keys to them is inquiry. Inquire therefore, for therein lies reward for four: the inquirer, the learned, the auditor and their admirer.

Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Al Ghazali in Ibya-Uloom-udin

This book began as a journey to discover the truths that underpin the constitution of society and the rules that shape the behavior of collective actors on the world stage; with a view to developing a new paradigm for understanding world politics without neglecting identity, culture, religion, and all things normative.

But as is true of all books that themselves are transformative agents, writing this book became an exercise in writing myself. In writing this book I understood the tension between reason and culture, between rationality and identity. I discovered that epistemology is not independent of ontology. Our being is so inseparably enmeshed with what we know that being is in knowing. In trying to address the agent-structure problem as a necessary precondition to theory development, I realized how difficult it was to separate the self from society. In trying to learn about society, one inevitably learns so much about the self. The process by which we construct the self or the society is one and the same.

One important discovery that I made while writing this book was to fully understand the powerful opportunities that the constructivist approach provides by implicating identity with epistemology. I realized that constructivism is the methodology for which Muslim social scientists have been searching for the past four decades. Constructivist approaches (as

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