The daily headlines are dominated by international crises, belligerence, face-offs, and tensions, and it is easy to forget that the world actually “works” (most of the time) through endless arrangements, agreements, rules, negotiations, and cooperative problem-solving. This patchy system of regimes and rules, with its vast cast of characters including state and non-state organizations, constitutes what we described in the Introduction to this book as “global governance.” The focus of this book has been how the Islamic world engages with these systems of global governance, how it contributes to them, and in some cases how it challenges them with alternative models and agendas. On the face of it, the question seems an obvious one: the 57 member states of the OIC represent some 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, which in turn are supported by a variety of non-governmental organizations and institutions operating at the global level (e.g., the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). The other obvious fact is the centrality of MMS in global energy issues, in trade, and in terms of their weight and promise in the developing world (think Indonesia, Malaysia, or Pakistan). Regrettably, political Islam, terrorism, and the most fragile MMS (e.g., Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq) have tended to frame the way the public thinks about the Islamic world and indeed a good deal of the scholarship. That was why this book was necessary: it is the first attempt to bring to a wider audience a discussion of the constructive engagement of the Islamic world with global governance, of what we termed the “cooperation of civilizations.” We took some pains in the Introduction to this book to argue against three misconceptions about Islam and the Muslim world that would foreclose the investigation before it started: that the Muslim world is undifferentiated and defined primarily by religion, that Islam is inevitably in civilizational opposition to the West, and that Islam is incompatible with modernity. Having set those prejudices aside, we presented 13 chapters on different aspects of global governance and Islam: Islamic perspectives on governance and law, international aid through the OIC, Islamic charities, climate change and energy sustainability, global research and education, economics and finance, e-governance, migration, and governance reform efforts.
- Ulrichsen, K. C. (2010). The GCC States and the Shifting Balance of Global Power. Doha: Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Retrieved from https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/558292/CIRSOccasionalPaper6KristianCoatesUlrichsen2010.pdf?sequence=5