Introduction and Historical Context

  • Mujtaba Ali Isani


This chapter introduces the puzzles that constitute the broader framework of this book and of the analyses provided. In this chapter, it is also necessary to paint a historical picture of the Muslim International order, including its downturn, and to develop the unique theoretical argument of this project, as this argument stands in contrast to current literature on international public opinion and on the social legitimacy of international organizations. The chapter depicts the Caliphate as an institution of historical significance to Muslims, one whose disappearance in the twentieth century left a void yet to be filled. Hence, by empirically deriving factors that influence Muslim attitudes toward international and regional institutions and by comparing these factors to the Muslim public’s concept of the Caliphate, the book aims not only to test this (historically inspired) argument but also to contribute to the research on the legitimacy of international organizations or lack thereof.


Muslim International order Caliphate Abbasid Ottoman 


  1. Acharya, A. (2014). Global International Relations (IR) and regional worlds: A new agenda for international studies. International Studies Quarterly, 58(4), 647–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayoob, M. (2008). The many faces of political Islam: Religion and politics in the Muslim world. Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barakatullah, M. (1924). The khilafet. Accessed 5 April 2015.
  4. Bein, A. (2008). ‘Ulama’ and political activism in the late Ottoman Empire: The political career of Şeyhülislâm Mustafa Sabri Efendi (1869–1954). In M. Hatina (Ed.), Guardians of faith in modern times: ʿUlamaʾ in the Middle East (pp. 65–90). Leiden: Brill. Google Scholar
  5. Brown, P. (2012). Through the eye of a needle: Wealth, the fall of Rome, and the making of Christianity in the west, 350–550 AD. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Crone, P. (2014). Medieval Islamic political thought. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gibb, H., Rosskeen, A., & Beckingham, C. F. (2017). The travels of Ibn Battuta, AD 1325–1354 (Vol. 1). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hassan, M. (2017). Longing for the lost Caliphate: A transregional history. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hodgson, M. (1993). Rethinking world history: Essays on Europe, Islam and world history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kedourie, E. (1963). Egypt and the Caliphate 1915–1946. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series), 95(3–4), 208–248.Google Scholar
  11. Kennedy, H. (2015). The prophet and the age of the Caliphates: The Islamic near east from the sixth to the eleventh century. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Kramer, M. S. (1986). Islam assembled: The advent of the Muslim congresses. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Madelung, W. (1998). The succession to Muhammad: A study of the early Caliphate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Moravcsik, A. (2014). Is there a ‘democratic deficit’ in world politics? A framework for analysis. Government and Opposition, 39(2), 336–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Roy, O. (2004). Globalized Islam: The search for a new ummah. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Schlipphak, B. (2013). Action and attitudes matter: International public opinion towards the European Union. European Union Politics, 14(4), 590–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Voll, J. O. (1994). Islam: Continuity and change in the modern world. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mujtaba Ali Isani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MuensterMuensterGermany

Personalised recommendations