Communicative Action and the Social Construction of Shari‘a in Pakistan

  • Muhammad Khalid Masud
Part of the Culture and Religion in International Relations book series (CRIR)


The shari‘a, in common Muslim usage, refers to a comprehensive concept of law, which includes ritual and dietary rules, as well as laws about family, commerce, and social relations. The shari‘a had been almost marginalized in the public sphere emerging during the colonial period in the 19th century. Most Western experts on Islamic law saw no future for shari‘a in a modern society, which was conceived of as essentially secular, and which had no place for religion in public affairs. But shari‘a reappeared in the emerging postcolonial public spheres in a number of Muslim majority societies in the 20th century. This trend raises a number of questions about the conception of the public sphere: specifically, does the emergence of a public sphere necessarily presuppose a secular society? Is it not possible to speak of public sphere in Muslim societies? Does the revival of shari‘a reflect the decline of public sphere?


Communicative Action Public Sphere Social Construction Public Reason Strategic Action 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Armando Salvatore and Mark LeVine 2005

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  • Muhammad Khalid Masud

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