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Islam and democracy: Beyond 'compatibility' and toward cross-cultural democratic dialogue Open Access


Other title
Islam, the West, democracy, end of history, clash of civilizations, beyond culture, Islamism, new world order,
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gordner, Matthew
Supervisor and department
Mahdavi, Mojtaba (Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Carmichael, Don (Political Science)
Kent, Stephen (Sociology)
Department of Political Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
In this thesis I address the topic ‘Islam and democracy.’ I argue that rather than asking whether Islam and democracy are compatible, Western theorists should be seeking out how Muslims practice democracy. The ultimate aim of this thesis is to present a groundwork for meaningful and inclusive cross-cultural democratic dialogue to use as a basis for a global discourse on democracy. My main argument is that the ‘Islam and the West’ paradigm has occluded dialogue by miring the topic ‘Islam and democracy’ in debate over whether the two are compatible. Accordingly, the contents of this work are dedicated to (1) deconstructing the ‘Islam and the West’ paradigm and demonstrating its inadequacy as a viable approach to the topic ‘Islam and democracy,’ and (2) presenting arguments for, and exploring sites of, “Muslim democracy” and “post-Islamism” as starting points for cross-cultural dialogue between Muslim and Western societies and theorists.
License granted by Matthew Gordner ( on 2010-04-15T21:13:57Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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