The Emergence of an Islamic Approach in Post-Westphalian International Relations

Document Type: Original Article


M.A. student of Islamic Studies and Political Science at Imam Sadiq University


Islam has a specific approach to the nature of international relations, which is different from two main international discourses, namely, realism and liberalism. In terms of ontological and epistemological foundations, schools in international relations differ from one another and as a result, their approach to international relations is different. This paper intends to compare the ontology foundations of the Islamic approach to international relations in comparison to both realism and liberalism approaches. However, two questions are discussed in this article: First, what are the ontological foundations of the international relations approach? Second, what is the difference between the Islamic theory of international relations and liberalism and realism approaches? In response to these questions, two hypotheses are stated:  First, the foundations of the ontology of international relations in Islam, in the dimension of anthropology, are neither pessimistic as realism, nor optimistic as idealism; but in Islamic perspective, human nature is a mixture of nature and instinct and  since a Muslim accepts the unseen affairs (qayb) and the absolute divine rule based on his nature, his understanding of politics is a sharia-based and in his view, the principle dominated over international relations is peace-centered. Second, the most important distinction between the Islamic approach to international relations and realism and liberalism is the ontological foundations of this theory. Regarding to these foundations, it has been able to provide an interpretation of the nature of international relations which is more consistent with the reality of the international system. The method of the research is analytical and the way of collecting is a documentary type.


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