Consent and chaos: Why the Islamic world faces decades of political risk

In many different guises, an ancient question still haunts human society: “What is the source of government legitimacy?” While this is largely settled in the Western industrial countries, David Rowe argues it is likely to disrupt parts of the Islamic world for generations


Instant global communications can make the world seem like a very confusing and chaotic place, animated by a wide variety of circumstances and viewpoints. Occasionally, though, a particular idea seems to offer a flash of unifying insight. For me, such an insight is offered by Alan Ryan in his recent book On politics.1 The book is a magisterial overview of the theory of politics to which Ryan has devoted his long academic career at Oxford and Princeton.

The fundamental question of politics is how

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