Philosophy of Nonviolence: Revolution, Constitutionalism, and Justice Beyond the Middle East

ISBN : 9780199394203

Chibli Mallat
408 ページ
164 x 242 mm

In 2011, the Middle East saw more people peacefully protesting long entrenched dictatorships than at any time in its history. The dictators of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen were deposed in a matter of weeks by nonviolent marches. Imprecisely described as 'the Arab Spring', the revolution has been convulsing the whole region ever since. Beyond an uneven course in different countries, Philosophy of Nonviolence examines how 2011 may have ushered in a fundamental break in world history. The break, the book argues, is animated by nonviolence as the new spirit of the philosophy of history. Philosophy of Nonviolence maps out a system articulating nonviolence in the revolution, the rule of constitutional law it yearns for, and the demand for accountability that inspired the revolution in the first place. Part One-Revolution, provides modern context to the generational revolt, probes the depth of Middle Eastern-Islamic humanism, and addresses the paradox posed by nonviolence to the 'perpetual peace' ideal. Part Two-Constitutionalism, explores the reconfiguration of legal norms and power structures, mechanisms of institutional change and constitution-making processes in pursuit of the nonviolent anima. Part Three-Justice, covers the broadening concept of dictatorship as crime against humanity, an essential part of the philosophy of nonviolence. It follows its frustrated emergence in the French revolution, its development in the Middle East since 1860 through the trials of Arab dictators, the pyramid of accountability post-dictatorship, and the scope of foreign intervention in nonviolent revolutions. Throughout the text, Professor Mallat maintains thoroughly abstract and philosophical arguments, while substantiating those arguments in historical context enriched by a close participation in the ongoing Middle East revolution.


General Introduction
1. The Middle East Nonviolent Revolution: A philosophical manifesto
Part I- Revolution
2. Introduction- Nonviolence between order of reasons and decrees of reality
3. A brief history of nonviolence in the Middle East
4. Shattered political language: Reconstructing a humanist culture of nonviolence
5. Nonviolence: The central philosophical paradox
6. Conclusion- Rhythms of nonviolence
Part II- Constitutionalism
7. Introduction
8. Caveat: Against Secession
9. Constitutional ruins and unfathomable politics of transition
10. Constitution-writing: LEJFARC's universal template
11. Middle Eastern constitutionalism
12. Conclusion- Constitutionalism and nonviolence
Part III- Justice
13. Introduction- The order of reasons restated
14. 'Dictatorship is a crime against humanity'
15. Middle Eastern precedents and universal trends
16. The pyramid of accountability
17. Justice and nonviolence
18. Coda: on foreign intervention and nonviolence
19. Epilogue-The 2011 Anima


Chibli Mallat serves as Presidential Professor of Law and Professor of Law and Politics of the Middle East at the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah. He also holds the EU Jean Monnet Chair of European Law at Saint Joseph's University in Lebanon.