Politics & Social Sciences in Arabic - Issue 1
Aristotle, Bodin, Democracy, Human rights, and the Theory of Sovereignty - these are just some of the topics covered in the first issue of Politics & Social Sciences in Arabic. If you're interested in learning more about these concepts and how they relate to politics and social sciences, this issue will be right up your alley. You'll learn about the origins of modern politics and the role of the state.
Aristotle's political and social science works are a diverse collection of works that owe much to the Arab tradition. Arabic translations of Aristotle's works are particularly rich, as they are written in Syriac, Arabic, and Latin, and fit within the framework of assimilation of Greek knowledge and the urban, Islamic culture of the 'Abbasid East. The Arabic versions of Aristotle's works were widely translated and made accessible to a wider audience. Thomas Aquinas systematically translated and analyzed Aristotle's works, making them accessible to a wider audience.
Political philosophers have long argued that the study of the city-state and its politics must begin with a consideration of the good life. Indeed, Aristotle's work on politics often recurs the theme of the good life as the proper end of the city-state. The political philosopher's ideas are timeless, and his synthesis of idealism and realpolitik is impressive. In politics, Aristotle addresses issues ranging from the place of human nature in politics to the relation of the individual to the state. The philosopher also discusses how ideals apply to practical politics and the importance of a morally-educated citizenry.
Aristotle's career in politics and the social sciences was directly connected to the rise of the Macedonian empire. He was employed by Philip II of Macedon, and was also a tutor to Alexander the Great. In 343 BC, he met his future wife, Pythias of Stagira, and the couple married. Their son, Nicomachus, was named Nicomachus after the philosopher's father.
Aristotle's exoteric works are not complete literary texts. They are drafts written within Aristotle's school. Although he wrote exoteric works in Greek, Arabic translations of his works have not yet been published. Many surviving texts are in the form of lectures. Andronicus of Rhodes compiled and edited Aristotle's esoteric works.
The Aristotelian text emphasizes the importance of good reasoning and observation. Aristotle speaks of natural change as continuous, purposeful, and teleological. He also uses the concept of species to make empirical claims. He is not a reductive materialist, and he considers the body as matter and the psyche as the form of each living creature. Therefore, Aristotle is one of the first philosophers in history who formulated the concept of natural causes and laws.
Bodin's theory of sovereignty
Bodin's theory of sovereignty in politics or government derived from classical law, and was developed in the context of a growing commercial economy and centralizing state that suffered from religious conflict. The French and Latin versions of this theory viewed sovereignty as an absolute power and the legislative power as a command. These ideas were not mutually exclusive, and in many cases, were contrary to each other.
In Bodin's own book, "The Origin of Sovereignty in Politics and the Social Sciences in Arabic," he describes the relationship between the two branches of government. In the classical Roman Republic, the comitia centuriata and comitia tribunata were essentially aristocratic bodies. According to Bodin, classical Roman republicans could not act without the approval of the Senate, but he also rejects this characterization. Although Bodin argues that the Roman Republic was pure democracy, it is not clear that his central principle would hold up during the Six livres, when sovereignty in Rome was divided between the patrician Senate and popular assemblies.
While Bodin's theory of sovereignty has been cited by many, his emphasis on popular consent may be a medieval remnant. It is inconsistent with his theory of absolute sovereignty and is entirely fiscal. Bodin's actions in the Estates General at Blois, for example, blocked royal proposals to increase taxes without the consent of the citizens. However, it may be important to note that these actions did not have any constitutional intentions.
The Roman Republic, whose aristocratic government was rooted in popular sovereignty, also influenced Bodin's theory of sovereign authority. The Roman Senate was empowered to dispose of the state's finances, authorize religious practices, and nominate provincial governors. In addition, Bodin believed that large aristocratic republics were more stable than small democratic ones. As such, Bodin's theory of sovereignty in politics and social sciences in Arabic remains controversial today.
Despite the emergence of popular resistance and the onset of the Arab Spring, the MENA governments' performance in human rights, accountability, and political participation did not improve. A deteriorating social contract, increased cronyism, and elite capture were tolerated by most citizens. However, the new generation was less inclined to join mass-organizations and instead drew closer to social media platforms. As a result, an increasing share of citizens felt they got less from their governments.
While democracy is often associated with ancient Greece, it was widely practiced in various areas of the world before the 5th century. Evidence from the early human past suggests that democratic government had evolved as early as the fifth century bce. In some regions, such as Mesopotamia, tribal groups, and city-states, the population was small enough to elect representatives without outside intervention. By contrast, tribal societies and democratic governments developed in the Islamic world.
It is no surprise that many people are interested in human rights in Arabic-speaking countries. The Arab Uprisings of 2011 shocked the region and unified a variety of societal groups. But the debate over human rights is not limited to the region. In fact, human rights are important globally and should be studied in Arabic-speaking countries as well. There is a growing literature on human rights in Arabic-speaking countries, with the concept of social contracts making the most sense in the region.