The Inclusion of Islamic-Fundamentalist Logic of Rule in Democratic Types of Rule

20. October 2021, 09:00 – 11:30

 From Regime Transformation to Regime Change and “Brotherhoodization” in Turkey. Lecture from the International Teaching Week series

Lecturer: Prof. Can Zeyrek, Philipps, University of Marburg

Abstract: The overwhelming election victories of the populist Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015 and November 2015 in Turkey raised the question of whether or to what extent democratic types of rule are capable of including political Islam (religious fundamentalism) within its structures. President Erdoğan has so far rejected claims that he represents a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam and compares the AKP with European conservative parties like the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany. Nevertheless, 
state (public realm) and society (private realm) are challenged in Turkey by efforts of ideological, cultural, educational, institutional, societal, and elite transformation -what we may well describe as ‘Brotherhoodization’- and by efforts of transforming the political system at once, both on a grassroots level and through state power. Governance legitimacy and governance persistence is generated through actively vitalizing a collective consciousness of Islamic political identity, using the secular political establishment to legitimize Islam in political-ideological terms (‘democracy against itself’, Jean-François Revel 1993) and utilizing Islam as a political force to delegitimize, transform and change the political regime, i.e., the democratic type of rule.

The purpose of this lecture is firstly to recall the main features of Islamic Fundamentalism and its replacement by Neofundamentalism (Olivier Roy 1992). Jumping off from these two concepts and leaning on Max Weber’s three types of legitimate authority, the innovative approach of Modern Neofundamentalism (Zeyrek, 2021) will be conceptualized to reconstruct the impact of political Islam on contemporary contexts. A further aim is to concretely test the compatibility of Islamic-fundamentalist logic of rule with the prerequisites for democratic types of rule.
The main assumption of this approach is that state institutions, the rule of law, and society are challenged by a polymorphous logic of rule, simultaneously featuring the traditional and the charismatic type of authority (Max Weber 1972 [1922]).


Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology


CMFT builidng, Univerzitní 22, Auditorium, 1st floor