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Research Article

Reason, Deliberation, and Democracy in Divided Societies: Perspectives from the Jafari School of Thought

Author:

Nicolas Pirsoul

The University of Auckland, NZ
About Nicolas

Nicolas Pirsoul is a doctoral candidate in politics & international relations at the University of Auckland. His research interests include issues around identity politics, indigenous recognition, democracy and Middle Eastern politics.

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Abstract

In this article I argue that because of its emphasis on the use of reason, the Jafari Islamic school of thought is not only compatible with, but even promotes certain forms of deliberative democracy. I particularly focus on how this characteristic offers a valuable conceptual tool to promote peace and justice in deeply divided societies. My argument is grounded in traditional Shia theology and history but develops a political framework embedded within contemporary political theory. I distinguish this democratic political framework from the theocratic model of Wilayat-ul-Faqih, the political system currently being applied in Iran, and argue that an emphasis on rational argumentation opens a path towards reconciliation between Islamic principles and democracy. I analyse the potential benefits of deliberative democracy for Shias in both Middle Eastern societies and the West.

How to Cite: Pirsoul, N. (2017). Reason, Deliberation, and Democracy in Divided Societies: Perspectives from the Jafari School of Thought. Journal of Public Deliberation, 13(1), 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.272
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Published on 20 Apr 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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