Waging War and Ordering the World

June 27-29, 2017
2.00 - 4.00 pm

This course studies how major texts of political theory have ordered the world, as well as the nexus of sovereignty, war, and peace that they imagine. We will work through this constellation of ideas in selections from ancient, Islamic, European, and colonial political thought. We will consider the roles of the barbarian, the infidel, the pirate, the nomad, and empire in the production of sovereignty and peace for major European thinkers. We will also consider how colonized thinkers across the globe approached the idea and practice of war, to excavate the alternative orderings of the worlds that they imagine.

Murad Idris is an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia specializing in political theory. He has wide-ranging interests in political theory and the history of political thought, including war and peace, language and politics, postcolonialism, political theology and secularism, comparative political theory, and Arabic and Islamic political thought. His current research focuses on issues of war and peace in ancient, modern, and contemporary thought, in both Euro-American and Islamic traditions. His book manuscript examines competing idealizations of “peace” across canonical works of ancient and modern political thought, from Plato to Immanuel Kant and Sayyid Qutb. He has published essays on topics such as Erasmus’ political theology and Ibn Tufayl’s twelfth-century allegory. Before coming to UVa, Idris held a Mellon Research Fellowship at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University and a Mellon Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship at Cornell University. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.