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The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership Hardcover – January 1, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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$59.50 FREE Shipping. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Book Description

The Sulwan al-Muta' is an 800 year-old handbook for statesmen written by a Sicilian Arab who addressed this advice for a "just prince" based on Islamic morality, European realism and a broad-ranging knowledge of different cultures. The work is explicated using straight philosophical discourse as well as the narrative whirl of fables-within-fables so beloved of ancient and mediaeval Oriental literature. This is a work of practical political philosophy that combines penetrating contemporary analysis, the entertainment value of The Thousand and One Nights, and the deep insight of Sun Tzu.

About the Author

Joseph A. Kechichian is a private consultant on national security affairs within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

R. Hrair Dekmejian is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Saqi Books (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863567835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863567834
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The approach to state-building in Iraq is anchored in Western concepts of governing. Many, myself included, would argue this was an acceptable approach in the Golden Hour after the initial resistance was crushed or crumbled before resistance could organize and the shock wore off. In this power vacuum, the United States was dealing with a largely secular state that had a strong sense of national identity. However, as the Golden Hour slipped away and the opportunity to rebuild was squandered and religious men, fakers, and criminals stepped into the vacuum, the framework for discourse changed. The Western Machiavellian mindset was being displaced by a retreat into religion and tribalism, neither of which are "accepted" by the Machiavellian power model. Especially today, four years into the occupation of an Arab country at the cross-roads of Sunni and Shia, Arab and Persian, and West and East, we should reconsider how power is spoken, framed, and understood.

A Sicilian Arab, Muhammad ibn Zafar al-Siqilli, wrote a handbook for a prince 350 years before Machiavelli: Sulwan al-Muta' Fi 'Udwan al-Atba' (Consolation for the Ruler During the Hostility of Subjects). Joseph A. Kechichian and R. Hrair Dekmejian's book, The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership, analyzes the ibn Zafar's suggestions and compares ibn Zafar's ideas with Machiavelli's.

In crafting a communications strategy in Iraq, and the larger Muslim world, it should be valuable to consider the Arab Machiavelli's recommendations which stem from a Muslim view of legitimacy deeply rooted in tribal customs and a Prophet-inspired just public order. This awareness shaped his vision of power and virtue.

Understanding the framework of power of friend and foe alike is essential.
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