Khaldunian studies today: The contributions of Syed Farid Alatas

Ardic N.

JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY, vol.30, no.1, pp.77-85, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/johs.12156
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.77-85
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


The growing interest in the 14(th)-century Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun's ideas and his essentially historical-sociological perspective implies a promise of a critical appraisal of the Eurocentric nature of the classical and contemporary social theory. An important role is played in this endeavor by Syed Farid Alatas whose work has been important not only in terms of further introducing Ibn Khaldun's theory to the Western audience but also making it more relevant to the contemporary theoretical debates and historical sociology. This article reviews Alatas' work on Ibn Khaldun with a view to demonstrate that his contributions to the Khaldunian studies today take at least five different forms: a critical examination of Ibn Khaldun's theory in general, and reconstruction of it as a theory of the state, and of religious revival in particular; demonstrating its significance for the modern social sciences; its application to a number of premodern and modern empirical cases; and a theoretical integration of his model with some modern Western theories, which is a rare occurrence in both Khaldunian studies and sociology in general.