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LOCATIONS: Zanzibar (Tanzania)
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Abstract:
Western political philosophy is primarily concerned with the dynamics of rights and responsibilities between the individual and the institutions; the concept of community is overlooked in such theories, and is even antithetical to the modern nation-state.
Notes:

Community Agency and Islamic Education in Contemporary Zanzibar

by Caitlyn Bolton

published in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 30:3, pages 93-103
Ottawa, ON: Association for Bahá'í Studies North America, 2020
About: Western liberal political philosophy, which undergirds the conception of the modern nation-state as theorized by European philosophers of liberalism from centuries past, is primarily concerned with the dynamics of rights and responsibilities between the individual and state institutions. In defining these dynamics, some philosophers held an assumption of human nature as inherently inclined toward selfish ends, and as such they thoroughly questioned to what extent the state could intervene in the life of individuals in order to curb destructive and antisocial behavior. Others idealized the “state of nature” as peaceful, but, writing in the era of absolutist monarchs, they were primarily concerned with limiting the reach of sovereign power. Yet with whichever approach, “community” is not a viable actor in such theories, concerned as they are with arbitrating between the “freedom” of the individual and the coercive power of state institutions. Indeed, the very concept of community, especially communities of “minorities,” is antithetical to the modern nation-state, as it implies allegiance to something other than the nation itself.
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