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    Blaydes, Lisa 2017. State Building in the Middle East. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 487.

  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

19 - State formation and organisation

The tradition of imperial government was renewed by the Arabs, the last of the barbarians as well as the last of the heretics, who carried it back to North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as to Central Asia and northern India, without suppressing the tradition of self-government among the peoples of the mountains and the deserts whom they brought under their sway. The outcome, in the Ottoman empire, was an impressive solution to the problem of state formation and organisation inherent in the kinds of government. Only to the south, across the Sahara in tropical Africa, were the terms of the problem modified by the relationship of Muslims to pagans in lands where they had established themselves by settlement and conversion rather than by conquest. The Arabs, Turks and Berbers who invaded the settled lands of Islam in the fifth/eleventh century were all tribal peoples of the kind described by Ibn Khaldūn.
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