Power and justice in the Middle East


Fri, 10/12/2012 - 3:00pm to Fri, 08/12/2022 - 8:58pm

In this colloquium talk, Dr. Linda Darling will be discussing her new book, "A History of Social Justice and Political Power in the Middle East: The Circle of Justice From Mesopotamia to Globalization" soon to be published by Routledge Press. More information about the book can be found here.

A description of the book from the Routledge website:

From ancient Mesopotamia into the 20th century, "the Circle of Justice" as a concept has pervaded Middle Eastern political thought and underpinned the exercise of power in the Middle East. The Circle of Justice depicts graphically how a government’s justice toward the population generates political power, military strength, prosperity, and good administration.

This book traces this set of relationships from its earliest appearance in the political writings of the Sumerians through four millennia of Middle Eastern culture. It explores how people conceptualized and acted upon this powerful insight, how they portrayed it in symbol, painting, and story, and how they transmitted it from one regime to the next. Moving towards the modern day, the author shows how, although the Circle of Justice was largely dropped from political discourse, it did not disappear from people’s political culture and expectations of government. The book demonstrates the Circle’s relevance to the Iranian Revolution and the rise of Islamist movements all over the Middle East, and suggests how the concept remains relevant in an age of capitalism.


Dr. Darling is an associate professor of history at the University of Arizona. Her research deals with fiscal administration in the Ottoman Empire and its connections with political legitimation, and she sets her work on the Ottomans within the wider context of the early modern period in Europe and, to a lesser extent, states farther east.


Video of the talk


MENAS Colloquium
Fall 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012
3pm in Marshall 490