Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Nader Hashemi, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrea Stanton

Third Advisor

Alan Gilbert


Comparative political theory, Ibn Khaldun, Political ethics


This thesis represents a link in a long chain of recent Western scholarship that has attempted to bring the work of Ibn Khaldun, the late 14th century Tunisian jurist and historian, into the mainstream of historiographic, political, and sociological learning. Why Ibn Khaldun? What makes his work stand out among the classics of pre-modern and early-modern political and social theory? Why are his ideas still relevant to the study of politics and societies today? My thesis attempts to answer these questions through the lenses of comparative political theory and theoretical reinterpretation.

The study hinges on a thematic comparison of Ibn Khaldun's major ideas to those authors considered mainstays in the pantheon of Western social science: Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Hegel. Such comparison is necessary, I believe, to emphasize the vast contextual differences among the authors while simultaneously highlighting their many theoretical similarities. By doing so, I demonstrate both the surprisingly contemporary relevance and lasting theoretical value of Ibn Khaldun's conceptualization of political power, the state, and social change.

Through careful comparison, this study attempts to simultaneously deepen and strengthen extant understandings of Ibn Khaldun's ideas while unearthing additional aspects either marginalized or neglected by the predominant scholarship. Moreover, it seeks to demonstrate Ibn Khaldun's lasting contribution and value to the modern social sciences--especially as it relates to the study of political rebellion and social change

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Douglas H. Garrison


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

83 p.


Political Science, Philosophy