International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Global Governance, The Nation State and Muslim Unity: The Need for Peaceful Conflict Resolution*

Muhammad Arif Zakaullah

Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, IIUM



The paper argues that globalization is a phase in the ongoing evolution of the human civilization. It is observed that the rapid pace of globalization is also generating a system of global governance that is undermining the sovereignty of the nation state. In order to protect their interests, the nation states are also moving fast towards greater interstate economic cooperation and integration. In this regard, Muslim countries have o poor record. There is a common view among Muslim scholars and masses that this lack of cooperation is due to the influence of Western Nationalism on the Muslim Nation Slate. They argue that Western Nationalism is inherently a bad philosophy, as it divides the people on the basis o/ ethnicity, language, territory, etc. The author gives an alternative explanation of this problem and identifies the conditions, whose presence / absence could make nationalism evolutionary / degenerative. The paper takes the position that, in the postcolonial period, the lack of cooperation among Muslim countries was not due to the bad influence of Western Nationalism but rather due to the indigenous factors that retarded the evolution of the Muslim nation state.  It is because of these reasons that at present the changes of the integration of Muslim nation states appear remote.  The paper recommends an approach based on Liberation Democracy and Peaceful Mechanism of Conflict Resolution (PMCR) to establish evolutionary nationalism in Muslim countries that will revitalize the Muslim Nation State, enabling it to contribute towards greater cooperation and eventual integration of the Muslim Ummah to meet the challenges of globalization.   It is argued this approach has the potential to contribute to the realization of Ummatic unity of action without resorting to the establishment of the Caliphate or the Islamic State.


This is the revised version of a paper presented at the International Conference on “The Ummah at the Crossroads: The Role of the OIC,”3-14 October 2003, Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur; Jointly organized by: Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relation’s (IFDR), Institute of Knowledge Advancement, Universiti Teknologi Mara (InKA), MRSM Former Students Association in Malaysia (ANSARA)