The professor, a leading authority and scholar of international affairs and politics in the Middle East and North Africa, gave a lecture to research fellows at the Max Planck Foundation on 8 January 2019.
Professor Brown delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the historical development of the source of law clause in Arab constitutional texts and on the evolution of the Shari’a clause in modern constitutions. Navigating the historical evolution of the source of law clauses in various Arab and Muslim-majority countries, Professor Brown identified the incremental occurrence of the Shari’a law clause in constitutional texts, whilst noting a correlative decrease as regards the practical effects of such clauses on legislation and legislative processes. The lecture was followed by questions and a discussion with research fellows from the Foundation.
Professor Brown highlighted the increasing intersectionality of law, religion and politics in the political systems of various countries in the MENA region and identified outliers that resist this trend. He has authored numerous books related to this theme, including ‘Constitutions in a Non-Constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and Prospects for Accountable Government’ (SUNY Press, 2001) and ‘The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Arab States of the Gulf’ (Cambridge University Press, 1997). His latest books include ‘Arguing Islam After the Revival of Arab Politics’ (Oxford University Press, 2016) and ‘When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics’ (Cornell University Press, 2012).