MARKET-STATE vs. SHARIA-STATE ?
The central hypothesis of Philip Bobbit’t’s The Shield of Achilles is that there has been an evolution in constitutional states driven by the dynamic interplay of law, strategy and history. Furthermore, accordng to Bobbitt, the era of the sovereign nation-state is passing away due to ( I reify here for brevity’s sake):
1. The Moral Claim of Human Rights
2. Nuclear Weapon proliferation
3. Rise of global and transnational threats
4. Globalization of liberal capitalist economic model
5. Rise of the global communications network
Emerging is a new constitutional form that Bobbitt calls “ The Market-State“, dedicated to ” maximizing the opportunities for its people”. For a lengthier examination of The Shield of Achilles and the ideas of Bobbitt, check out Josh Manchester’s post at The Adventures of Chester.
Using Bobbitt’s definition, should the Old and New Core manage to harmonize their rule-sets on security and transactional effciency, the entire Core could be an incipent market-state. These market-states are seemingly purer, more open-dended network structures than nation-states as Bobbitt classifies the broader Islamist, jihadi, insurgency as a market-state:
“This network, of which Al Qaeda is only a part, greatly resembles a multinational corporation but that is simply to say that it is a market-state, made possible by advances in international telecommunications and transit, rapid computation and weapons of mass destruction.” (p.820)
I have to disagree. While al Qaida and the greater Islamist-Salafi-Jihadi network of radicals and terrorists exist in this fluid, “market-state” form described by Bobbitt, the state is transient and tactical. It is quite clear from both by example and by public declarations that the Islamists have an entirely different and comprehensive alternative social contract in mind – The Sharia-State – which when they control territory they refer to as an ” Emirate” or as a “Caliphate” ( the former exemplified by Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and the latter entity encompassing the entire future territorial extent of the Ummah).
A sharia-state would begin by rejecting outright the above points 1 and 4 as these secular concepts clash with longstanding interpretations of Islamic Law and the rulers would also be compelled ideologically to severely restrict the operation of point 5. In fact, all of this occurs already in sharia-influenced nation-states like Iran and Saudi Arabia so we need only extrapolate to imagine an al Qaida Arabia or a Jihadi Egypt. The sharia to hard-core salafis is meant not as a guide but a set of divine regulations – and substantially regulations of a political nature – though competing schools of Islamic jurisprudence differ on the meaning and extent of particular interpretations.
In other words, the fundamental preconditions for a market-state would be intolerable to a sharia-state making the latter a deadly 4GW rival of the former and not, as Bobbitt maintained, a variation.