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Set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, The Sharia Stateexamines the Islamist concept of political order. This order is based on a new interpretation of sharia and has been dubbed "the Islamic state" by Islamists. The concept of "the Islamic state," has been elevated to a political agenda and it is this agenda that is examined here, in the context of the Arab Spring. In contrast to the prevailing view which sees the Arab Spring as a revolution, this book argues that the phenomenon has been neither a Spring, nor a revolution. The term 'Arab Spring,' connotes a just rebellion that led to toppling dictators and authoritarian rulers, yet in The Sharia State, Bassam Tibi challenges the unchecked assumption that the seizure of leadership by Islamists is a part of the democratization of the Middle East. Providing a new perspective on the relationship between the Arab Spring and democratization, this book is an essential read for students and scholars of Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies and Politics.