Note: This recording was made many years ago and, as such, its quality does not comply with our currents standards.

This forty-two-minute inaugural lecture on Civil Society in Comparative Muslim Contexts was delivered by (late) Professor Mohammed Arkoun at the IIS in November 2000.

In his talk, professor Arkoun explores ideas and issues of civil society from civilisational perspectives along a historical continuum of social and political developments in societies and relates his insights to the development of historical and contemporary Muslim societies. He notes that there is not, and has never been, a normative Muslim society for reference. Muslim societies, as in other contexts, reflect multiple realities. He invites the audience to a dynamic understanding of civil society where initiatives are taken in view of the realities of the time and context in which they occur, and evolve with the changes in these contexts through processes of continual reflection and renewal.