The contemporary world has reached a pivotal moment of escalating injustices and apocalyptic risks, but also of unprecedented opportunities. Mounting pressures of social and ecological problems are met by a confluence of intellectual trends that allow the questioning of entrenched assumptions and the unleashing of a forward-oriented sociological imagination. In Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World, a diverse collection of regional experts explore contemporary trends, alternative visions, and new directions for sociological research, raising issues that reflect the complexity of challenges facing future projects on a shared planet. Topics include:  • Feminist and Indigenous Perspectives in Latin America  • An African-centred approach to Knowledge Production  • Post-Islamist Democracy Based on the revised papers of the Opening and Closing Plenaries of the Third ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna, Austria, July 2016, which Markus Schulz organized on the theme “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World.”


Alain Touraine

Editor’s Note: The following text is based on the author’s concluding remarks at the Closing Plenary of the Third ISA Forum.

On Asef Bayat

Asef Bayat asks the question: can we imagine a Muslim democracy? I immediately answer in a negative way: a Muslim democracy is as impossible as a Christian, Jewish or Buddhist democracy. God’s law is by nature eternal; men’s laws are by nature historical: what a majority has decided another one can cancel.

The basic condition for democracy is laicity, which is the separation of political power from religious authority. In Western Europe the German Emperor, later on the French King and a couple of centuries after, the King of England, have freed their national political power from ...

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