Fairness, equity and social cooperation: a moderate Islamic social justice leadership model for higher education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the intersection of social justice and higher education leadership concepts from an Islamic perspective in the context of a critique of neoliberal globalized higher education as it affects developing countries such as the United Arab Emirates. The main contention is that the tradition of Islamic social justice is not only appropriate to the scholarly ethos and collegial governance, but that it is also compatible in many ways with Western humanistic traditions and liberal democracies, particularly those with a strong multicultural character. The first section provides a theoretical orientation to the recent political relationship between Islam and the West, the complexity of Muslim and Western scholarly traditions, the situation of this chapter in the humanist Enlightenment tradition, and the shared intellectual heritage of Islamic and Western intellectual traditions. The second section presents social justice conceptions of fairness, equity and social relationship, as well as distributive and redistributive justice that are core concepts of the Islamic ethic, discussed by important classical and contemporary scholars of the social justice tradition. The third section examines areas of compatibility with Western humanistic traditions, including humanistically informed models of university leadership, as well as related political conceptions of liberal democracies, and multicultural political and citizenship theory. The final section relates this discussion to a critique of neoliberal globalized education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssembling and Governing the Higher Education Institution
Subtitle of host publicationDemocracy, Social Justice and Leadership in Global Higher Education
EditorsLynn Shultz, Margaret Viczko
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2016


  • social justice
  • liberal democracy
  • Muslim country
  • intellectual tradition
  • Islamic world


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