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19 June 2023

Institute event celebrates book on leading philosopher and scholar

The Institute of Middle Eastern Studies and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award hosted an online discussion on the Islamic historian, philosopher and sociologist, Ibn Khaldûn.


Leading the discussion was Gabriel Martinez-Gros, an emeritus professor at the Universities of Paris/Vincennes and Paris/Nanterre, who reflected on the theory of Ibn Khaldûn and its relevance today.

The event took place on 14 June, 2023.

In 2023, Professor Martinez-Gros was shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category for his book De l’autre côté des croisades: L’Islam entre croisés et Mongols (On the Other Side of the Crusades: Islam between Crusaders and Mongols).

Since 2006, the award has brought recognition to outstanding work by authors, scholars, researchers, translators, publishers, and literary organisations around the world. The award is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, under the auspices of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.

Ibn Khaldûn’s theory is a tool with which to analyse the imperial societies identified by a heavy centralised state taxation, gigantic capital cities and a strict segregation between peaceful population in charge of productive activities (sedentary, in Ibn Khaldûn’s terms) and ethnic groups in charge of violent and military functions (Bedouins in Ibn Khaldûn’s terms).

Our modern societies found other ways to increase the wealth of nations, and Ibn Khaldûn’s thought lost its relevance. But it might recover part of it if the global economic growth decreases into a stagnant society.


You can find out more about the Sheikh Zayed Book Award here.