Monthly Archives: May 2006


‘Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) defined ‘asabiyya as “a corporate spirit orientated towards obtaining and keeping power”.

Hourani expands with:

“To borrow and adapt an idea from Ibn Khaldun, it could be suggested that the stability of a political regime depended upon on a combination of three factors. It was stable when a cohesive ruling group was able to link its interests with those of powerful elements in society, and when that alliance of interests was expressed in a political idea which made the power of the rulers legitimate in the eyes of society, or at least a significant part of it.”