There is an increasing demand to understand the developmental roles of Islam in the rapidly evolving global environment, to ensure its relevance as well as to guide human civilisational advancement. Islamic Governance (IG) research cluster, introduced by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), aims to cater to this demand to reconcile Islam with the contemporary world. It is based on a critical analysis of the contemporary Muslim communities with their internal political dynamics as well as their relations to the rest of the world.
The first element of IG was introduced in December 2013 as modules on the Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) programme at IPS. Just over two years later, a PhD in Islamic Governance and Master in Islamic Governance by Research were offered. By January 2018, eleven students had enrolled in the aforementioned programmes with several more expected to join in the next window in 2019.
Research within IG is split into two components:
- Pure Research
Developing the IG framework and its theoretical aspects that forms the foundation for further application. For instance, the Islamic Governance Conceptual Matrix (IGC Matrix) which provides a tool of analysis.
- Applied Research
Currently, researchers from a wide variety of fields applied the IGC Matrix to their field of expertise. Current researches include the fields of contemporary South-East Asian governance, health policy, operational excellence, green transformation, knowledge economy and so on.
Within these components, two research foci are presently active within IPS. Currently, our research foci are:
- Islamic Governance
Concepts of IG, Law and governance, Civil Service and Delivery Systems, Leadership, and Minorities.
- Political Islam
Theology and Politics, Islamic Political Action.
IPS intends to have this research published in both internal and external journals. Currently, we have The Journal of Islamic Governance to cater to internal publications and allow IG to take it first steps in publication. Eventually, we aim to achieve publications in external journals that will expand IGs applicability and capture further research input to improve its theoretical robustness. To further extend its applicability, occasional papers will also be published individually to cater to specific debates and issues within an IG lens.
Support and Facilities
In addition to its dedicated Journal, IPS also provides its research staff and students with the basic necessities to pursue their research, such as workspace, desktop and internet connection. There are also specifically allocated support staff to assist research in Islamic Governance. Furthermore, as of 23rd April 2018, the HART Library was opened to the public as a centre for IG research, providing primary and secondary sources. These range from classical works on tauhīd, fiqh and tasawwuf to Business, Law, management and contemporary Muslim society, providing students and the public with the support necessary to conduct their research.