chapter  5
Max Weber and the Patrimonial Empire in Islam: The Mughal Case 1
ByPeter Hardy
Pages 22

In his Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Egypt, China, and medieval Europe figure more noticeably both as locations for, and as providing distinctive specifications of, Weber’s ideal types, patrimonial domination and the patrimonial state, than do areas under Muslim rule. Weber limits his methodical treatment of patrimonialism in Islam to areas under the later Abbasid caliphate, the Mamluke sultans and the Ottoman Turks, and even for those areas he provides, advisedly, few tools for understanding how patrimonial regimes developed in them. In Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Mughal India is barely even mentioned. 2 Nevertheless, elsewhere, in Gesammelte Aufsatze zur Religionssoziologie II, Hinduismus und Buddhismus, 3 Weber sets out a fuller account of a “host” society which accommodated Muslim patrimonial regimes than those he offered for Abbasid Iraq, Mamluke Egypt, or Ottoman Turkey. Moreover, Gesammelte Aufsatze, II betrays Weber’s belief that the features Indian society he depicts as existing before any Muslim conquests, persisted into the period of Mughal domination. 4