This chapter aims at showing the intertwinement of political and cultural thinking in the modern Arab world. It demonstrates, that on the one hand, political thinking has been part and parcel of modern Arab cultural-intellectual history; and on the other hand, that intellectual history and intellectual history writing have been an important aspect of modern Arab political thinking. Hence, the political and the cultural, in the broad sense of the term, have been closely interconnected, and my contention is that the one cannot be gauged without the other. I argue that the political reading of much of the cultural issues has been an integral part of Arab thought since the nahda; and I show that conceiving modern Arab intellectual history has been an increasingly significant facet of political analysis and mobilization, especially in the last decades leading to the 2011 revolutions. An eloquent illustration of this intertwinement can be seen in the “tanwir” debates that took place in Cairo and Damascus in the 1990s and 2000s.