Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Was the Middle East's economic descent a legal or political failure? Debating the Islamic Law Matters Thesis

Contents:

Author Info

  • Adeel Malik
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    An influential thesis [Kuran, 2011, The Long Divergence] locates the economic failure of the Middle East in Islamic legal arrangements that laid the basis for organizational deficiencies. This article critically scrutinizes this thesis using the lens of political economy and argues that tracing the impact of Islamic law without a discussion of the enforcement environment is unconvincing. Specifically, as a legal explanation for development, it is important to probe the extent to which Islamic law was embedded in the material domain and influenced by preferences of political incumbents. A key contention of the article is that Islamic law can be described, at best, as a proximate rather than a deep determinant of development, and that there is limited evidence to establish it as a causal claim. Finally, I propose that, rather than exclusively concentrating on legal impediments to development, a more promising avenue for research is to focus on the co-evolution of economic and political exchange, and to probe why the relationship between rulers and merchants differed so markedly between the Ottoman Empire and Europe.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2012-08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2012-08.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-08

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
    Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Law and Economics; Islamic Economic; Waqf;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.