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Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law: a constitutional economics perspective

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  • Moamen Gouda

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Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law. Al Azhar, one of the most respected Sunni religious institutions in the world, developed a model of an Islamic constitution. This study uses Al-Azhar’s constitution as a model of Islamic constitutionalism and examines its stance in regard to the rule of law. We find the Al-Azhar’s constitution to be incompatible with essential concepts of rule of law. For example, the powers vested in the head of the Islamic state are enormous, making the executive branch of government far superior to the legislative and judicial branches. Women and non-Muslims are explicitly discriminated against throughout the constitution. Moreover, laws stemming from this constitution are not stable since many differences exist among schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Consequently, we show that state-of-the-art Islamic constitutionalism lacks essential components needed in any constitution based on rule of law. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Moamen Gouda, 2013. "Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law: a constitutional economics perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 57-85, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:24:y:2013:i:1:p:57-85
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-012-9132-5
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-012-9132-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    4. repec:cto:journl:v:18:y:1998:i:2:p: is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:56:y:1962:i:04:p:853-864_07 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Policies against human trafficking: the role of religion and political institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 353-386, November.
    2. Gouda, Moamen & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Gender equality in Muslim-majority countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 683-698.
    3. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Constitutionalism; Rule of Law; Shari’a; Islam; Constitution; H10; H11; K30; K39; Z12;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K30 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - General
    • K39 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Other
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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