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The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries

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  • Jerg Gutmann
  • Stefan Voigt

Abstract

Recently, several Muslim countries have ratified new constitutions. In this paper, we ask two questions: first, whether Muslim influence has a discernible impact on the content of such constitutions and, second, whether it has an impact on constitutional reality. More precisely, we are interested in the consequences of Islam for institutions securing the rule of law, while taking competing socioeconomic, geographic, and historical explanations explicitly into account. To this end, we construct a new Islamic State Index to measure the influence that Islam has on a society and its political and legal system. We find that Muslim influence is in conflict with the independence of the judiciary and nondiscriminatory legal institutions with respect to gender. Yet, parliamentary power as well as the protection of property rights and religious minorities are not significantly more constrained in Islamic states after we control for alternative explanations. Competing explanations such as the size of oil rents fare rather poorly in explaining differences in important aspects of the rule of law. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:162:y:2015:i:3:p:351-380
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-015-0237-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Bjørnskov, Christian & Voigt, Stefan, 2019. "Terrorism and Emergency Constitutions in the Muslim World," ILE Working Paper Series 27, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    3. Emilia Justyna Powell & Steven Christian McDowell & Robert O’Brien & Julia Oksasoglu, 2021. "Islam-based legal language and state governance: democracy, strength of the judiciary and human rights," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 376-412, September.
    4. Berggren, Niclas & Ljunge, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2019. "Roots of tolerance among second-generation immigrants," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 999-1016, December.
    5. Meierrieks, Daniel & Renner, Laura, 2021. "Islamist terrorism and the role of women," Discussion Paper Series 2021-02, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    6. Niclas Berggren & Jerg Gutmann, 2020. "Securing personal freedom through institutions: the role of electoral democracy and judicial independence," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 165-186, April.
    7. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo.
    8. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov & Therese Nilsson, 2017. "What Aspects of Society Matter for the Quality of Life of a Minority? Global Evidence from the New Gay Happiness Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 1163-1192, July.
    9. Hillman, Arye L. & Metsuyanim, Kfir & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Democracy with group identity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 274-287.
    10. Gouda, Moamen & Potrafke, Niklas, 2016. "Gender equality in Muslim-majority countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 683-698.
    11. Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
    12. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Economic Freedom and Religion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(2), pages 249-275, March.
    13. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2018. "The rule of law: Measurement and deep roots," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 68-82.
    14. Arye L. Hillman, 2021. "Harming a favored side: an anomaly with supreme values and good intentions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 275-285, March.
    15. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2020. "Traditional law in times of the nation state: why is it so prevalent?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 445-461, August.
    16. Berggren, Niclas & Nilsson, Therese & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "What Aspects of Society Affect the Quality of Life of a Minority? Global Evidence from the New Gay Happiness Index," Working Paper Series 1101, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Islam; Shari’a; Rule of law; Constitutionalism; Endogenous constitutions; Muslim countries; B41; C81/82; H11; K00; O17; O43; O57;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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