IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sej/ancoec/v784y2012p1086-1095.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Association Lecture—The Economic Roots of Political Underdevelopment in the Middle East: A Historical Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Timur Kuran

    () (Department of Economics, Duke University, Box 90097, 213 Social Sciences, Durham, NC 27708, USA)

Abstract

Key institutions of the pre-modern Middle Eastern economy, all grounded in Islamic law, blocked the development of democratic institutions. This talk identifies three mechanisms that played critical roles. Islam's original tax system failed to produce lasting and credible constraints on governance. The waqfs (Islamic trusts) founded to provide social services to designated constituencies were politically powerless. Profit-making private enterprises remained small and ephemeral, hindering the formation of stable coalitions capable of bargaining with the state. The last two mechanisms jointly delayed the rise of a civil society able to provide the checks and balances essential to democratic rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Timur Kuran, 2012. "Association Lecture—The Economic Roots of Political Underdevelopment in the Middle East: A Historical Perspective," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1086-1095, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:4:y:2012:p:1086-1095
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/0038-4038-78.4.1086
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2016. "Religious origins of democracy & dictatorship," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 785-809.
    2. Noha Farrag & Hebatallah Ghoneim, 2016. "Challenges to the Development of an Islamic Economic System," Working Papers 42, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N95 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Asia including Middle East
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:4:y:2012:p:1086-1095. 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: (Laura Razzolini). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/seaaaea.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.