The Politics of Islamic Finance

Edited by Clement Henry, Rodney Wilson

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
Ebook (PDF) i

Can the contemporary Islamic finance movement be shown to meet the requirements of modern commerce? In the wake of the terrorist attacks on America the UN Security Council passed a resolution targeting transnational sources of terrorist funds. The United States and the International Monetary Fund are encouraging the governments of the Middle East to adopt policies of economic liberalism and a new type of capitalism, based on Islamic values and beliefs, is emerging.

The aims of the book are:

  • to explore the political implications of the slow but steady accumulation of Islamic capital
  • to analyse the connections between Islamic finance and Islamic political movements in Middle Eastern and North African countries
  • to show that the commonly-perceived connection between Islamic finance and money laundering and terrorism is by no means the complete picture.

Readers will learn to appreciate the various political contexts in which Islamic finance operates in the Middle East and North Africa and will acquire some understanding of its political as well as economic constraints. Hopefully possible misunderstandings about Islamic banking and finance will be corrected.

The book is divided into two parts - part one is thematic and lays the ground for the country-specific case studies in part two (covering the Sudan, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt). The contributors include political scientists, economists and historians.

Key Features

  • A major topical issue
  • Written by the world's leading experts on Islamic Political Economy
  • Explores the connections between Islamic finance and Islamic political movements
  • Includes country-specific case studies

Table of Contents
Clement Henry and Rodney Wilson
Part I - Thematic Essays
1. Islamic Banks: The Rise of A New Power Alliance of Wealth and Shari'ah Scholarship
Monzer Kahf (formerly Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
2. Global Politics, Islamic Finance and Islamist Politics Before and After September 11, 2001
Ibrahim Warde (Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Harvard)
3. The Murabaha Syndrome in Islamic Finance: Laws, Institutions and Politics
Tarik Yousef (Centre for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University)
4. Marketing Commodities Does Not Happen on Commodity Markets: The Egyptian Bursat al-'Uqud and Oil Futures Markets
Ellis Goldberg (Department of Political Science, University of Washington)
5. Financial Performances of Islamic versus Conventional Banks
Clement Henry (Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin)
6. Capital Flight through Islamic Managed Funds
Rodney Wilson (Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Durham)
Part II - Case Studies
7. Interest Politics: Islamic Finance in the Sudan 1977-2001
Endre Stiansen (Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo)
8. The Kuwait Finance House and the Islamization of Public Life in Kuwait
Kristin Smith (Department of Government, Harvard)
9. Jordan: A Case Study of the Relationship between Islamic Finance and Islamist Politics
Mohammed Malley (Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin)
10. The Political Economy of Islamic Finance in Turkey: The Role of Fethullah Gulen and Asya Finans
Filiz Baskan (Faculty of Communications, Baskent University, Turkey)
11. Aiyyu Bank Islami? The Marginalization of Tunisia's BEST Bank
Robert Parks (Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin)
12. The Rise and Decline of the Islamic Banking Model in Egypt
Samir Soliman (Department of Social and Political Science, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Clement Henry and Rodney Wilson.
This timely book demonstrates how in-depth academic scholarship can make a signal contribution to a major topical issue of public policy.
Robert Springborg
London Middle East Institute
They are the leading experts on the political economy of Islamic banking, and the book will attract the interest of all who wish to understand this phenomenon.
Clement Henry is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of The Mediterranean Debt Crescent (1997) and co-author (with Robert Springborg) of Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East (2001).

Professor Wilson was the founder of the Islamic finance programme at Durham University in the United Kingdom where he continues to be an Emeritus Professor. He was a Visiting Professor at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in from 2009 untill 2012 and since 2013 has been an Emeritus Professor at the International Centre of Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Kuala Lumpur. Professor Wilson was awarded the IDB prize in Islamic banking in 2014 in recognition of his academic work on the subject.

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