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- DescriptionIn the year 1000, the ecomy of the Middle East was at least as advanced as that of Europe. But by 1800, the region had fallen dramatically behind--in living standards, techlogy, and ecomic institutions. In short, the Middle East had failed to modernize ecomically as the West surged ahead. What caused this long divergence? And why does the Middle East remain drastically underdeveloped compared to the West? In The Long Divergence, one of the world's leading experts on Islamic ecomic institutions and the ecomy of the Middle East provides a new answer to these long-debated questions. Timur Kuran argues that what slowed the ecomic development of the Middle East was t colonialism or geography, still less Muslim attitudes or some incompatibility between Islam and capitalism. Rather, starting around the tenth century, Islamic legal institutions, which had benefitted the Middle Eastern ecomy in the early centuries of Islam, began to act as a drag on development by slowing or blocking the emergence of central features of modern ecomic life--including private capital accumulation, corporations, large-scale production, and impersonal exchange. By the nineteenth century, modern ecomic institutions began to be transplanted to the Middle East, but its ecomy has t caught up. And there is quick fix today. Low trust, rampant corruption, and weak civil societies--all characteristic of the region's ecomies today and all legacies of its ecomic history--will take generations to overcome. The Long Divergence opens up a frank and honest debate on a crucial issue that even some of the most ardent secularists in the Muslim world have hesitated to discuss.
- Author BiographyTimur Kuran is professor of economics and political science and the Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. He is the author of Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton).
- Author(s)Timur Kuran
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication11/11/2012
- SubjectEconomics: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note12 halftones. 8 line illus. 10 tables. 2 maps.
- Weight599 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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