Download The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle by Timur Kuran PDF

By Timur Kuran

Within the yr a thousand, the economic climate of the center East used to be at the least as complicated as that of Europe. yet via 1800, the area had fallen dramatically behind--in dwelling criteria, know-how, and financial associations. briefly, the center East had didn't modernize economically because the West surged forward. What brought on this lengthy divergence? And why does the center East stay tremendously underdeveloped in comparison to the West? within the lengthy Divergence, one of many world's best specialists on Islamic financial associations and the economic system of the center East offers a brand new solution to those long-debated questions.

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23 Yet, the Middle Eastern social system never became frozen, as Weber’s writings imply. As the taxable capacities of economic sectors changed, tax systems were modified in ways that make sense to modern scholars. Evidently, rationality was not lacking across the board. Given that the Middle Eastern social system harbored fluid elements, it is hardly obvious why its vehicle for delivering urban services was not overhauled before the nineteenth century; nor is it obvious why reforms that brought corporate law to the Middle East had to await the early 1900s.

In fact, the region’s own institutions slowed its recovery from the calamities of the Middle Ages, and the stagnation of those institutions led, centuries later, to economic disappointments that necessitated massive reforms. Identifying the global implications of Europe’s dynamism is the essence of the “world-systems” approach to modern history. ” Like other peripheral regions, it follows the rhythms of western industrialization and conquests. 16 This interpretation leaves unexplained why nothing akin to the western self-transformation unfolded in the Middle East.

Perplexingly, these and other privileges were withheld from local merchants. Although the underlying motives are complex, one is that foreign privileges enhanced commercial efficiency. Thus, the protection against undocumented lawsuits replaced dispute resolution procedures characteristic of personal exchange with those of impersonal exchange. As works on European economic modernization have demonstrated, in the period when the capitulations gained increasing significance, Europe was making the transition from personal to impersonal exchange.

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