Development Models in Muslim Contexts: Chinese, ‘Islamic’ and Neo-Liberal Alternatives

​​Exploring Muslim Contexts

Series Editor: Abdou Filali-Ansary

The Exploring Muslim Contexts series seeks to address the salient and urgent issues faced by Muslim societies as they evolve into a rapidly globalising world, bringing together the scholarship of leading specialists from various academic fields, representing a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives.

Development Models in Muslim Contexts: Chinese, 'Islamic' and Neo-Liberal Alternatives
Edited by: Robert Springborg
Publication Date: Sept. 2009

Recent discussion of the "Chinese model," the emergence of an alternative "Muslim model" over the past quarter century and the faltering globalisation of the "Washington Consensus" all point to the need to investigate more systematically the nature of these models and their competitive attractions, especially in various Muslim societies which span both different economic and geographic categories and are themselves the progenitor of a development model. The "Chinese model" has attracted the greatest attention in lockstep with that country's phenomenal growth and therefore provides the primary focus for this book. The volume examines the characteristics of this model and the reception of it in two major regions of the world — Africa and Latin America. It also investigates the current competition over governance models in the Muslim world. The question of which model or models, if any, will guide development in Muslim contexts is vital not only for them, but for the world as a whole. This is the first political economy study to address this vital question as well as the closely related issue of the centrality of governance to development.

Robert Springborg is a Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. Previously he held the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he was also the Director of the London Middle East Institute. His publications include Mubarak's Egypt: Fragmentation of the Political Order (1989), Family Power and Politics in Egypt (1982), Legislative Politics in the Arab World (co-authored with Abdo I. Baaklini and Guilain P. Deoeux, 1999) and Globalisation and the Politics of Development in the Middle East (co-authored with Clement M. Henry, 2001).

The Challenge of Pluralism: Paradigms from Muslim Contexts 
Edited by Abdou Filali-Ansary and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed
Publication Date: Sept. 2009

From 2003 to 2007 the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations hosted, in London and Karachi, a series of academic seminars titled Approaches to Pluralism in Muslim Contexts in London and Karachi. These seminars aimed to encourage discussion about the notion of pluralism and its specific relevance to Muslim societies.

Current popular and academic discussions tend to make certain assumptions regarding Islam and its lack of compatibility with notions of pluralism. Some notable liberal thinkers have even argued that pluralism itself, is inherently antithetical to Islam. This volume addresses these assumptions by bringing clarity to some key suppositions and conjectures. It seeks to go beyond the parameters of political correctness by engaging in a dialogue that refutes these postulations in a direct, frontal debate. Eight eminent scholars from around the world, explore notions of pluralism, discussing the broad spectrum of its relevance and application to modern day societies, from secularism and multiculturalism to democracy, globalisation and the pivotal role of civil society.

These AKU-ISMC publications are produced as part of the Islamic Studies catalogue at Edinburgh University Press. For further information and/or to order, please see the Exploring Muslim Contexts​ series page.

Forthcoming Volumes 
Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim Societies 
Edited by Sarah Bowen Savant, AKU-ISMC and Elena de Felipe Rodriguez, Universidad de Alcalá

Genealogy is one of the most important and authoritative organising principles of Muslim societies. From the Prophet’s family tree to the present, ideas about kinship and descent have shaped communal and national identities. An understanding of genealogy is therefore vital to our understanding of Muslim societies. This book addresses the subject through a range of case studies that link genealogical knowledge to particular circumstances in which it was created, circulated and promoted.

Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts
Edited by Derryl MacLean, Simon Fraser University and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed, AKU-ISMC

Cosmopolitanism is a key concept in social and political thought, standing in opposition to ideologies such as tribalism, nationalism and fundamentalism. Much recent discussion of this concept has been situated within Western self perceptions with little inclusion of information from Muslim contexts.

This volume redresses the balance by focusing on instances in world history when cosmopolitan ideas and actions pervaded specific Muslim societies and cultures, exploring the tensions between regional cultures, isolated enclaves and modern nation-states. Models are chosen from 4 geographic areas: the Swahili coast, the Ottoman Empire/ Turkey, Iran and Indo-Pakistan.

Ethnographies of Islam: Ritual Performances and Everyday Practices
Edited by Paulo Pinto, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Badouin Dupret, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Thomas Pierret, Princeton University and Kathryn Spellman-Poots, AKU-ISMC

This comparative approach to the various uses of the ethnographic method is particularly relevant in the current climate. Political discourses and stereotypical media portrayals of Islam as a monolithic civilisation have prevented the emergence of cultural pluralism and individual freedom.

This book counters such discourses by showing the diversity and plurality of Muslim societies and promoting a reflection on how the ethnographic method assists in the description, representation and analysis of the social and cultural complexity of Muslim societies.

For further information and/or to purchase any of the books above please see the Edinburgh University Press​ series page.