The Challenges of Development in Muslim Societies: An Introduction

December 4-11, 2020

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations


This two-day course introduces participants to some of the main development challenges facing Muslim societies today. The first session explores the different conceptions of development and how these are measured. We will look at the available evidence to identify some of the development challenges facing Muslim-majority countries (MMCs). Participants will be able to share their own understanding of development and explore available datasets on development indicators to investigate the experiences of MMCs. The second session looks at the main approaches to development centred on two competing views of how resources should be allocated in society – through the free market and through government policies. This provides the basis in which to understand and critically examine development approaches and policies that emphasise the role of governments, the private sector, and civil society.


Course Convenor 


Dr Jeff Tan

Dr Tan is a political economist who works on the intersection of politics and economics, and how these shape policies and institutions and impact economic development. His research interests centre on late industrialisation and industrial policy, rent-seeking and corruption, urban infrastructure (including water and sanitation), entrepreneurship and Islamisation. He has published a book on privatisation in Malaysia (Routledge 2008), and book chapters and journal articles on these areas. His current research is on community based water management in northern Pakistan. Dr Tan has taught courses in development studies, development economics, international political economy, and research methodologies, and has been a Fellow of Advanced Higher Education since 2014. 



Participants should have some awareness of, or interest in, development issues; familiarity with Zoom tools; a good internet connection; and access to MS Teams. Participants will be expected to have completed all required readings prior to each session. 


1. Session 1 (Fri 4 Dec): What is development?

2. Session 2 (Fri 11 Dec): Approaches to development: What role for governments, the private sector and NGOs? 


Dates and Times 

 The course runs across two sessions on consecutive Fridays between 9:00 and 11:00am London time. Sessions will be delivered via Zoom.




Please book here



Image credit:

Jeff Tan