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Ratioinstitutet - The Ratio Institute Ratio Working Papers

No 43:
Islam and the Institutions of a Free Society: Many Problems, Little Hope

Stefan Voigt

Abstract: The rule of law, constitutional democracy, and market economy are taken as the core institutions of free societies. After arguing that shared values heavily influence institutions, it is asked whether Islamic values are conducive to those institutions. The values are ascertained via the economic ethics of Islam as lived today and the attitudes of some Muslim populations via the analysis of a recent opinion poll. Neither the values nor the attitudes of Muslim societies seem particularly supportive of the institutions of a free society.

Keywords: Islam; Values; Culture; New Institutional economics; rule of law; constitutional democracy; market economy; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H11; K10; N45; P51; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)

36 pages, May 17, 2004, Revised December 20, 2004

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This paper is forthcoming as:
Voigt, Stefan, 'Islam and the Institutions of a Free Society: Many Problems, Little Hope', The Independent Review.

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