Istanbul Journal of Economics
Examining Islamic Economic Thought in the Context of Comparative Historical Economic SociologyOnur Dündar
This paper discusses Islamic economic thought in the context of economic sociology. To do so, it utilizes the comparative historical method, which holds central importance for theorists of economic sociology. The comparative historical research design, one of the most frequently used qualitative research methods, also helped to test the conceptual framework adopted in the paper. The literature on sociology of institutions and its discussions on economic behavior in social contexts play a central importance in the conceptual framework used in the article. Emphasizing the effects of religious thought on the economic structure, this article examines in which periods Islamic economic thought was compatible with the concepts schematized as secularization and stagnation of this school. In this direction, it uses a categorical-systematic content analysis. The analyzed data were obtained from primary and secondary sources accessed through document analysis. Stagnation and secularization periods in Islamic economic thought are classified. Also, the concepts of secularization and stagnation were examined in relational dimension. Consequently, a positive relationship has been determined between the periods of stagnation and secularization in Islamic economic thought and the level of domination of the state power in the economy.
Karşılaştırmalı Tarihsel İktisat Sosyolojisi Bağlamında İslam İktisadı Düşüncesinin İncelenmesiOnur Dündar
Bu çalışmada İslam İktisat Düşüncesi iktisat sosyolojisi bağlamında ele alınmıştır. İktisat sosyolojisi kuramcılarının merkezi bir önem atfettikleri karşılaştırmalı tarihsel yöntem bu incelemede kullanılmıştır. Nitel araştırma yöntemleri arasında sıkça başvurulan karşılaştırmalı tarihsel araştırma deseni çalışmada benimsenen teorik çerçevenin doğrulanmasına da fayda sağlamıştır. Benimsenen teoride kurumlar sosyolojisinin iktisadi davranışı sosyal bağlamlarda arayan refleksi merkezi bir öneme sahip olmuştur. Dini düşüncenin iktisadi yapıya etkilerinin altını önemle çizen bu ekolün dünyevileşme ve durağanlaşma şeklinde şematize ettiği kavramlara İslam İktisadı Düşüncesinin hangi dönemlerde uyumluluk gösterdiği incelenmiştir. Bu doğrultuda nitel araştırmalarda kullanılan veri analiz yöntemlerinden biri olan içerik analizinden faydalanılmıştır. Kategorik-sistematik bir içerik analizi yapılmıştır. Analizi yapılan verilere doküman tarama incelemesi yoluyla erişilen birincil ve ikincil kaynaklardan ulaşılmıştır. İslam İktisat Düşüncesindeki durağanlaşma ve dünyevileşme dönemleri sınıflandırılmıştır. Daha sonra dünyevileşme ve durağanlaşma kavramları ilişkisel boyutta incelenmiştir. Yapılan analizler sonucunda İslam İktisat Düşüncesindeki durağanlaşma ve dünyevileşme dönemleriyle ekonomideki devlet gücünün tahakküm seviyesi arasında paralel bir ilişki tespit edilmiştir.
This study examines Islamic economic thought in the context of the theoretical framework of economic sociology theories which explain the development of industrial capitalism. Islamic economics literature has preferred to follow a different path from the ideal economic individual typology used by Western literature, especially in explaining the economic structures of devoloping Eastern countries and in solving their existing problems. The first reason for this preference is the number of Muslim countries in the East. The second important reason is that industrial capitalism did not occur in any of these countries. Many Western economists attribute the fact that industrial capitalism did not take place in the East to the fact that its societies do not have the ideal economic human behaviors as described by modern economic theories.
According to many Islamic economic theorists, modern Western literature aims to describe ideal economic behavior in order to ascribe capitalist development solely to Western countries, therefore, necessitating efforts to draw alternatives of ideal economic behavior as a counter-movement. This has led many to attempt alternative theories to neoclassical automatic balance mechanisms, which pay little attention to the sociological dimensions of economic thought. Likewise, the inability of alternative theories to address the sociological dimension has led to some negative consequences. The boundaries of Islamic economic thought seem to be limited to conformist dimension only against the neoclassical paradigm. Therefore, this paper discusses the dimensions of Islamic economic thought and the transformations of this school in the context of economic sociology. Theorists of economic sociology have discussed the nature of economic behavior in a social context, and argue that non-Western economies could not realize the accumulation of capital due to their stagnant structure. In this direction, attempts have been made in this paper to accurately define stagnation. For this purpose, it has been questioned whether stagnation exists within the dynamics of the economy. In addition, the effect of state economic interests on this stagnation is discussed.
Considering the central importance of the social context in economic sociology, economic sociologists have not neglected the effect of religious thought on the economic structure, and have examined the effect of spiritual elements on the economy. The founders of economic sociology identified three main components to explain the differences between economic mentalities in terms of capitalist development between civilizations. These are respectively; (1) Structuralism, (2) Sociology of Institutions, and (3) Social Networks. These three main components have held central importance in the conceptual framework used in this study. Additionally, the study compares the differences and similarities between Islamic thought and modern economic thought. Sociology of institutions, one of the three main components of this conceptual framework, has been of great importance for the methodology of the paper. According to the sociology of institutions, Eastern societies could not achieve the accumulation of capitalist capital due to their belief in mystical religions.
The methodology of the paper was also designed to test this proposition. This article adopted qualitative research methods as the development of Islamic economic thought was examined from an interpretive view. It conducted a comparative examination of the social structure and the development of economic institutions while highlighting the key differences in the processes in different periods. Therefore, a comparative historical design was preferred. This research design was also utilized to due to the great importance of how certain social changes differ before and after particular temporal points, which were examined in the context of mainstream views. In this view, it is claimed that Islam, and therefore its understanding of economics, has a morality. In addition, one of the other implications of this view is undoubtedly that Islamic economic thought could not realize industrial capitalism for this reason. In this context, the concepts of stagnation and secularization in Islamic economic thought were analyzed descriptively. Also, a categorical-systematic content analysis was made. As a requirement of the classification stage, which is the first step of categorical— systematic analysis, a two-dimensional classification was made between secularization and stagnation. The article then discusses the secularizationstagnation conflict in the linking phase, which is the second step of the categoricalsystematic analysis. In this paper the components of the classic Ottoman thought have been weighted in the frame of the discourse analysis.