"A carefully researched, theoretically sophisticated contribution to an emerging body of scholarship on Islam and capitalism. This book argues that focusing on charity can reveal how capitalism works. This is an acute insight. Zencirci convincingly demonstrates that, far from being antithetical to capitalism, social interventions in the name of humanitarianism and charity can in fact be constitutive of it."—Daromir Rudnyckyj, author of Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance
Since coming to power in 2003, Turkey’s governing party, the AKP, has made poverty relief a central part of their political program. In addition to neoliberal reforms, AKP’s program has involved an emphasis on Islamic charity that is unprecedented in the history of the Turkish Republic. To understand the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, Zencirci introduces the concept of the Muslim Social, defined as a welfare regime that reimagined and reconfigured Islamic charitable practices to address the complex needs of a modern market society.
In The Muslim Social, Zencirci explores the blending of religious values and neoliberal elements in dynamic, flexible, and unexpected ways. Although these governmental assemblages of Islamic neoliberalism produced new forms of generosity, distinctive notions of poverty, and novel ways of relating to others in society, Zencirci reveals how this welfare regime privileged managerial efficiency and emotional well-being at the expense of other objectives such as equality, development, or justice. The book provides a lens onto the everyday life of Islamic neoliberalism, while also mapping the kind of political concerns that animate poverty governance in our capitalist present.
Gizem Zencirci is assistant professor of political science at Providence College. She has published articles in several journals, including the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Asian Journal of Social Science, and Middle Eastern Studies.
6 x 9, 0 pages, 5 black and white illustrations