Author: Timur Kuran

Book Review by: Ziad Hafez (**)

Published By: Princeton University Press, Princeton

Year of publication: 2011

Number of Pages: 405

ISBN: 978-0-691-14756-7



There are many books and studies dealing with the reasons why the Islamic world has been stagnating for the last two centuries when it was, for a much longer time, the model of civilization and advancement. Although severely flawed, the book reviewed is an interesting attempt at providing ‘off the beaten track’ answers that are different to traditional orientalist scholarship. The author has resorted to a comparative institutional approach in developing his argument, yet he has displayed a serious lack of understanding of Islamic institutions and norms. He examines what he believes to be the various factors that have led to Western development, and tries to identify similar patterns, if any, in the Islamic world.

Read full text here The long divergence

Key Words: 

Islamic civilization

Islamic World



Islamic norms

Islamic institutions

Western Development