ILKE Islamic Economics Research Center organizes the 5th Islamic Economics Workshop in 1-2 April 2017 in Sakarya. The topic of this year’s workshop is “Interest from the Perspective of Islamic Economics”. The workshop is supported by ILKE Association for Science Culture and Education, Scientific Studies Association (ILEM) and Turkish Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics Association (IGIAD) and will hosted by Sakarya University.
In defining and deciding the role of interest in economic affairs, various debates have taken place from ancient Greek philosophy to modern economics thought. And in today’s modern economical system, a serious range of debates are still being conducted. In the context of these debates, a compromise among scholars is yet to come. After the economic crisis in 2008, policies of central banks to decrease interest rates and initiation of negative interest policies in some central banks caused the debates in economics literature to be aggravated. There are some who defend the regulatory role of interest in capitalist economic system, while there are also other parties who claim that interest causes social problems such as unjust distribution of income and inequality. However, seen from a bird’s eye view, it can be observed that interest became a part of economic activity beyond academic debates – both on an individual and institutional level. Although it seems like an indivisible part of economic system, interest is actually a prohibited practice in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Interest/riba is a totally and openly prohibited practice in the Qur’an; and the questions of how to handle with this issue within the Islamic Economics framework and how to shape a new system accordingly are significant both for Muslims and for those who seek for an alternative to the current system.
Today, it is observed that some institutionalized banks under the names of Participation Banks or Islamic Finance Institutions are endeavoring to compensate for debt money by using interest-free methods. It is not for certain if these institutions are enough to fill the gap in this field. What is certain and more important is the fact that researches in the field should be varied and some alternative systems should be developed. In addition, starting with the problem of interest, there is a need to conduct theoretical and applied researches in order to build a holistic system and also to deal with the issues both from macroeconomics and microeconomics perspectives.
In the fifth Islamic Economics Workshop, this year’s aim is to deal with the issue of interest from an Islamic Economics perspective. To this end, academics from Turkey and abroad who carry out research in this subject will be invited, the economic, political and social problems that are caused by the current interest system will be discussed and potential solutions will be offered accordingly. In this framework, topics that will be covered in the workshop related to the issue of interest can be exemplified as, but not restricted to the following:
- The role of interest in modern economic system and a discussion from the perspective of Islamic Economics
- The future of a debt-based economic structure and new solution offers
- The importance of interest in individuals’ financial preferences and a re-modelling of individual economic behaviors under the light of Islamic premises
- Production relations in an interest-free system and the analysis of its consequences
- The role of the state in an interest-free economic system
- Concrete solution offers about how to abolish interest in current conditions. The process of transition to an interest-free economic system and its requirements
- The role of an interest-free system in institutionalizing a fair economic system
- Subsidiary policy offers which should be implemented in the transition process to an interest-free system
- Practices that have been improved in Muslim societies as an alternative to interest
- The issue of interest in mainstream religious texts and in fiqh
- Alternative types of contracts that emerges within the framework of Islamic law
Abstracts that revolve around these subjects and alike are expected be sent to the workshop through www.islamiceconomy.org/apply until 30 November 2016. The final acceptance for participating in the workshop will be decided through full texts. Articles that are sent to the workshop should be authentic, not having been published or presented in any other program or publication. Accommodation and travel expenses of the participants will be met by the organization.
For the last five years Islamic Economics Workshop has gathered many experts from various countries throughout the globe and they shared ideas about many different branches of Islamic Economics. In order for this valuable accumulation and outcome to become permanent and thus to contribute to other researches and debates in the field, presented articles are collected in an edited volume. In this framework, Turkish and English edited volumes after the respective workshops are published: İslam İktisadını Yeniden Düşünmek, İslam İktisadı ve Piyasa, İslam İktisadı ve Emek ve İslam İktisadı ve Sosyal Adalet, Islamic Economics: Basic Concepts, New Thinking and Future Directions (Cambridge Scholar Publishing) and Labor in an Islamic Setting: Theory and Practice (Gower Publishing). In the fifth workshop too, articles that are successfully presented in the workshop will be published.
Islamic Economics Workshop has an authentic and interdisciplinary approach which encourages new perspectives, focuses both on theory and practice and deals with methodological issues closely. It cordially invites researchers and experts to collaborate in this effort.
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