Islamic Finance in the Global Economy

By Ibrahim Warde | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This book builds on a number of academic and professional projects that I have been involved in over the years, some dealing with Islam and the Middle East, others with global finance and economics. I wrote the first edition of this book when I was still at the University of California at Berkeley. I have since moved to the Boston area, where I have had successive affiliations with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. I owe a debt of gratitude to Larry Michalak and the late George Lenczowski at Berkeley, Roger Owen and Thomas Mullins at Harvard, Philip Khoury and Richard Samuels at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, and Leila Fawaz and Laurent Jacque at Tufts University.

In researching the first edition, I received assistance from Dr Samir Abid Shaikh, General Secretary of the International Association of Islamic Banks and from Dr Omar Hafiz, Deputy Director of the Islamic Research and Training Institute at the Islamic Development Bank.

Among those who have been most helpful for both editions, I would like to single out Professor Chibli Mallat, now at the University of Utah, on whose encyclopedic knowledge of Islamic law I relied extensively and Dr Muhammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, who has since received a richly deserved Nobel Peace Prize, and who deepened my understanding of the relationship between finance and development.

In this new edition, I have integrated ideas from Nassim Taleb, whose influential books, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, have rocked the complacent world of academic finance. His perspective on equity versus debt was especially relevant to this book. Geoffrey Gresh, a doctoral candidate at the Fletcher School, helped me update Chapters 6 and 11.

Most of my work on global economics and finance was published in Le Monde diplomatique, a stimulating publication – and a truly global one since it is now translated in twenty-five languages – that has challenged the “pensée unique” pervading the political-economic discourse. I would like to thank the editors for their help and guidance, in particular Alain Gresh, whose own work on Islam and the Middle East is invaluable, and Serge Halimi, now the director of Le Monde

-vii-

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