Beyond DebtIslamic Experiments in Global Finance

Beyond DebtIslamic Experiments in Global Finance

Daromir Rudnyckyj

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226551920

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Recent economic crises have made the centrality of debt, and the instability it creates, increasingly apparent. This realization has led to calls for change—yet there is little popular awareness of possible alternatives. Beyond Debt describes efforts to create a transnational economy without debt. Based on research in Malaysia, Daromir Rudnyckyj illustrates how the state, led by the central bank, seeks to make the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur the “the New York of the Muslim world”—the central node of global financial activity conducted in accordance with Islam. Rudnyckyj shows how Islamic financial experts have undertaken ambitious experiments to create more stable economies and stronger social solidarities by facilitating risk- and profit-sharing, enhanced entrepreneurial skills, and more collaborative economic action. Building on ethnographic work that reveals the impact of financial devices on human activity, he illustrates how experts deploy Islamic finance to fashion subjects who are at once more pious Muslims and more ambitious entrepreneurs. In so doing, Rudnyckyj shows how they seek to create a new "geoeconomics”—a global Islamic alternative to the conventional financial network centered on New York, London, and Tokyo. A groundbreaking analysis of a timely subject, Beyond Debt tells the captivating story of efforts to re-center the global system in an emergent Islamic global city and, ultimately, to challenge the very foundations of conventional finance.