CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY
Call for Paper Proposals
DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT:
Challenges for the Islamic World
CSID’s 6th Annual Conference
April 22-23, 2005 - Washington DC
The discourse on democracy often takes place in a historical and contextual vacuum. Critical issues of economic and political development are frequently inadequately engaged and their relevance to democratic governance is poorly realized. Economic development may be defined as the transition from a subsistence/agricultural to a market-based and/or industrialized economy accompanied by a rise in per capita income while political development has to do with the emergence of the modern state and processes of democratization. Are we facing a chicken-or-egg situation here so that one kind of development is understood to necessarily precede the other for a successful transition to democracy? A full appreciation of these developmental issues coupled with a sound knowledge of the inner resources of Islamic thought which are deemed to be supportive of democratic trends are essential in any proper discussion of the challenges of democratization facing Muslim countries today.
The sixth annual conference of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), therefore, will focus on the inter-relatedness between democracy and development in the Islamic world. Paper proposals are invited from prospective participants on the following four broad topics. Possible topics are by no means restricted to the ones that follow but proposals must show the relevance of their topic in general to the issues of democracy and development in Islamic societies. Both broad theoretical approaches and specific case studies are welcome.
1. INTERNAL RESOURCES AND THEIR RELEVANCE
What are the resources within Islamic thought and historical practices which may be understood to foster the establishment of democratic political development within the modern state? For example, do the classical concepts of shura and ijma‘ lend themselves to the further development of democratic institutions and a civil society in the modern sense? Is secularism a pre-condition for political development in the democratic mode or can religious values and practices be accommodated?
2. PARADIGMS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Is there such a thing as specifically Islamic economic development as opposed to or complementary to modern Western notions of development? Are notions of Islamic finance and banking as current in certain circles conducive to a more just and ethical economic development for Muslim countries? Can Islamic values help to fight corruption, promote investment, create jobs, encourage innovation, or eliminate poverty?
3. THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON DEVELOPMENT
Development – both economic and political –no longer takes place in isolation in any one society or country, since each is embedded in a complex network of global relations, concerning which poor countries have very little say. How does increasing economic globalization, therefore, affect the processes of development within Muslim countries?
4. WOMEN AND POLITICAL-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
How do traditional views on women and gender roles affect women’s participation in the political and economic spheres? How are Islamic and Islamizing discourses being deployed to empower women in these spheres in some cases and disenfranchise them in others? What are the consequences for development with women’s entry into the labor force in increasing numbers?
5. BARRIERS TO DEVELOPMENT
What are the common barriers to development? Are inadequate access to technology, political instability, weak educational infrastructures, and authoritarian modes of governance, for example, the common denominators of underdeveloped countries? What other factors need to be identified and addressed to ensure proper economic and political development?
Paper proposals (no more than 400 words) are due by December 31, 2004 and should be sent to:
Prof. Asma Afsaruddin, Chair, Conference Program Committee, 2121 K Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20037. Tel.: (202) 942-2183. Fax: (202) 628-8189. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; and email@example.com
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 30, 2005 and final papers must be submitted by March 15, 2005.
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