Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance

Part of: In Pursuit of Knowledge - Spring

Course description

Recent economic crises have made the centrality of debt, and the instability it creates, increasingly apparent. This realization has led to cries for change—yet there is little popular awareness of possible alternatives. This lecture describes efforts to create a transnational economy free of debt. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Malaysia, the lecture shows how the state, led by the central bank, seeks to make the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur “the New York of the Muslim world”—a central node for global financial activity conducted in accordance with the Islamic prohibition on interest-bearing debt.

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