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Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation

Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation

With guest speaker, Timur Karan, Professor of Economics and Law, King Faisal Professor of Islamic Law and Culture, University of Southern California.

A millennium ago the Middle East was not an economic laggard, but by the 18th century it had fallen behind. The reason is certain components of the region's legal infrastructure relative to the West, in particular, the absence of corporations, and the amount of land and property tied up in waqf holdings. Some obstacles were removed in 19th century reforms, but their effects remain.

The Burkle Seminar on Global Affairs is held roughly every two weeks and emphasizes interdisciplinary topics and includes scholars from other social sciences as well as public policy and law.

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