Shelf Life

The Long Divergence

Daryl Paranada Mar 4, 2011

Title: The Long Divergence

Author: Timur Kuran

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Type: Non Fiction

Released: November 15, 2010

Length: 424 pages

In his book, The Long Divergence, Duke University economist Timur Kuran looks at the economic problems of the Middle East through the lens of Islamic Law. Under the law, there are certain restrictions against lending money with interest and passing on businesses to your children. Kuran explains that while the Middle East has moved past these restraints and gone on to establish banks and larger corporations that rely on these traditionally forbidden practices, it took the region a long time to do it. The long lag in joining the modern industrial world has undercut the region’s economic development. Top this with autocratic governments and growth is handicapped even further. But, Kuran says, he does have hope for economic prosperity in the region in the long-term.

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