S.M. Ghazanfar

Monday, March 8 2010

A paper authored by S.M. Ghazanfar, professor emeritus of economics, entitled, "Capitalist Traditions in Early Islamic Civilization," was published in the Journal of Oriental and African Studies (Athens, Greece), Fall Issue, Volume 18, 2009. The paper argues that capitalistic institutions--such as private property, profit motive and voluntary exchange--formed the basis of economic activities in the early Islamic civilization; the Crusades provided major links of those activities to medieval Europe. The paper discusses the geographical extent and types of business ventures, as well as the development of various financial institutions. While the theoretical construct of capitalism is of recent origin, it is argued, capitalistic system, in terms of practices and institutions, was indeed the prevailing mode in the early Islamic world. A 2001 summer research grant from the College of Business and Economics had enabled Ghazanfar's research that resulted in the paper.