Title
Setting Shari'a standards: on the role, power and spatialities of interlocking Shari'a boards in islamic financial services Setting Shari'a standards: on the role, power and spatialities of interlocking Shari'a boards in islamic financial services
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Economics
Source (journal)
Geoforum. - London
Volume/pages
42(2011) :1 , p. 93-103
ISSN
0016-7185
ISI
000285857900010
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
This paper aims to refine earlier research on the geographies of Islamic financial services (IFS) through a study of how cities are being connected through interlocking directorates in Sharia advisory boards of IFS firms. The relevance of this analysis is discussed against the backdrop of recent critiques of mainstream world cities research because of structuralist and universalizing tendencies. By applying a network concept to the relationalities of world cities within financial circuits, we explore the nested city/firm/actor structure behind Sharia board membership, and reassess the connectivity of cities in the IFS network in terms of the role and spatialities of interlocking Sharia boards. The results show that Gulf cities, most notably Manama, Dubai and Kuwait City are particularly well-connected, while also mainstay financial centres outside the Middle East, such as London and New York are networked by interlocking board memberships of a global Sharia elite. The dominant position of Manama is traced back to its role as a standard-setting city for Sharia-compliant investments, which materializes through the enacted presence of an array of highly interlocked regulatory bodies and mediating elites.
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