Article

From Developmentalism to Neoliberalism: The Changing Role of the State and Development of Islamic Business and Finance in Turkey

Abstract

In this article, my aim is to examine the development of Islamic business (a class of Islamic entrepreneurs and the holding companies based on multi-ownership) and finance (Islamic banking) in Turkey during the 1980s and 1990s. Particularly, I investigate why Islamic business and finance did not emerge until 1980 and what factors played an important role in its emergence in the 1980s. I examine the relationship between the Turkish developmentalism and “state-initiated social engineering” project aimed at modernizing Turkish society through strict secularization policies, to understand why Islamic business and finance did not develop until the 1980s. However, in the 1980s, similar to many countries, Turkey aimed at reducing the role of the state in the national economy through the implementation of neoliberal policies and shifted its political-economy from state-led developmentalism to market-led development. As a result of this transition, Islamic business and finance emerged by taking advantage of the opportunities of financial and political liberalization.