There is a paradox: why are there so many political and economic Islamic actors in the Middle East but not a large willingness on their part to adopt and promote Islamic banking and finance methodologies? This paper argues that the more vague and ambivalent these actors are on economic policy, the wider their appeal; and, by extension, the more compatible Islamic ideas and ideologies are with neoliberalism. The case of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) in Jordan is given as it has adopted an emphasis on Islamic middle-class values and ethical concerns of neoliberalism in order to gain political support. The case of the IAF demonstrates that there are points of compatibility between the neoliberal economy and Islamist politics. In the calibrations of the relationship between the state and Islamist party politics in line with Islamic neoliberal tenets, this approach ensures enhanced appeal for neoliberal Islamism into the future.
Sumich, J. (2018). The Middle Class in Mozambique: The State and the Politics of Transformation in Southern Africa (the International African Library). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 190 pages. ISBN: 9781108472883
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