Consumers’ rights, justice, and sustainable development of markets

Jafari, Aliakbar and Sandikci, Ozlem (2014) Consumers’ rights, justice, and sustainable development of markets. In: 2nd Islamic Economics Workshop: Islamic Economy and Market, 2014-04-05 - 2014-04-06, Istanbul Sehir University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper we focus on the notion of ‘social justice’ to argue that the establishment of social justice in markets should be seen as a pivotal doctrine of Islamic system of economics and business, as it was in the early Islamic era. Our interest in this topic has been primarily triggered by observing an unprecedented upsurge of attention from different subjects within the fields of economics and business to developing new knowledge in relation to the ‘Islamic’. We do acknowledge that Islamic economics has an established history and its scholars (both Muslim and non-Muslim) have traditionally accumulated a wealth of knowledge in a wide range of topics. For example, in the domain of financial markets and banking industry, Islamic economics has shed light on the development of numerous Shariah-compliant products and services across the world, amongst not only Muslims but also non-Muslims (e.g., HSBC in the UK). Similarly, scholars’ (e.g., Kahf, 1992a, 1992b, 1996; Khan, 1984, 1995; Kalantari, 2008) application of economic theories to consumption has fructified new areas of scholarship in relation to consumption in Muslim majority contexts (see Hasan, 2005; Süerdem, 2013; Jafari and Süerdem, 2012). However, with the acceleration of modernisation and neoliberalism, growth of consumerism, and socio-economic developments in Muslim geographies (particularly oil-rich countries), the question of ‘what makes a socio-economic system Islamic?’ is gaining evermore importance. The scope of this question goes beyond the disciplinary boundaries of economic theories to encompass a broader range of issues in business ethics, management, marketing, and international business/marketing, to name but a few (see Abuznaid, 2009; Beekun, 1996; Rice, 1999).