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Resource Rich Muslim Countries and Islamic Institutional Reforms


Liza Mydin, Hossein Askari and Abbas Mirakhor

Resource Rich Muslim Countries and Islamic Institutional Reforms explores the "resource curse," a condition in which a country’s abundance of natural resources is negatively linked with the country’s development and economic growth, in resource rich Muslim countries. The resource curse puzzle has been studied for over twenty years, with prior researchers looking to prove its existence and explore its causes. Recent studies have begun to indicate institutional failure as a likely cause of the curse, as wealth of resources tends to cause counterproductive behaviors such as rent-seeking, patronage and corruption. The subpar economic performance of resource rich Muslim countries in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) could be attributed to the manifestation of a resource curse. Collectively, the member countries of the OIC contribute over 9% of the world’s total GDP with 22.8% of the world’s population. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates alone contribute about 17% of world oil production. Resource rich Muslim countries should be at the forefront of economic performance and growth, yet we see the opposite when we compare the performance of these countries to countries that are not resource rich (such as Spain, France, Hong Kong and Japan). Through an analysis of sample countries, the authors have discovered that natural resources exert a drag on the countries’ economic growth, thereby indicating the presence of the resource curse. Their research also found weaknesses in the quality of institutions as the cause of the curse. To counteract the negative effects of the resource curse in resource rich Muslim countries, the authors provide a number of Islamic institutional reforms.

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Chapter 1: The OIC Countries


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The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest international organization after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 countries (that includes Palestine) and spanning four continents. The member countries are mainly classified as developing countries and account for more than one fifth of the world population.

The OIC has gained status and has tried to project Islamic solidarity in the contemporary world. The OIC has endeavored to distance itself from inter-Muslim rivalries, but unfortunately in recent years it has taken sides in favor of influential majorities. According to Rehman and Askari (2007) OIC membership is typically based on the following; (1) governments who have adopted Islam as the official state religion, (2) Islam is practiced as a primary religion, (3) the country has a significant Muslim population or (4) self-declaration as an Islamic republic. Although these countries have different political, economic and socio-cultural backgrounds, they represent the voice of the Muslim world and espouse the importance of safeguarding the interests of Muslims in the world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.1 ← 1 | 2 →

The OIC includes among others, the following key objectives in its charter; (1) to enhance solidarity and fraternity among member states, (2) to safeguard and protect the common interests and support legitimate causes of the member states, (3) to promote inter-state relations based on justice, mutual respect to ensure global peace, security...

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