We are happy to invite you the 3rd Coffee Talk of the year that takes place on March 27! Our speaker is Prof. Mohamed Saleh and he will give a talk titled “Socioeconomic Inequality across Religious Groups in the Middle East.” which will be followed by a discussion upon your participation! Hope to see you on March 27 during lunch break at MC203! Please find the details of the talk below.
Abstract: “This book project plans to study various questions related to the long-standing socioeconomic inequality across non-Muslims and Muslims in the Middle East. It draws on novel primary data sources including medieval papyri, historical population censuses, and tax registers, in order to document the socioeconomic advantage of non-Muslim minorities in the region and how it evolved over time and varied across groups and territories. It then examines how inter-religion socioeconomic inequality was impacted by European influence and state-led development since 1800. Finally, it explores the historical roots of this inequality and the role of Islamic taxation in its emergence, and how the Islamic tax system itself evolved in response to it. Overall, the planned manuscript is part of a larger project that attempts to write a new evidence-based economic history of the region that draws on the digitization of various primary unexplored data sources at local and European archives, and that combines the quantitative approaches of the social sciences with the historical literature. In doing so, it builds on earlier work of pioneering economic historians of the region, while attempting to go beyond the conceptual and methodological divisions that separate economic historians from historians as well as those that separate nationalist from colonial narratives.”