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Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo

Abstract

My article is a critical reflection on China-Kenya Relations with the focus on the Chinese MSRI link with Kenya. Since Kenya gained its nominal political independence in 1963 from Great Britain, it has been involved in complex foreign relations with China. Currently, they enjoy solid bilateral relations, despite some domestic priority shifts and ideological differences among their leaders. From Jomo Kenyatta to Daniel Arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya-China relations have been growing.

The Forum on China Africa Cooperation. Within FOCAC, a collective, pragmatic consultancy and dialogue scheme was established. There have been more than 80 Chinese development projects in Kenya, ranging from the provision of grants to the building of infrastructures and concessional loans.

This essay reflects, using the geopolitics critique of neo-realism supported by historical structuralism and multipolarity paradigms, potential gains of the MSRI within Kenya vision of 2030 (Ruwaza ya Kenya). What and how would Kenya gain from this initiative, beyond the existing relations? What kind of partnership will develop out of MSRI, which can support African regional needs, exigencies of practices of democracy and those of sustainable development, and environmental parameters? I propose a multipolar perspective as a new theoretical ground to address the above questions.

Muhammad Azam

Abstract

The broad objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of inequality and other explanatory variables, including inflation, foreign direct investment, human capital, and migrant workers’ remittances, on economic growth using a panel of 13 Asia and the Pacific countries between 1996 and 2008. According to the results of the Hausman test, the random-effects model was preferred over the fixed-effects model in most of the equations. Empirical results reveal the significantly negative effect of inequality on economic growth. The empirical findings also suggest that the mitigation of inequality is indispensable for achieving inclusive development in the true sense. For this purpose, however, the implementation of fiscal policy option is a necessity, whereas persistent food security through agribusiness also should not be overlooked to achieve lower levels of inequality and enhance inclusive growth and development in the region.

Thijl Sunier

Uriya Shavit

Abstract

In 1999, the European Council for Fatwa and Research issued a fatwa that legitimized mortgages for Muslims in Europe who are not homeowners. While this groundbreaking text gained some academic attention, little has been written about its reception and impact. Through a field study in three Islamic centers in Stockholm, this article examines the conflicting opinions about this religious decision among imams and mosque attendees and demonstrates that both the most ardent supporters of the European Council and its staunchest critics engage with the legitimization of mortgages in ways that are independent and original and correspond with their personal understanding of the situation of local Muslims.