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Grant number like: FEL-267998-20

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Nora Elizabeth Barakat
Stanford University (Abu Dhabi 94305-2004 United Arab Emirates)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$45,000 (approved)
$45,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2021 – 5/31/2022

Credit Oases: Capitalism, Islamic Law and the Ottoman Legacy from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1870-1970

Research and writing leading to a book on the development of credit and mortgage markets in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Credit Oases explores Ottoman economy-making in the Middle Eurasian region between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. In the late nineteenth century, the Ottoman government responded to expanding regional credit networks that fueled commodity production from wheat in Syria to dates in the Persian Gulf with an arsenal of codified law. These laws outlined a universal legal infrastructure governing credit and mortgage contracts and transforming both into revenue sources for the government across a territorially-defined jurisdiction. However, non-official realms of debt contracting and expansive British and French legal regimes threatened the Ottoman government’s claims to defining and legitimating credit and mortgage contracts. The resulting contested framework remained the basis for civil law under British, French and postcolonial regimes across the Middle Eurasian region, until new Gulf oil economies precipitated major transformations in the credit landscape in the 1970s.