Consumers’ Rights, Justice, and Sustainable Development of Markets

Aliakbar Jafari, Strathclyde Üniversitesi

Ozlem Sandıkcı, Istanbul Şehir University

Recent decade has witnessed an upsurge of interest in developing knowledge and new practices in relation to Islamic marketing; the birth of the International Association for Islamic Marketing, Journal of Islamic Marketing, annual conferences of Global Islamic Marketing, and ad-hoc workshops and seminars on various marketing phenomena (e.g., branding, consumer behaviour, and Halal products/services) in relation to Islamic doctrines and Muslim societies are examples of such interest. These activities have generally resulted in an unprecedented engagement of marketing scholars and practitioners in understanding the nature of markets (e.g., diversity, growth rate, primary and secondary segments) and market making activities (e.g., brand awareness, expansion of consumer culture, new methods of communications) in Muslim majority contexts. However, our analysis indicates that these developments have been extensively geared towards providing businesses with the means to achieve more economic gains and reach wider audiences. In our view, although the progress of firms is an inevitable part of market development, sustainable development of markets requires a just infrastructure that would recognise and systematically support consumers’ rights and responsibilities in both B2B and B2C sectors. Currently, such systems of consumer advice and protection are generally under-developed in Muslim majority markets. We argue that the establishment of justice in markets should be seen as a pivotal doctrine of Islamic system of economics and business, and consequently call for the development and implementation of consumer protection charter in Muslim societies.

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