“Labor in Islamic Economics”

4-5 April 2015 / Istanbul

The Third Islamic Economics Workshop will be held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015 under the topic of “Labor in Islamic Economics.” ILKE Association for Science Culture and Education; Scientific Studies Society (İLEM); and Association of Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics (İGİAD) will together be organizing the workshop in collaboration with Istanbul Commerce University. This year a high level of international participation is expected for the workshop.

One of the most important concepts of both the theory and the history of economics is labor. Without the labor factor, design of production, distribution, exchange and redistribution is not possible. For this reason, the factors of production are counted as labor, capital, natural resources and entrepreneurship in modern economics, for which labor is ultimately considered the most significant of them all. The reason for that is because labor is directly related to the human being. If the human constituent were to be removed from the picture, other factors would no longer carry any meaning or purpose. This central role of which labor plays in economics has been widely acknowledged and further marks the starting points for both Marxist and capitalist economic theories. Thus classical/liberal economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo placed the labor theory of value in the center of their own approaches. Similarly, Marx’s basic criticism against capitalism has its source in labor/value discussions; he emphasizes that the principle power of the working class is labor, further affirming that in a capitalist society the labor is turned into a commodity.

The word ‘labor’ has extended to contain an array of meanings, of which include human muscle strength and certain types of intellectual activities. Since the rise of classical economic theory, technological developments have indeed diversified today’s discussion on the issue of labor. Yet, from the very early period of economic history, the concept of labor has been studied in close relation to the notion of production, capital and income distribution. Economists who had different approaches consequently interpreted labor in different ways. Today, the globalization of the world economy and various utilizations of labor beyond the work force have increased the importance of the concept known as the “exploitation of labor.” Therefore, the definition of labor by today’s economies and international companies, together with the identification of the correspondence of this definition, have a particular importance in modern debates on the economy.

In this context, how have the position and the definition of labor as a part of the total factor of productivity, which is also a part of the supply chain on a global scale, developed in different economic systems and geographies? Alongside this main issue, what is the current situation in the Muslim world?

Particularly in the area of economic governance, the perception of primary agents on labor (e.g. governments, companies/producers and consumers) stands to be an important issue in the case of existing companies and their commercial activities in the Islamic world.

To this end, we call for papers from any discipline that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following subjects:

  • What are the similarities and differences of the conceptualization of labor in Islamic economics compared to modern economic theories?
  • What is the framework in Islamic economics for the concept of labor?
  • How should one approach the labor processes and transformations taking place in employment relationships in today’s global economy from an Islamic perspective?
  • What does an Islamic perspective of economics suggest about the circulation/mobility of labor?
  • How should the dynamics of distribution and redistribution be structured for the sake of a righteous, economical life?
  • How should the labor market be regulated as a social policy element?
  • What does Islamic economics suggest about the labor organizations and trade union movements?
  • How should new employment relationships in the context of the distribution of income and the improvement of production systems be?

Contact Information:

Web: http://www.islamiceconomy.org

E-mail: iew@islamiceconomy.org

Tel: +90 216 310 4318